[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 Suppress 21st Gaza Naval March, Injure 27 Palestinians At least twenty-seven Palestinians were injured, including fourteen by Israeli forces' live fire, while others sustained injuries from rubber-coated steel bullets and suffered tear-gas suffocation as Israeli forces suppressed the twenty-first weekly naval march in the northern besieged Gaza Strip, on Monday afternoon.
Palestinian Teen Killed, 40 Others Injured in Gaza Protests A Palestinian teen was shot and killed by Israeli forces, while at least forty others sustained injuries from Israeli live fire, and dozens suffered tear-gas inhalation as Israeli forces suppressed the thirty-nineth Friday of the Return marches across the eastern borders of the besieged Gaza Strip. The Palestinian Ministry of Health confirmed that Muhammad Muin al-Jahjouh, sixteen, was killed by Israeli forces at the eastern borders of Gaza.
Israeli Bulldozers Raid Palestinian Lands in Northern Gaza Several Israeli bulldozers raided into western Beit Lahiya town in the northern besieged Gaza Strip, on Wednesday morning. Witnesses told a Ma’an reporter that six Israeli military bulldozers and an excavator raided dozens of meters into Palestinian lands coming from the Zikim military base. Israeli bulldozers raided and leveled lands while drones flew overhead.
IDF Edited Out Key Footage of Deadly Gaza Missile Strike, Researchers Say The Israeli army edited out key footage of a missile strike that killed two Palestinian teenagers, Luai Kahil and Amir al-Nimra, sitting on a Gaza rooftop earlier this year, according to an investigation by the UK-based Forensic Architecture institute and Israeli human rights group B’Tselem that was published this week.
A ‘stubborn’ Gaza Photographer Narrowly Escapes Being Killed But Vows to Return to Fence Next Week Gaza photographer Mohammed Asad tells the story of how he miraculously survived gunfire yesterday, just a few feet away from Mohammed al-Jahjuh, sixteen, who was shot dead in the neck by a bullet fired by Israeli soldiers during the ongoing demonstrations near Israel’s fence. “Unlike the past thirty-eight protests, everything was almost quiet except for seven to eight stone throwers, and no burning tires. I had just decided to go home with dozens of photos I took. But I felt someone thought it was time for me to leave, and he sent a bullet to my camera. He was an Israeli military sniper.”
Israel to Dissolve Knesset, Hold Early Elections in April The head of Israel's government coalition decided, on Monday, to dissolve the Knesset and hold early elections in April, which is seven months earlier than required by law. The next elections were scheduled to be held in November 2019. Israeli news outlets reported that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu confirmed during a press conference at the Knesset that "the heads of the coalition parties decided, in agreement and unanimously, to disperse the Knesset and call for new elections at the beginning of April."
MOH: Israel to Allow Entry of Children Vaccines to Palestine The Palestinian Ministry of Health succeeded in cooperation with the World Health Organization and the children’s fund, UNICEF, in pressuring the Israeli authorities to allow entry of child vaccines for 2019 into the occupied Palestinian territories. Earlier this month, Israeli authorities issued a decree barring the Ministry of Health from importing vaccines, starting from the beginning of 2019, which put the supply of vaccinations at risk.
Erekat Says Decision to Dissolve PLC Goes in Line With Transition to Statehood Secretary General of the Palestine Liberation Organization Saeb Erekat said on Sunday that the recent Constitutional Court’s decision that dissolved the Palestine Legislative Council goes hand in hand with efforts of transition from the period of the Palestinian Authority to into the State of Palestine.
Palestine Initiates Application For Full United Nations Membership Foreign Affairs and Expatriates Minister Riyad al-Malki Wednesday announced that Palestine would initiate an application to gain full state membership at the United Nations. Speaking to Voice of Palestine radio, al-Malki stated that he would begin the process during his upcoming visit to New York in January.
