[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
Minors, Woman Among 33 Palestinians Detained by Israeli Forces Israeli forces detained at least thirty-three Palestinians, including minors and a woman, across the occupied West Bank, predawn on Tuesday, who were identified by the Palestine Prisoner’s Society.
Israeli Bulldozers Raze Lands in Southern Gaza Locals told Ma'an that four large D-9 Israeli military bulldozers entered dozens of meters into Palestinian lands, coming from the Israeli security border fence heading south. Sources added that Israeli military bulldozers razed and leveled the lands while drones flew overhead.
IOF Uproot 450 Olive Trees in Bardala, Northern West Bank Israeli occupation forces on Tuesday uprooted around four hundred fifty olive trees in Bardala village in the Jordan Valley, northern West Bank, using bulldozers. Media sources said the soldiers cordoned off the entire area before they proceeded to uproot the olive trees, owned by several villagers.
Palestinian Youth Shot Dead By IOF While On Motorcycle Israeli occupation forces at Jalama checkpoint northeast of Jenin, northern West Bank, opened fire on Monday at two Palestinians on a motorcycle, killing one and injuring the other. The other Palestinian, who was killed, was first held by the army before he was later transferred to the Palestinian authorities. He was identified as Abdullah Faisal Tawalbeh, nineteen.
Israel Begins Construction of New Gaza Border Barrier The Israeli authorities began building the overground part of the Gaza border barrier, according to Haaretz Israeli Daily. Haaretz said the overground section of the barrier will be sixty-five kilometers long and will be six meters high. The barrier is meant to prevent underground tunnels from Gaza, it said.
Israel to Reduce Tax Revenues Passed to PA The Israeli cabinet is expected to approve a significant cut in the amount of tax revenues that Israel will turn over to the Palestinian Authority in the coming two weeks, in response to the Palestinian Authority’s continued payments to Palestinian prisoners.
CEC Chairman Tells Political Parties in West Bank It’s Ready For Elections The Central Elections Commission chairman, Hanna Nasir, held a meeting on Monday with representatives of political parties and factions in the West Bank and discussed with them CEC’s technical readiness to hold elections upon a presidential decree being issued. He stressed the importance of such meetings as "necessary steps to ensure the success of the democratic process and secure wider electoral participation in the West Bank, including Jerusalem, and the Gaza Strip."
President Abbas: We Will Not Take Part in Any Conference Not Based on UN Resolutions President Mahmoud Abbas said on Tuesday that he will not take part in any peace conference on the Palestinian-Israeli conflict that will not be based on international United Nations resolutions. The president stressed that the United States, after taking the Israeli side on all matters, "is no longer qualified to act as the sole mediator due to its bias toward Israel and its decisions against international law on Jerusalem, refugees, and others."
Hamas's Haniya Visits Egypt For Talks on Israel Truce: Reports The political chief of Hamas, Ismail Haniya, has left Gaza on a trip to Cairo on Sunday as part of a high-ranking delegation to hold talks with Egyptian officials about developments in Palestine. According to local media, Islamic Jihad was also included in the delegation.
Netanyahu Launches Own TV Channel to Bypass Mainstream Media Benjamin Netanyahu has launched “Likud TV” to bypass mainstream media and ensure positive coverage ahead of the upcoming General Election. In one of several corruption charges against Netanyahu, known as case 4000, the prime minister is accused of providing regulatory benefits to telecom giant Bezeq in exchange for positive coverage. The new channel appears as another tactic to gain ground among public opinion.
PFLP Rejects Participation in PLO Government The Palestinian Front for the Liberation of Palestine yesterday announced its refusal to participate in the Palestinian government slated to be formed by Palestine Liberation Organization factions and had called for Abbas to withdraw his decision to form a new government.
CAF Rejects Tender for Jerusalem's Railway As It Traverses '67 Border Spanish rail equipment manufacturer CAF announced, on Friday, that it had refused to participate in a tender to build a section of the railway in occupied East Jerusalem as it violates international law.
Japan Funds Four Grassroots Projects in Gaza The Japanese ambassador for Palestinian affairs, Takeshi Okubo, signed grant contracts for four Grassroots Human Security Projects on Tuesday. The signing totaled over 300,000 dollars with the money being split between Nasser Medical Complex, Never Stop Dreaming Charity, and waste management systems.
Candidate of Palestine Origin Wins Salvador Presidency A candidate of Palestinian origin, Nayib Bukele, won Sunday’s presidential election in El Salvador, clinching almost fifty-five percent of the vote, according to the country’s official electoral board. Bukele is part of the center-right Grand Alliance for National Unity and visited Israel in 2018, praying at the Western Wall.
Austria President Will Not Relocate Israel Embassy to Jerusalem Austrian President Alexander Van der Bellen yesterday criticized the relocation of the US embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, stressing his country would never follow suit, the Anadolu Agency reported. Der Bellen added: “We favor a two-state solution to the Palestine issue through negotiations,” describing Austrian-Palestinian relations as “close.”
