[This is a roundup of news articles and other materials circulating on Palestine and reflects a wide variety of opinions. It does not reflect the views of the Palestine Page co-editors or of Jadaliyya. You may send your own recommendations for inclusion in each roundup to Palestine@jadaliyya.com.]
The Occupation Forces
Israeli Forces Open Fire at Palestinian Ambulance in al-Bireh Israeli forces opened fire targeting a Palestinian Red Crescent ambulance, in northern al-Bireh City in the central occupied West Bank, on Friday noon. The Palestinian Red Crescent said that the ambulance was on its way to the Deir Dibwan village in the Ramallah and al-Bireh district, to transport a patient to a hospital, when Israeli soldier deployed at the Beit El checkpoint opened fire at it. No injuries were reported.
Israeli Forces Uproot 200 Cactus Seedlings in Jordan Valley A Palestinian official in charge of Jordan Valley's Israeli settlements file at the Palestinian Authority, Mutaz Bisharat, said that Israeli forces uprooted two-hundred five-month-old cactus seedlings. Bisharat added that the seedlings belong to local resident Faris Sawafta in Bardala in the Jordan Valley.
Palestinian Teen Killed by Israeli Forces During Ramallah Protest A Palestinian teenager, identified by the Palestinian Ministry of health as eighteen-year-old Mahmoud Nakhleh, was shot in the abdomen with live bullets by Israeli forces during a protest in the al-Jalazun refugee camp. Several people were also injured in the clashes that erupted between the Palestinians and the Israeli forces during protests in Ramallah against the Israeli settlements construction and the seizure of their lands.
Official: We Informed Israel That We Are Going to Reconsider All Signed Agreements Hussein al-Sheikh, head of the Civil Affairs Commission, said on Monday that the Palestinian Authority has informed Israel that it is going to reconsider all the agreements signed between them. “This issue is now being discussed at all levels," he said, explaining that this came during an emergency meeting with the Israeli side on Monday to discuss several issues.
Hamas Calls For Palestinian Unity As It Celebrates Founding Hamas political leader Ismail Haniyeh said he was ready to meet President Mahmoud Abbas to complete the stuttering Palestinian unity process, at an event celebrating thirty-one-year since the group was founded. The process has faltered since a push towards reconciliation between Hamas and Abbas's Fatah faction started more than a year ago.
Likud Threatened By Potential Union Between Former Army Chief And Yesh Atid A new poll shows that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s ruling Likud party could face a serious challenge in the next election should former Israeli army chief Benny Gantz and current opposition party Yesh Atid unite.
Israeli Premier's Son Blocked on Facebook For anti-Muslim Posts In a message posted on Thursday on his Facebook page after deadly Palestinian attacks, Yair Netanyahu, twenty-seven, had posted: "all Muslims leave" Israel, AFP reported. Critics of the Prime Minister have long condemned Yair, a grown man, living in the premier’s residence despite having no official role as attempts to create a Netanyahu dynasty.
World Food Programme Announces Cuts to Palestinian Aid The World Food Programme announced today cuts in food aid affecting some 190,000 impoverished Palestinians in Gaza and the West Bank – or half of all its recipients there – citing a severe funding shortfall.
Nikki Haley on Forthcoming Deal: it is “different from all previous ones” At the monthly meeting of the United Nations Security Council, Nikki Haley stated that the US “deal of the century” on Israel-Palestine “brings new elements to the discussion, taking advantage of the new world of technology that we live in.” She also stated that it “recognizes that realities on the ground in the Middle East have changed in powerful and important ways.”
Qatar Fund For Development And UNRWA Sign Landmark Multi-year Agreement Khalifa Bin Jassim Al-Kuwari, Managing Director of the Qatar Fund for Development and Pierre Krähenbühl, the Commissioner-General of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA), signed a landmark two-year agreement in support of the Agency's core services including education, health-care, relief and social services.