Justice Minister Calls on Hamas to Abide By Court Ruling on Legislative Council Minister of Justice Ali Abu Diak Wednesday called on Hamas to abide by the ruling of the Constitutional Court on the Palestinian Legislative Council. The court ruled on 12 December to dissolve the twelve-year-old PLC, which has been defunct since Hamas split from the Palestinian Authority in 2007. Abu Diak said in a statement that any meeting Hamas claims to be holding in the parliament building in Gaza is legally void.
Arab Parliament Calls on Czech Republic Not to Transfer Its Embassy From Israel to Occupied Jerusalem Speaker of the Arab Parliament Mishaal bin Fahm al-Salami called on the Czech Republic not to transfer its embassy from Israel, the occupying power, to Jerusalem, to abide by the United Nations resolutions, and not to prejudice the historical and legal status of the occupied city of Jerusalem.
Pope Appeals for Middle East Peace in Christmas Message The head of the world's 1.3 billion Catholic Christians said in his Christmas message that he hoped for peace in conflict zones like Syria, Yemen, and Israel-Palestine. Francis also said he hoped for renewed peace talks between the Israelis and Palestinians "that can put an end to a conflict that for over seventy years has rent the land chosen by the Lord to show his face of love."
China Gives $2 Million to UNRWA in Gaza The United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East announced that the People’s Republic of China has provided 2.35 million dollars in support of the agency’s emergency appeal for the occupied Palestinian territories.
EU Missions Express ‘strong concern’ Over Israeli Demolition of School The European Union missions in the central occupied West Bank districts of Jerusalem and Ramallah expressed today “strong concern” regarding the dismantling of a Palestinian school, serving forty Palestinian schoolchildren in the al-Simiya village in the southern West Bank district of Hebron by the Israeli authorities on 5 December, Ma’an News Agency reports.
Additional $18.5m to Improve Palestine Infrastructure Services Norway and Sweden contributed an additional total amount of 18.5 million dollars to the Palestinian Partnership for Infrastructure Development Multi-Donor Trust Fund administered by the World Bank, Ma’an News Agency reports.
Hamas MPs Meet Iran’s Foreign Minister A senior delegation of Hamas MPs, headed by Mahmoud al-Zahar, met with Iran’s Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif yesterday in the ministry’s head office in Tehran. In a message sent to MEMO, the members of the delegation, who have undertaken an international tour for a month, hailed Iran as a supporter of the Palestinian people at all international bodies.
Settlers and Illegal Settlements
Israeli Settlers Assault, Injure Elderly Palestinian Shepherd Israeli settlers assaulted a Palestinian shepherd in Burqa village, in the northern occupied district of Nablus, on Wednesday, injuring him in the head. A Palestinian official who monitors settlement activity in the northern West Bank, Ghassan Daghlas, reported that a number of Israeli settlers attacked an elderly Palestinian shepherd, identified as Mufid Abu Hussein, seventy, as he was herding sheep in Burqa, near the illegal Israeli settlement of Homesh.
Israeli Forces Bulldoze 70-dunums of Land to Expand Illegal Settlement Near Qalqilia Israeli forces Tuesday bulldozed large tracts of land belong to Palestinians in Amateen town, east of Qalqilia, the occupied West Bank, according to a local official. Head of the Amateen Village council, Haitham Suwwan, told WAFA Israeli heavy machinery bulldozed over seventy dunums of land for the benefit of expanding the adjacent illegal Israeli industrial settlement of Immanuel.
Israeli Settlers Uproot Over 200 Olive Saplings South of Hebron Israeli settlers Tuesday uprooted hundreds of olive saplings belonging to a Palestinian resident in an area to the east of Yatta, south of Hebron, the occupied West Bank, said a local activist. The popular committee coordinator in Yatta, Rateb al-Jabour, said settlers uprooted over two hundred olive saplings belonging to Barakat Mur in an area to the east of Yatta.
