[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
Israel Bans Mother’s Day Ceremony in East Jerusalem Israeli police forces banned a Mother’s Day ceremony, organized by the Jerusalem Girls Association, from taking place in the central occupied West Bank city of Jerusalem, on Thursday. Local sources said that Israeli forces stormed Institut Francais de Jerusalem, where the ceremony was set to take place, and forced individuals present in the building to evacuate under the pretext that it was sponsored by the Palestinian Authority.
UPDATE: 2 Palestinians Killed, Dozens Injured in Weekly Gaza Protests Two Palestinian were killed and at least fifty-five others were injured, while dozens of others suffered from tear-gas inhalation, as Israeli forces suppressed protesters along the eastern borders of the besieged Gaza Strip, on Friday. The Ministry of Health also noted that Israeli forces injured two paramedics and targeted an ambulance and medical trauma stations.
IOF Kidnap University Students, Storm Campus in Violation of Campus Sanctity On 26 March, a group of Israeli operatives disguised as Palestinians abducted three Birzeit University students in a pre-dawn raid. A direct violation of the sanctity of universities and a blatant attack on the right to education guaranteed by international law, those kidnapped by Israeli Forces were identified as Hamza Abu Qare’, Tawfiq Abu Arqoub, and Odai Nakhleh.
Israeli Forces Kill Paramedic Near Bethlehem Israeli forces Wednesday morning killed a Palestinian paramedic during confrontations in Dheisheh refugee camp in the southern West Bank district of Bethlehem. Identified as Sajed Abed al-Hakim Mizher, seventeen, the paramedic was shot with live ammunition by Israeli soldiers despite wearing a reflective vest and paramedic uniform.
‘Israeli air strikes damaged 500 Palestinian homes’ A total of five hundred houses in the Gaza Strip were damaged by the latest Israeli airstrikes, Palestine’s public works minister said late Tuesday. The occupation forces reportedly deployed missile-defense batteries in several locations across the country while sending two additional infantry brigades to the Gaza-Israel buffer zone.
Israel-Hamas Ceasefire Holds Amid Tense Calm in Gaza Strip A Palestinian rocket struck Israel and the military responded with an air strike despite a ceasefire announced by Hamas, but the exchange of fire appeared to end overnight on Wednesday. Hamas, Islamic Jihad, and other organizations in the Gaza Strip said that the rocket strike near Ashkelon was “the work of an individual” and they were committed to a ceasefire as long as Israel reciprocates.
Over Half of Israelis Believe Gaza Attack Was ‘too weak’, Poll Finds Though Israelis were split on support for Netanyahu during the attack, a new poll published by Israel’s public broadcaster Kan found that fifty-three percent of respondents thought Israel’s attack on Gaza was “too weak” and only three percent stated it was “excessive.” With less than two weeks to go before the upcoming general election on 9 April, candidates have been quick to use the attack on Gaza for their own political agendas.
PA Stops Medical Transfers Due to Lack of Funds Palestinian Ministry of Health announced yesterday that it is stopping all medical transfers to Israeli hospitals in response to Tel Aviv withholding millions of dollars in taxes owed to the Palestinian Authority. Ministry of Health spokesman Osama al-Najjar stated that the cost of medical transfers is roughly one hundred million dollars annually and unsustainable given Israel’s withholding of 138 million dollars from the Palestinian Authority’s tax revenue.
Israeli Ministers Call For More Bombs on Gaza Israel’s Education Minister Naftali Bennett and Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked have called for the bombardment of the Gaza Strip to be intensified after a night of heavy air strikes on the territory. The two, who leaders of the New Right (Hayemin Hehadash) party after breaking away from Jewish Home, have long criticized the government while calling for more military action against the besieged strip.
Palestine Elected to Chair European Mediterranean Regulators Group in 2020 Palestinian was unanimously elected as vice chair of the European Mediterranean Regulators Group for this year and chair for 2020. The election took place among thirty members from the European Union and the Middle East and North Africa, with Palestine succeeding Bosnia as chair next year.
US Officials Vow Support for Israel at AIPAC Conference Vice President Mike Pence, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, and over a dozen US lawmakers stood on stage at the second day of AIPAC’s annual conference to vow support for Israel. Targeting Democratic representative Ilhan Omar, they also repeatedly asserted that criticism of Israel, especially the Boycott, Divest, and Sanction movement, is anti-Semitic.
Trump: Time for US to Recognize Israeli Sovereignty Over Golan US President Donald Trump said on Thursday 21 March that it was time to recognize Israeli sovereignty over the Israeli-occupied Syrian Golan Heights, which Israel illegally annexed in 1981. Trump’s comments mark a shift in the United States’ previous recognition of the area as occupied and go against the international community’s refusal to recognize the annexation.
EU Will Not Recognize Any Changes to the pre-1967 Borders Including with Regard to Jerusalem – Official The European Union will not recognize any changes to the pre-1967 borders including with regard to Jerusalem, today said Shadi Othman, spokesman for the European Union in Jerusalem. Likely in response to US President Trump’s announcement that he would support Israeli control of the Syrian Golan Heights, Othman added that this EU position applies to all territory occupied by Israel.
