[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 Raid Issawiya Mosque, Take Down Palestinian Flag Israeli forces raided a mosque in the Issawiya neighborhood of occupied East Jerusalem, on Monday, to remove the Palestinian flag and a picture of a Palestinian prisoner. Member of a local follow-up committee, Muhammad Abu al-Hummos, told Ma’an that Israeli forces raided the mosque, after surrounding it, and demanded to take down the Palestinian flag and a picture of a Palestinian prisoner raised on the mosque.
Israeli Forces Injure Protesters During Gaza Naval Protest Israeli forces shot and injured at least three Palestinian protesters, with live ammunition, while others suffered tear-gas suffocation as the forces suppressed naval protests off the coast of the northern besieged Gaza City, on Tuesday evening.
Israel Closes Gate to Al-Aqsa Mosque Israeli military police raided al-Aqsa Mosque yesterday, attacking students and evicted them from the area and closed al-Rahma Gate which leads to the holy site, witnesses said. At the same time, the Israeli military police arrested five Palestinian worshippers, including a woman named Nazmiyeh Bkeerat.
Israel Air Strikes Hit Gaza The Israeli army yesterday shelled two separate sites in the Gaza Strip, with the number of casualties unknown. The army claimed that the two sites, Beit Hanoun and Jabalia, were surveillance towers belonging to Hamas. The Gaza Health Ministry has not made a statement about possible casualties.
Israel, US Attempting to Destroy Palestinian Authority, Says PLO Official Ahmad Majdalani, member of the Executive Committee of the Palestine Liberation Organization, said on Sunday that Israel is now attempting to destroy the Palestinian Authority through more financial sanctions in partnership with the United States administration.
President Abbas Meets With J Street Delegation, Members of US Congress in Ramallah President Mahmoud Abbas Tuesday met with a J Street delegation and members of the Democratic Party of the US Congress at the presidential headquarters in Ramallah. It is the first such delegation by members of the US Congress. J Street is a “pro-Israel, pro-peace” organization according to its website.
Hamas’ Haniyeh To Conduct International Tour Senior Hamas leader Mohammad Nazzal has revealed that his movement is preparing for an international tour for its chief Ismail Haniyeh. Nazzal pointed to arrangements with Egypt to facilitate this, Al-Ray News Agency reported yesterday, reiterating that Egypt has pledged not to close the Rafah Crossing–the only civilian exit point from the Gaza Strip.
Ultra-right Jewish Power to Compete in Israel Elections With Jewish Home Ultra-right Israeli party Otzma Yehudit (Jewish Power) has agreed to run together in a “technical bloc” with Jewish Home and National Union, reported the Jerusalem Post. Jewish Power is “led by students of Rabbi Meir Kahane,” founder of the extreme right-wing and religious fundamentalist Kach Party, which was banned in 1994 for its racist politics and involvement in terrorism.
EU Slams Israel’s Decision to Deduct From PA Tax Revenues The European Union slammed Israeli security cabinet’s recent decision to deduct a large sum from the Palestinian Authority’s tax revenues. Communication Officer at the European Union, Shadi Othman, spoke to Voice of Palestine radio, during which he slammed the Israeli government’s decision to deduct 138 million dollars from the tax revenues it collects on behalf of the Palestinian Authority.
UK and Palestinian Authority Sign Trade Continuity Agreement In Ramallah, the UK-Palestinian Authority agreement was signed by both the International Trade Secretary and Her Excellency, Abeer Odeh, Minister of National Economy. The agreement simplifies trade, providing preferential terms that privilege Palestine over typical World Trade Organization rules, and will allow businesses to trade as freely as they do now once the UK leaves the European Union.
Israel: PM Netanyahu Gives Up Role As Foreign Minister Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has appointed an interim foreign minister after holding the post himself for the last four years. Netanyahu announced on Sunday that Transport Minister Israel Katz, a dedicated right-wing politician, would serve as Israel's foreign minister until the formation of a new government after the country's upcoming April elections.
Gaza Protesters: Palestine and Venezuela in ‘one trench’ As the international community divides over who to back for leader of Venezuela—President Nicolás Maduro or opposition legislator Juan Guaidó, who has declared himself the rightful head of government—the Palestinians of Gaza see an unsettling similarity to their own history. Moreover, the US-supported Juan Guaidó, who declared himself interim president after boycotting the last presidential election, has stated he will reverse current Venezuelan policy and support Israel.
Kuwait Reiterates Rejection of Israel Normalization Kuwait has reiterated its rejection of Arab countries’ normalization with Israel, with Speaker of the National Assembly Marzouq al-Ghanim slamming those ministers who met with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu at last week’s Warsaw Conference.
Yemen: Thousands Demonstrate Against Israel Normalization Thousands of Yemenis yesterday participated in rallies across the country, including the capital Sana’a, to reject normalization with Israel and attempts to liquidate the Palestinian cause. The participants rejected what they called “suspicious meetings” and steps towards normalization by Foreign Minister Khalid Yamani at the Warsaw Conference which took place in the Polish capital last week.
US Palestinian Mission to Merge with Israel Embassy in March The United States Consulate General in Jerusalem, which serves Palestinians, will be absorbed into the new US Embassy to Israel in March, a US official said on Tuesday, giving a date for a merger that has been condemned by Palestinians, Reuters reports.