Israel Calls Upon Germany to Defund Organizations Showing a Critical Perspective of Israel Last week, the German newspaper Die Tageszeitung reported that Israel asked German Chancellor Angela Merkel to stop funding the Jewish Museum in Berlin, among other institutions. The reason behind the demand was the museum’s exhibition on Jerusalem, which “presents a Muslim-Palestinian perspective of the city,” the report said. Merkel was also asked to defund other organizations that Israel claimed were anti-Israel. These included the Berlin International Film Festival, pro-Palestinian Christian groups, and the Israeli site +972 Magazine.
Arab League Meets to Discuss Brazil, Australia’s Decision on Jerusalem The Arab League will send delegations to Australia and Brazil to try to dissuade their leaders from missteps on the status of the occupied city of Jerusalem, the bloc decided Tuesday, Anadolu Agency reports. This came in the conclusions from an Arab League emergency meeting at the delegate level in Cairo to discuss the Israeli escalation against the people of Palestine, as well as Australia’s announcement to consider West Jerusalem Israel’s capital and Brazil’s similar intentions.
Settlers and Illegal Settlements
Israeli Settlers Raze Palestinian Lands to Expand Nablus-area Settlement Israeli bulldozers, belonging to settlers from the illegal Israeli settlement of Yitzhar in the northern occupied West Bank district of Nablus, razed Palestinian lands in the Assira al-Qibliya village, on Wednesday morning. Ghassan Daghlas, an official who monitors settlement activity in the northern West Bank, told Ma'an that several Israeli settlers from Yitzhar razed lands in eastern Assira al-Qibliya to expand their settlement.
Armed Israeli Settlers Raid Saint Saba Monastery Near Bethlehem Hundreds of armed Israeli settlers raided Saint Saba Monastery (Mar Saba) area, near the al-Ubeidiya village east of the southern occupied West Bank district of Bethlehem, on predawn Tuesday with the support of a military escort. Locals reported that this is a first that Israeli settlers raid the Saint Saba Monastery, located fifteen kilometers from Bethlehem City. The monastery is considered one of the oldest inhabited monasteries in the world.
Netanyahu Vows to Bolster Settlements “even more” Israeli Prime Minister, Benyamin Netanyahu on Tuesday vowed to bolster Jewish settlements in the West Bank as a response to the recent Palestinian anti-Israeli attacks. Haaretz newspaper quoted the premier as saying “We will bolster the settlements even more, as we have now.” Israeli Occupation Forces have arrested one hundred Palestinians over the weekend in response to the attack, in addition to forming a tight military cordon on Ramallah and its villages.
Three Settlers Killed in Drive-by Shooting Near Giv’at Asaf Settlement, Ramallah Three Israeli settlers were killed and one severely wounded a live shooting on Thursday noon near the Giv’at Asaf settlement, south of Silwad town. Sources said that the shooters went out of a yellow plate (Israeli plate) car and opened fire towards the settlers, then immediately escaped the scene.
Israeli Settler Runs Over 19-year-old Palestinian East of Bethlehem A Palestinian was injured on Monday after being run over by an Israeli settler to the east of Bethlehem, in the southern occupied West Bank, said security sources. Sources told WAFA an Israeli settler ran over nineteen-year-old Mohammed Ghazal, from the village of Kisan to the east of Bethlehem.
Palestine: Two schools Evacuated as Israel Gunman Opens Fire An Israeli settler opened fire on Sunday outside two schools in the West Bank, as other settlers rampaged through the street under the protection of Israeli forces, reports Wafa News Agency. The schools are at the entrance to the village of al-Lubban al-Sharqiya, to the south of Nablus in the West Bank. The shooting terrified the students and teachers of the two schools, and were forced to leave the schools to a safe haven.
Boycott, Divest, and Sanctions Movement
Airbnb Denies Israeli Claims That Company is Reversing West Bank Settlement Ban Airbnb is denying claims by Israel’s tourism minister that the company was going to reverse its November decision to remove listings in illegal Israeli settlements in the occupied West Bank. Tourism Minister Yariv Levin said in a Facebook post on Monday that following meetings with Israeli government officials, Airbnb would not be implementing its November decision.
