[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 Farmers in Southern Gaza Israeli Forces opened fire targeting Palestinian farmers in the southern besieged Gaza Strip, on Thursday morning. Witnesses told Ma'an that Israeli forces deployed in military watchtowers at the Sufa military site in southeastern Gaza Strip opened fire at Palestinian farmers working in their lands in the area.
Detained And Wounded Palestinian Dies in Israeli Hospital The Palestinian Prisoners and Ex-Prisoner Affairs Committee on Saturday evening said the passing of Omar Younis, twenty, from Sanniriya village in the Qalqilya district, northern West Bank, raises the number of detained martyrs to two hundred nineteen. Younis was wounded about a week ago by the Israeli soldiers at the Za’tara checkpoint south of Nablus, allegedly for trying to carry out a stabbing.
Palestinian Shot in Back Near an Israeli Army Checkpoint in North of West Bank A young Palestinian was shot in the back today near an Israeli military checkpoint in the north of the West Bank, according to Palestinian security sources. The injured Palestinian was later identified as Mirie Hussein Kabaha, thirty-four, a former prisoner who spent seventeen years in Israeli jails for his role in the resistance. He was reported in stable condition.
Israeli Navy Shoots Gaza Fisherman, Fishing Zone Reduced A Palestinian fisherman was transferred to Shifa Hospital in Gaza after being shot by the Israeli navy while at sea. Zakaria Bakr, head of a Gazan fishing committee, stated that Israel went back on its decision to expand the fishing zone to nine nautical miles. After reducing the zone back to six nautical miles, the Israeli navy destroyed all fishing nets placed by Palestinians past the six nm limit.
Israeli Forces Raze Land, Uproot Olive Trees in Bethlehem Area Israeli Forces razed today a plot of land and uprooted dozens of olive trees in Beit Jala, west to the occupied West Bank city of Bethlehem, according to local sources. Walid Zarina, owner of the razed land, told WAFA that Israeli forces and staff from the Israeli municipality of West Jerusalem raided his four-dunum plot planted with two hundred olive trees and uprooted dozens of trees.
Israel Army Killed Palestinian Paramedic Then Distributed Misleading Video Israeli Occupation Forces shot and killed a volunteer paramedic during a refugee camp raid, after which the army distributed a misleading propaganda video. According to the investigation by Israeli human rights group B’Tselem, Sajed Mizher – aged just seventeen – was shot in the abdomen while rushing to the aid of a wounded resident.
UN: Viability of PA Threatened by Major Financial, Political Challenges In a new report, the United Nations noted that the scope of the challenges facing the Palestinian people and government is unprecedented. The report highlighted the financial crisis caused by Israel’s withholding of revenue from the Palestinian Authority, as well as the lack prospects for a negotiated solution. The report stated that it would take years to reverse the current crisis.
PM: We will work on gradually disengaging from Israel, strengthening national economy Prime Minister, Mohammed Shtayyeh, said that the Palestinian Authority will work on gradually disengaging from Israel, strengthening the national economy, and promoting the industrial and agricultural sectors. He stressed that the continuation of Israeli piracy of Palestinian money will not be accepted, pointing out the need to check all financial matters with Israel to force it to stop stealing Palestinian funds.
Murder Among Palestinian Citizens of Israel on the Rise twenty-one Palestinian citizens of Israel have been killed since the start of the year, Arab48 reported. On Sunday, the newest victim, nineteen-year-old Najla Al-Amuri, was found near the town of Tel Hadid after she was missing for over two weeks. Experts believe the increase in such crimes is a result of lack of law enforcement in Arab areas, the increasing use of illegal arms, incitement against Arabs and the police’s unwillingness to cooperate with the Arab communities.
UK to Contribute 9m Pounds For Gaza’s Water Desalination Plant The United Kingdom announced a contribution of nine million pounds for the water desalination plant in the besieged Gaza Strip, according to Mazen Ghneim, head of the Palestinian Water Authority, on Tuesday. The plant is expected to provide fifty-five million cubic meters of water a year in the first stage until 2021 but will later expand to provide one hundred ten million cubic meters of water every year.
FM Denounces Coup Attempt in Venezuela, Backs Maduro The Palestinian Foreign Ministry condemned the coup attempt, on Tuesday, in Venezuela and expressed total support for and solidarity with the Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro and the Venezuelan people. The statement stressed that it supports "internal dialogue to resolve any outstanding differences to avoid an escalation in the situation, which will not be in the interest of Venezuela, its people, stability and future."
Poll: US Public Less Positive Towards Israeli Government The Hebrew Maariv newspaper yesterday said that a poll regarding the American people’s position towards Israel showed they “support Israel but not its government” with sixty-four percent who say they have a favorable opinion of the Israeli people, while fewer than half, forty-one percent, have a favorable view of the Israeli government.
PA and EU Support Gaza Farmers With €3.7 Million The new contribution to the Palestinian Authority program to reconstruct the Gazan private sector of 3.7 million Euro targets 178 additional famers and agro-businesses to relaunch, repair or replace damaged businesses.