Settlers and Illegal Settlements
Israeli Settlers Attack Palestinian Homes in Center of Hebron According to local sources, a large group of Israeli settlers gathered in the Tel Rumeida neighborhood and on al-Shuhada street and attacked Palestinian homes, even breaking into the home of one Mufid al-Sharabati. Sources added that Israeli settlers organized a mass demonstration in the center of Hebron City, in areas under Israeli military control, chanting anti-Arab threats and slogans.
Israel Razes Large Tract of Farmland in North of West Bank For Settlement Expansion Israeli military bulldozers razed today a large tract of Palestinian farmland belonging to Burin village, south of Nablus, said a local activist. Ghassan Daghlas, who monitors settlement construction activities in the northern West Bank, said that Israeli forces razed a large tract of farmland cultivated with almond trees belonging to Burin with the purpose of expanding the nearby illegal settlement outpost of Givat Runim.
Israeli Settlers Attack Vegetable Vendors Near Jenin City Israeli settlers physically assaulted a vegetable vendor near the town of Silat al-Dhahr, south of Jenin city, in the occupied West Bank, said witnesses. Witnesses said masked settlers who were driving a car and carrying wooden sticks attacked a number of vegetable vendors in the said area and beat up one of them.
Israel Evicts Palestinians From Jerusalem Home Israeli police on Sunday evicted a Palestinian family from their home in the Muslim Quarter of Jerusalem's Old City after the Israeli supreme court ruled Jewish settlers were the rightful owners. Ir Amim, an Israeli watchdog group which monitors settlement activity in Jerusalem, reported on 3 February that the Abu Assab family had been served an eviction notice ordering them to vacate the property by 28 February. It said family members had lived there since the 1960s, but Palestinian sources said the Abu Assab family had lived in the home for three generations since 1952.
Boycott, Divest, and Sanction Movement
American Singer Speaks Up for Human Rights for Palestinians American singer, songwriter, and producer, John Legend, recently spoke out about standing up for human rights for Palestinians while on "Real Time With Bill Maher." He said, “As progressives, we should also speak up for human rights for Palestinians, and for too long, I think, it has been out of balance for progressives to speak up for the rights of Palestinians.”
ANC Youth League Affirms Support For BDSThe African National Congress Youth League has affirmed its support for the international Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement. Speaking to Middle East Monitor on Monday, the Secretary-General of South Africa’s ruling party, Njabulo Nzuza, stressed that its National Executive Committee even took a decision to work together with BDS South Africa.
B’Tselem: Israeli High Court Bears Responsibility of Palestinian Home Demolitions Israeli Human Rights group B’Tselem recently released a report, examining the rulings of Israel’s High Court of Justice to restrict Palestinian building, and demolish Palestinian homes, while authorizing illegal Israeli Settlements in the occupied West Bank. The report argues that Israeli policy “imposes a virtually blanket prohibition on Palestinian construction.”
Dutch Palestinians Remain Disappointed After Birthplace Ruling Emiel de Bruijne, whose case led to the Netherlands recognizing the Gaza Strip and occupied West Bank, including occupied East Jerusalem, as official birthplaces, said he is still dissatisfied because the new ruling avoids the word Palestine and therefore fails to acknowledge his identity. On 9 February, in a widely celebrated move, the Dutch government announced it would begin to recognize the Gaza Strip and occupied West Bank, including East Jerusalem, as birthplaces for Palestinians born from 15 May 1948, onwards.
US Court Reopens Palestinian Lawsuit Against Billionaire Israel Donor Adelson The US Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia has reopened a billion-dollar lawsuit against Jewish-American tycoon Sheldon Adelson, which seeks to hold him and more than thirty others liable for war crimes and support of Israel’s illegal settlements in the occupied Palestinian territories.
Report: 60 Palestinian Prisoners Died Due to Improper Healthcare in Israel Prisons Some 219 Palestinian prisoners have died in Israeli detention since 1967, rights groups have said, noting that sixty died due to improper healthcare, seventy-eight were intentionally murdered, seventy-four tortured to death and seven were shot to death, Safa news agency reported yesterday.
Environment, Economy, and Other
Electric Cars in Palestine; Prime Minister Welcomes Move Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah welcomed the arrival of fully electric cars to Palestine, which he said is good for the environment. Hamdallah received at his Ramallah office Zaki Tareq, chairman of the board of AutoZone Car Company, importers of the French Peugeot cars, who introduced the new electric car and its features to the prime minister.
Two Palestinian Photojournalists Win Awards at Prestigious US Picture Competition Two Palestinian photojournalists based in the Gaza Strip won awards at the seventy-sixth Pictures of the Year International of the Missouri School of Journalism in Columbia, Missouri, one of the most prestigious schools of journalism worldwide.
47Soul in DC: Shamstep Is On The Move Shamstep is the name that the group 47Soul has coined for their #NoBorders genre, but the term only partially conveys the muscular vocal range and psychedelic sound that fuses elements of electronic dance, trance, reggae, and rock. It’s all driven by the Palestinian percussion and reed instrument mijwiz under all the other layers. “That sound deserves to be international,” guitarist and vocalist Hamza Arnaout tells Mondoweiss after the show.