Settlers’ Attacks Against Palestinian People Increasing by 60% Compared to Last Year According to Israeli information and reports, settler attacks on Palestinians classified as hate crimes have increased by sixty percent than the last year 2017. Data indicate that in 2017, there were seventy-nine cases of aggression, but 2018 recorded 127 cases, which means that one assault every three days, including puncturing car tires, uprooting of trees, and racist slogans on walls, injuries, and physical assault, killing and assaulting animals.
Boycott, Divest, and Sanctions Movement
US Fundraising Website Suspends BDS Movement's Account Fundraising website Donorbox has suspended the account of the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement after complaints from a pro-Israel group alleging the peaceful initiative is linked to militant groups. The Silicon Valley-based company said on Friday that disabling the BDS account was a "precautionary measure" while the company investigates.
Strategic Affairs Ministry to form anti-BDS Legal Network The Strategic Affairs Ministry will invest more than three million shekels over the next two years to establish an international legal network to fight the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement. The ministry posted its intention to contract with the International Legal Forum on the Government Procurement website.
Conscientious Objector Freed After 107 Days in Military Prison The Israeli army discharged conscientious objector Hillel Garmi on Sunday after imprisoning him for a total of 107 days. Israel has compulsory military service, and Garmi refused to be drafted due to his opposition to the occupation. Garmi, nineteen, from Yodfat in northern Israel, is one of the initiators and signatories of the “Shministim letter,” published earlier this year by dozens of Israeli high school seniors who declared their refusal to serve in the Israeli army. He has served seven successive prison terms since July.
Family of Slain Palestinian Teen Demands Full Investigation Qassem al-Abbassi, seventeen, was killed by Israeli forces on Thursday night while he was in a private vehicle with his friends who were attempting to pass the Beit El checkpoint. Abbassi is from the town of Silwan in occupied East Jerusalem. His body has been withheld by the Israeli army. On Friday, Abbassi’s family contested claims by the Israeli military that he had attempted to ram his car into the soldiers.
Israeli Police Admitted Killing Wounded Palestinian But Incident Never Probed Despite border policemen's admissions that they continued shooting after Palestinian teen Basel Ragheb Sidr lay wounded on the floor, Israel’s justice ministry department that examines police misconduct has twice refused to investigate the 2015 killing, an Israeli newspaper reported. Under the pretense that he had run at Israeli police with a knife, border policemen shot him once, hitting his leg. He fell to the ground, but the knife was still in his hand. They fired again, hitting him in the head and killing him, the newspaper said on Sunday.
Environment, Economy, and Other
Israel Obstructs Travel of Palestinian Christians from Gaza to Bethlehem Annually, Israeli authorities file travel permits for only a small percentage of Palestinian Christians in the besieged Gaza Strip, dividing families apart during the holiday season and preventing them from pilgrimage to the birthplace of Jesus Christ in Bethlehem. The Israeli occupation annually obstructs the travel of Palestinian Christians from Gaza to Bethlehem and Jerusalem to attend Christmas celebrations and be reunited with their families in the occupied West Bank.
Deficit in Current Account Reaches $445 Million in Q4 2018 The Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics and the Palestine Monetary Authority said in a statement on Sunday that an incessant deficit was witnessed in the current account (goods, services, income, current transfers) in the fourth quarters of 2018 which totaled 444.7 million dollars, marking an increase of 19.1 percent compared to the previous quarter.
Twitter Blocked Hamas, Hezbollah Accounts at Israel’s Demand In the first half of 2018, the social media giant blocked over twenty accounts belonging to senior figures of Hamas and Hizballah, including those of Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh, Hamas spokesman Fawzi Barhoum and Rawhi Mushtaha, a close associate of Hamas’ leader in Gaza Yahya al-Sinwar. Twitter’s decision came after it received a letter from the Cybercrime Department of Israel’s Ministry of Justice on 26 June demanding that it “permanently close” the accounts in question.