[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 Prevent Palestinian Farmers From Cultivating Their Lands in Masafer Yatta Area Israeli forces prevented Palestinian farmers from farming their land located adjacent to the illegal Israeli settlement of Susiya, according to a local activist. Masafer Yatta is classified as Area C, which is under full Israeli military control.
Israel Builds a Wall Along Gaza, Says Fence Is Not Enough Israeli defense contractors yesterday completed a new section of a wall along the Gaza Strip. The wall, which is little more than a thin bright green barrier along roads bordering Gaza, is intended to prevent Gazans from clearly seeing activity beyond the current fence.
Israeli Bulldozers Demolish Structures, Animal Barns in The Northern Jordan Valley Israeli bulldozers Wednesday morning demolished residential structures and animal barns in the Ras al-Ahmar area in the northern Jordan Valleys. Aref Daraghmeh, a local human rights activist, said that Israeli Forces tore down residential tents, livestock enclosures, barns, water barrels, and solar panels belonging to residents in the northern Jordan Valley.
Israeli Army ‘deliberately’ Targeted Homes in Gaza: NGO The Israeli military “deliberately” targeted residential buildings in blockaded Gaza Strip on 3-6 May 2019, an Israeli rights group said in a report Wednesday, Anadolu reports. “Israel launched airstrikes and fired shells at more than 350 targets in Gaza, injuring 153 people and killing twenty-five–including thirteen people who were uninvolved in the hostilities and were unaffiliated with the militant groups,” said the report by the Israeli Information Center for Human Rights in the Occupied Territories.
‘Israeli attack on PA security HQ is a dangerous escalation’ Palestinian Government Spokesman Ibrahim Melhem said that the attack on the Palestinian Preventive Security headquarters in the city of Nablus represents a dangerous escalation aimed at undermining the most important pillars of the establishment of a Palestinian state and endangering internal security.
Anger at Palestinian Authority Secret Ministerial Pay Rises Documents leaked online appeared to show that in 2017, Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas had quietly agreed to increase monthly salaries of ministers by a sixty-seven percent, from three thousand to five thousand dollars, as well as boosting the prime minister's salary from four thousand to six thousand dollars.
US Envoy Says Israel Has 'right' to Annex West Bank Land The US ambassador has said Israel has the right to annex at least "some" of the occupied West Bank, in comments likely to deepen Palestinian opposition to a long-awaited US peace plan. The Palestinians are likely to see the recent comments by the US ambassador to Israel, David Friedman, as a new nail in the coffin of a peace process that is already on life support.
Morocco, France Reiterate Support For Palestinian Statehood Moroccan Foreign Minister Nasser Bourita and his French counterpart Jean-Yves Le Drian reiterated their firm positions in support of an independent Palestinian state. During a joint press briefing in the Moroccan capital of Rabat yesterday, Le Drian said France supports a two-state solution with Jerusalem as the capital of both Israel and Palestine.
Israel’s Interference in 2016 US Election to Be Probed by Senators The Senate Intelligence Committee is seeking an interview with Walter Soriano, director of London-based security firm USG Security, to discuss what, if any, role Israel may have played in attempts to manipulate the 2016 election. Up until now, US officials have been reluctant to cast their eyes in the direction of Israel in any probe related to interference by a foreign country.
PLO, Foreign Ministry Condemn Moldova’s Decision to Move Embassy in Israel to Jerusalem The Palestine Liberation Organization and the Palestinian Foreign Ministry condemned in two separate statements the decision by Moldova’s premier to move his country’s embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, considering the decision a blatant violation of international law.
Morocco, Lebanon Backs Palestinian Boycott, Will Not Attend US-led Confab in Bahrain Lebanese Foreign Minister Gebran Bassil says his country is boycotting the forthcoming US-led conference in Bahrain in support of President Donald Trump’s controversial proposal for “peace” between the Israeli regime and Palestinians, dubbed “the deal of the century,” because Palestinians are not taking part in the event.
PA Deplores Plans by Jordan, Egypt to Attend US-led Confab in Bahrain The Palestinian Authority says it “deeply regrets” decisions by Jordan and Egypt to attend an upcoming US-led conference in Bahrain, which revolves around a controversial Washington-devised plan on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
Buttigieg Says He Wouldn’t Allow U.S. Taxpayer Money to Pay for West Bank Annexation if Elected South Bend Mayor and Democratic presidential candidate Pete Buttigieg says he would block US taxpayer money from being used for Israel’s potential annexation of the West Bank. Buttigieg made the pledge during an 11 June speech at Indiana University, which outlined a number of his foreign policy proposals.