Arab States Intervening in Consultations About Formation of Ramallah’s New Government High-level Palestinian sources in the occupied West Bank revealed the existence of unprecedented Arab interventions in the consultations that have been ongoing for several days about the issue of the formation of the “factional government,” which is expected to be completed in the next few weeks. According to these sources, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas wants his next government to have an Arab, international and even Israeli support, in order to avoid any obstacles or hurdles that could disrupt the work of his government.
Arab League Calls on EU to Recognize State of Palestine The Arab League has called on European countries to recognize the State of Palestine with-in the pre-1967 borders, with East Jerusalem as its capital. Arab League Secretary-General Ahmed Abul-Gheit said during the fifth Arab-European ministerial meeting in Brussels that the Arab League is keen to strengthen cooperation with the European Union to serve Arab interests and priorities.
Settlers and Illegal Settlements
Israeli Minister, Settlers Storm Al-Aqsa Compound Head of the public relations office at the Islamic Endowment Department, Firas al-Dibs, said that Israeli minister Uri Ariel stormed the al-Aqsa Mosque compound through the Moroccans Gate, along with a group of Israeli settlers, under armed security by Israeli police forces. Al-Dibs added that Israeli ministers and members of the Knesset have recently been escalating their visits.
Israeli Plan to Seize Area Southeast of Jerusalem to Expand Settlements Head of the committee for the defense of East Jerusalem land, Bassam Bahr said that there is an Israeli plan to seize more than a thousand dunums of agricultural land, including olive trees and houses belonging to Palestinian citizens, in Khallet Abed al-Southeastern Jerusalem.
Settlers to Palestinian Laborers: 'Work with human rights groups and lose your job' Settlers in the southern West Bank posted flyers warning Palestinian laborers not to cooperate with Israeli human rights activists or organizations if they want to keep their jobs. The flyers threaten to ban Palestinians who cooperate with human rights groups from working in settlements there.
Israel Plan to Settle 1m New Jewish Settlers in West Bank Israeli Tourism Minister Yariv Levin has revealed that the goal of the upcoming Israeli government is to settle an additional one million Jewish settlers in the occupied West Bank, Quds Press reported yesterday. Levin added that this goal is to be achieved in “a very short time.”
Israel Settlers Storm Bethlehem Village And Establish Illegal Outpost The group entered the village of Tuqu’, east of Bethlehem, yesterday under the protection of the Israeli army, and set up a mobile home, a tactic used regularly to establish illegal Israeli outposts on land across the occupied Palestinian territories. Tuqu’ has been targeted repeatedly by Israel in recent weeks.
Boycott, Divest, and Sanction Movement
‘Combating BDS Act’ Passes Senate, 77-23, As Dem Presidential Hopefuls Vote No On Tuesday, the Senate by a vote of 77-23 passed S.1, which contains the Combating BDS Act, encouraging states to pass laws that authorize economic punishments against those who support the boycott of Israel.
Federal Judge Strikes Down Lawsuit Targeting Academic Boycott of Israel On 4 February one day before the vote on S.1, a federal judge struck down the three-year-old lawsuit against faculty members of the American Studies Association, which had voted overwhelmingly in favor of an academic boycott of Israel at its 2013 annual meeting.
Israel Labels BDS Activists ‘terrorists in suits’ in New Smear Campaign Israel’s Strategic Affairs Ministry launched the campaign this weekend with a series of posters depicting prominent BDS activists as “terrorists,” using the hashtag #TerroristsInSuits to smear the individuals’ professional credibility and the BDS movement.
Committee: Critically Ill Palestinian Medically Neglected in Israeli Prison The Prisoners and Ex-Prisoners' Affairs Committee confirmed that the Israeli prison authorities have been medically neglecting a sick Palestinian prisoner who is serving a life sentence in Israeli prisons. Mahmoud Abu Kharabish, fifty-four, who has been imprisoned for over thirty years and is serving a life sentence, has been suffering from heart problems and severe stomach pains.
Israel High Court Liable For War Crimes, Rights Group Says Israeli human rights organization B’Tselem yesterday issued a new report in which it claimed that Israel’s Civil Administration–which administers Area C of the occupied West Bank–and the country’s High Court of Justice could be liable for war crimes.
Environment, Economy, and Other
Ma'an Signs Agreement With China Radio International Ma'an Media Network signed a cooperation and strategic partnership agreement with China Radio International at the network’s headquarters in the central occupied West Bank city of Ramallah, aiming to exchange media, culture, and history between the two countries.
'Gaza' Documentary Film Wins 33rd Goya Award The documentary film Gaza directed by Gary Keane and Andrew McConnell won the "Best Documentary Short Film" Premios Goya Award, on Sunday, at the Goya Awards in Spain. First premiering in the Sundance Film Festival early 2019, the documentary depicts the lives of Palestinians in the besieged Gaza Strip when they are not under the nearly twelve-year Israeli siege.