McCollum Reintroduces Historic Bill to Promote Palestinian Children’s Human Rights Rep. Betty McCollum reintroduced yesterday her historic bill to promote the human rights of Palestinian children who face detention, interrogation, abuse and violence, including torture, and imprisonment by Israel through its separate-and-unequal military court system in the occupied West Bank. The bill is also seminal in that it calls out US complicity in Israel’s commission of human rights abuses of Palestinian children, something which the previous version omitted.
Saudi Arabia Offers Abbas $10bn to Accept US Peace Plan Saudi Arabia offered Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas ten billion dollars to accept the US’ so-called ‘deal of the century’, Lebanon’s Al-Akhbar newspaper reported yesterday. Abbas, however, rejected the offer and said it would “mean the end of my political life,” the report added.
Settlers and Illegal Settlements
Israeli Settlers Chop Down 150 Olive Trees Near Ramallah According to local sources, heavily armed Israeli Forces provided protection to Israeli settlers from a neighboring illegal settlement outpost as they stormed Palestinian lands and chopped down more than one hundred fifty olive trees.
Israel Government to Fund Hotels in Illegal West Bank Settlements The Israeli government will subsidize hotels in illegal settlements in the occupied West Bank, as part of a plan to attract more tourists to the area. The “entrepreneurs” can now apply for a grant of up to twenty percent of their intended investment. Israel Hayom reported that Israeli travel agencies in the occupied West Bank met with senior settler officials to complain that their guests would not stay longer than a day.
New Likud MK Submits Settlement Annexation Legislation New Likud parliamentarian Michal Shir submitted on Tuesday a bill “for the application of Israeli sovereignty” in Israeli settlements across the occupied West Bank and their access roads. Israeli broadcaster Kan had warned yesterday that the formation of the government coalition would be at the expense of the occupied West Bank with the Union of Right-Wing Parties conditioning their support to the coalition on the annexation of parts of the occupied Palestinian territory.
Boycott, Divest, and Sanction Movement
UMD SGA Strikes Down BDS Bill After Five Hours of Discussion At the end of a five-hour debate with over one hundred twenty student opinions heard, a divestment resolution at the University of Maryland was voted down 25-9. After a #DivestUMD petition received 650 signatures, with endorsements from Pride Alliance, Political Latinx United for Movement and Action in Society, and the Muslim Alliance for Social Change, the resolution reached the debate floor.
Texas Judge Blocks Anti-BDS Law, Says 1st Amendment Protects Israel Boycotters A federal judge in Texas blocked a law on Thursday that banned state entities from contracting with businesses that support the boycott, divestment and sanctions movement against Israel. Judge Robert Pitman stated that the law effectively served to “suppress unpopular ideas” and “manipulate the public debate through coercion.” Anti-BDS laws exist in twenty-six states, which Pitman says shows “its weakness.”
Israeli High Court Orders Demolition of Palestinian Homes Israel is expected to demolish more Palestinian homes. The Israeli High Court has ruled sixty houses in occupied East Jerusalem should be knocked down. Palestinians say Israel is trying to settle as many Jewish Israelis as possible on the edge of Jerusalem's old city and rename an area the Palestinians consider their capital the City of David.
Head of Human Rights Group: ‘Israel is not a democracy’ Hagai El-Ad, executive director of a prominent Israeli human rights group called B’Tselem, wrote in an op-ed in response to Israel’s deportation of Human Rights Watch Israel and Palestine director Omar Shakir that “Israel is not a democracy.” Countering the claim that the court’s decision was based on “defensive democracy,” El-Ad wrote that “Israel is not a democracy, it is not defending itself, and the risk to the foundations of its existence stems from the moral decay it is engulfed in – not from ‘non-state actors’.”
ICC Public Hearing to Look Into Case of Mavi Marmara International Criminal Court is to hold a public hearing tomorrow to look into the Israeli attack on the humanitarian flotilla the Mavi Marmara in 2010. The statement from the International Committee for Breaking the Siege said that “This hearing could be decisive regarding the position of the Public Prosecutor, who was given an ultimatum until the middle of May to give a final decision on the case filed against the occupation state in 2013.”
Israelis Jailed For Just One Year Over anti-Arab Attacks Two Israelis, Koren Elkayam and Tamir Bartal, were sentenced to just one year in prison for a string of racially-motivated attacks on Palestinian citizens of Israel. Haaretz reported that they were convicted for “assaulting Arabs in order to deter them from having romantic relationships with Jewish women.” Elkayam and Bartal were part of a group of attackers, one of whom was sentenced to five years for stabbing attacks and three of whom were only sentenced to community service.
Environment, Economy, and Other
PGFTU: Gaza's Poverty Level Reaches 80% Marking International Labor Day, the besieged Gaza Strip has seen its unemployment rate rise to fifty-four percent with poverty levels rising to eighty percent, according to Palestinian General Federation of Trade Unions, on Wednesday.
27 Palestinian Men, Women Raise Flag at Base of Mt. Everest Following six days and one hundred kilometers of walking and climbing mountains, twenty-seven Palestinian men and women reached the base of Mount Everest at a height of 5,400 meters above sea level, on Wednesday. The group, named Climb for Palestine, added, “We raised the flag of Palestine and slogans of solidarity with the prisoners and Jerusalem, which was the least we could do to our Palestinian cause.”