India Embraces Israel in Unprecedented Anti-Palestine Vote At the UN After decades of standing behind the Palestinian people, India under the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has tilted in Israel’s favor as the Hindu nationalism of India finds common cause with the ethno-nationalism of the Zionist state. Bombay’s representative at the global body voted in favor of Israel over a decision to grant consultative status to Shahed.
Settlers and Illegal Settlements
Government Says David Friedman An Ambassador of “settlements” Ibrahim Melhem, spokesman for the Palestinian government, condemned today a fresh statement by US ambassador to Israel, David Friedman, in which he said that Israel has the right to annex at least “some” of the occupied West Bank.
Greek Orthodox Church Says Israeli Court Ruling in Favor of Seizure of Church Property Unfair The decisions of the Israeli courts that allowed seizure by Israeli settler groups of Greek Orthodox Church property located in Jaffa Gate area of Jerusalem’s Old City are unfair and will be further legally challenged, according to a statement issued today by the Greek Orthodox Patriarchate of Jerusalem.
Elizabeth Warren And Bernie Sanders Are Backing a Resolution That Targets Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s Annexation Election Pledge On 6 June, five Democratic Senators introduced a resolution denouncing Benjamin Netanyahu’s campaign pledge to annex the West Bank. Two of those Senators, Vermont’s Bernie Sanders and Massachusetts’ Elizabeth Warren, are currently running for the Democratic nomination for president.
Boycott, Divest, and Sanction Movement
Belfast Councilors Vote Against Sending Rep on Israel Trade Trip Belfast councilors have voted against sending a representative on a business and investment mission to Israel, reported the Belfast Telegraph. The purported aim of the visit was to “facilitate access to investment and new market opportunities for five Belfast based businesses.”
Florida’s Governor Just Signed a Bill That Will Censor Criticism of Israel Throughout The State’s Public Schools Florida Governor Ron DeSantis signed a bill that prohibits anti-Semitism in public schools and universities throughout the state. However, the legislation also equates criticism of Israel with anti-Semitism, effectively censoring the advocacy of Palestinian rights.
240 Israel and Jewish Professionals Urge Germany Not to Enforce anti-BDS Law Some 240 Israeli and Jewish academics and intellectuals have sent a letter to the Germany government urging it not to enact into law a bill that would define the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions movement as “anti-Semitic.” If it is passed into law, the currently non-binding motion, which was passed by the Bundestag–parliament–in May, would be the first official law in Europe to classify BDS activity as anti-Semitic.
Mossad Involvement in Israel anti-BDS Campaigns Exposed The involvement of Israel’s national intelligence agency Mossad in initiatives against the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement has been exposed by a Freedom of Information request. The request was made by Israeli advocacy organization Hatzlaha, which made the schedule of the Ministry of Strategic Affairs Gilad Erdan’s available, showing his meetings with Mossad officials.
Cory Booker Says He Supports New anti-BDS Legislation: ‘There are elements in the BDS movement that want to destroy the state of Israel’ In a Huffington Post interview published on 5 June, US Senator and Democratic presidential candidate Cory Booker announced that he now supports a federal anti-BDS bill, which would allow states to punish contractors for boycotting Israel. Booker voted against similar legislation earlier this year.
Foreign Ministry Considering Filing Complaint Against Friedman in ICC Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Expatriates said today that it was considering filing a complaint in the International Criminal Court against the US ambassador to Israel, David Friedman, after he said that Israel has the right to annex “some” of the occupied West Bank.
Israel: Attorney General Refuses to Postpone Netanyahu’s Hearing Avichaï Mandelblit rejected a request submitted by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to postpone the hearing scheduled for next July on charges of suspicion of corruption, citing the previous postponing in February. Netanyahu fears the repercussions that might be brought by the hearing related to the corruption charges of which he is accused. An indictment is expected after the hearing session.
Environment, Economy, and Other
Inside Israel’s Million Dollar Troll Army According to research done by Michael Bueckert, the Israeli public relations app Act.IL has over fifteen thousand supporters who receive “missions” from the app to “influence foreign publics” and “battle” the global BDS movement. Part of its “no logo” strategy, the firm tries to create an air of plausible deniability for hasbara campaigns. But with a 1.1-million-dollar budget from “private anonymous donors” and strategic affairs and public security minister Gilad Erdan launching the app at a rooftop party in 2017, it is clear that there is a connection between the Israeli government and the app’s executives.