Russia Calls For Ending Israel Bombing of Gaza Warning that the Israeli bombardments on the Gaza Strip might renew armed conflict between both sides, the Russian Foreign Ministry called for the renewal of negotiations based on Union Nations resolutions and the Arab Peace Initiative.
Honduran President Calls Jerusalem Israeli Capital, Not Moving Embassy Yet Honduran President Juan Orlando Hernandez on Sunday called Jerusalem Israel’s capital, saying the central American country would open a trade office there, but he stopped short of announcing plans to move his embassy from Tel Aviv.
US Lawmaker Triggers Outrage By Tweeting ‘Palestine does not exist’ Pro-Israel New York councilman Kalman Yeger has prompted outrage by tweeting that “Palestine does not exist,” drawing criticisms of racism and Islamophobia. The exchange arising out of his tweet, which is not the first time he has denied the existence of Palestinian and/or Palestine, has seen many prominent Democrats criticized for bashing Ilhan Omar and not responding to Yeger’s anti-Arab racism.
Turkmenistan, Palestine Hold Political Consultations Political consultations have begun between Palestinian Deputy Foreign Minister Mazen Shamiyah and the Turkmen Foreign Ministry in Ramallah. Focusing mostly on developing economic and cultural relations, there was discussion of how Turkmenistan would relate itself to the changing circumstances after US President Trump announced support for the Israeli annexation of the Syrian Golan Heights.
UK Provides $2.6m in Aid for Struggling Gaza Hospitals The United Kingdom announced today a new package of 2.6 million dollars to provide urgently needed medicines and surgical supplies to hospitals in Gaza. The funding will help keep Gaza’s hospitals functioning as they face increasing demand from the number of trauma patients, including as a result of more than twenty-three thousand Palestinians who have been injured since 20 March 2018 during protests at the Gaza border.
Settlers and Illegal Settlements
Israeli Settlers Raid 2 Palestinian Elementary Schools Locals told Ma'an that heavily armed Israeli forces escorted a group of Israeli settlers, who were gathered holding Israeli flags near the two mixed elementary schools, while they attempted to break into elementary schools in Tuqu village. Sources mentioned that teachers and school staff prevented Israeli settlers from entering the premises and closed the main gates.
Boycott, Divest, and Sanction movement
American Singer Expresses Support for Palestine American singer and songwriter, Della Miles, expressed her support for Palestine and its people in response to the recent Israeli escalation in the Gaza Strip and US President Donald Trump’s decision to recognize to the occupied Golan Heights as Israeli territory, on Tuesday.
Rasmea Odeh Banned From International Women’s Day Event in Berlin Following Israeli Pressure Following pressure from Israeli Minister for Strategic Affairs Gilad Erdan, Palestinian activist Rasmea Odeh was banned from speaking at an event marking International Women’s Day in Berlin and faces the imminent threat of deportation. Odeh’s lawyers have issued an urgent procedural appeal against the deportation order and the ban on political activity.
Israeli Apartheid Week Opens Worldwide, as Netanyahu Confirms Discriminatory Regime The fifteenth annual Israeli Apartheid Week, the largest global boycott, divestment and sanctions mobilization for Palestinian rights, opened on Monday against the backdrop of Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu announcing that “Israel is the nation-state of the Jewish people–and only it.”
CUNY Professors Issue Statement in Support of Faculty Targeted By Lawfare Project Smear Campaign On 5 March, Kingsborough Community College professor Anthony Alessandrini received anonymous threats for his participation in the Progressive Faculty Caucus. CUNY Professors issued a statement of support for Alessandrini and the PFC as they face both anonymous threats and potential targeting by the Lawfare Project, which has smeared the PFC as anti-Semitic after graffiti appeared targeting administrator Michael Goldstein.
PCHR: Constitutional Court Decision to Dissolve PLC is Political And Illegal In a decision on 22 December of last year, Palestinian President Abbas declared that the Constitutional Court had dissolved the Palestinian Legislative Council and new elections would be held. But the Director of the Palestinian Center for Human Rights, Raji Sourani, stated that the decision is a “flagrant interference and collusion between the juridical and executive authorities that would certainly lead to destroying the Palestinian political system.”
Israel Fines Palestinian Prisoners in Further Crackdown on Al-Naqab, Ramon Facilities Israel has imposed heavy fines on Palestinian prisoners in al-Naqab and Ramon prisons as part of a series of crackdowns which have seen their cells raided and phone signals jammed. Claiming that two wardens had been stabbed, Israel has used solitary confinement, stress positions, and the revocation of family visits as collective punishment.
Environment, Economy, and Other
WHO: More than 97% of Gaza's Water Does Not Meet Quality Standards The Palestinian Water Authority released a joint press release with the Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics on Thursday outlining that over ninety-seven percent of water pumped from Gaza’s coastal aquifer is contaminated beyond the standards of the World Health Organization. While much of this is due to Israeli restrictions and destruction of the Gaza Strip’s infrastructure, the PCBS noted that Israel sells the water in Palestinian territory back to Palestinians at exorbitant prices through the company Mekorot.