Texas Educator Sues State Over Law Banning Israel Boycott A woman who was unable to renew her contract with a public school district in Texas because she boycotts Israel is suing the US state over its anti-boycott law, which she says violates her right to free speech. Bahia Amawi, a children's speech specialist, refused to sign a required document certifying that she does not boycott Israel, and says she was told that the schools would not be able to pay her if she does not agree to the condition.
Knesset Committee Hears Criticism of Government’s Secretive anti-BDS Work A Knesset committee meeting heard criticism Monday of the secretive nature of work being done by Israel’s Strategic Affairs Ministry to fight the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions Movement. The Transparency Committee’s Chair, Zionist Camp MK Stav Shaffir, criticized Strategic Affairs Minister Gilad Erdan at a session, saying that the request of the Ministry of Strategic Affairs’ exemption from the Freedom of Information Law sends a message that “it has something to hide.”
Knesset Votes on Bill to Expel Families of Palestinian Attack Suspects The Israeli Knesset voted, on Wednesday, on the first reading of a bill to expel families of Palestinians involved in attacks against Israelis. According to the Hebrew-language "Maarev" news site, the bill was approved by sixty-nine votes with, and thirty-eight votes against.
Israeli Court Sentences 18-year-old Palestinian to 35 Years of Prison The Israeli military court of Ofer sentenced an eighteen-year-old Palestinian prisoner to thirty-five years of prison, late Sunday. Locals said that Ayham Bassem Sabbah, eighteen, from the Qalandiya refugee camp north of occupied East Jerusalem, was sentenced to thirty-five years of prison, and paying a fine of one and a quarter million shekels. Sabbah was accused of carrying out a stabbing attack in the Israeli Rami Levi supermarket in the Shaare Benyamin industrial complex northwest of Jerusalem in February 2016.
Prisoners’ Advocates: 40% of the Palestinian Lawmakers Were at One Point Detained by Israel Since the 2006 general elections in the West Bank and Gaza Strip, forty percent of the members of the Palestinian parliament, the Legislative Council, have been detained by the Israeli authorities at one time or another, three prisoners advocacy groups said on Tuesday.
New York Times Editorial Board Warns ‘political space for opposing Israel is shrinking’ An op-ed by the Editorial Board of the New York Times has warned of an attack on freedom of speech “in the name of helping Israel”. The piece comes in the context of efforts by pro-Israel politicians to include anti-boycott legislation in an upcoming package of spending bills that Congress must pass by midnight Friday. The Board described the legislation as part of “a widening attempt to silence one side of the debate” and “a larger, ominous trend in which the political space for opposing Israel is shrinking.”
Economy, Environment, and Other
$350 Million Appeal to Address Critical Humanitarian Needs of Palestinians Launched Minister of Social Development Ibrahim al-Shaer and United Nations Humanitarian Coordinator Jamie McGoldrick launched on Monday the Humanitarian Response Plan for 2019 in the occupied Palestinian territory. The 2019 plan appeals for three hundred fifty million dollars to provide basic food, protection, health care, shelter, water, and sanitation to 1.4 million Palestinians, who have been identified as most in need of humanitarian interventions in the Gaza Strip and the West Bank, including East Jerusalem.
Israel Minister Halts Vegetable, Fruit Imports From Palestine Israeli Minister of Agriculture Uri Ariel has ordered a stop in the import of fruits and vegetables from the occupied Palestinian territories, local media reported yesterday. Despite warnings from Israeli security, army, intelligence and the civil administration that the Palestinian economy is fragile and cannot withstand such steps, Ariel insisted on his decision.
Gaza Teacher Among 50 Finalists For ‘world’s best teacher’ Prize The Palestinian Ministry of Education announced on Friday that a teacher from Gaza has been nominated as one of fifty finalists for the “world’s best teacher prize”. Maths teacher Rana Ziadeh is to compete for the prize as part of a competition organized by global education charity The Varkey Foundation, Safa news agency reported.
Gazans to Resume Umrah Trips After 5 Year Suspension Palestinians living in Gaza will be allowed to travel to Saudi Arabia to perform Umrah, lesser pilgrimage, five years after they were stopped from doing so, Ma’an reported yesterday. The news site said sources had informed it that the Egyptian authorities would allow one thousand pilgrims from Gaza to travel in January.