[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 Tanks Execute Three Gaza Youths On Border Three Palestinian youth were killed by the Israeli Occupation Forces, east of the central governorate of the Gaza Strip on Tuesday evening, after they allegedly infiltrated the Israeli border. Israeli media reported that the tank opened fire at the three youths after the Occupation Forces cordoned off an area to trap them.
Israel Floods Gaza With Rainwater, Again For the third time in the past week, Israeli Occupation on Saturday opened the dams collecting rainwater towards farmland east of Gaza City, flooding hundreds of dunams of agricultural land. Reports said farmers’ losses were estimated at thousands of dollars – an incredibly terrible loss in an economy where many are unemployed.
Gaza Photographer Wounded in Attack By Israeli Forces Loses Eye For the second time in less than three months, a Palestinian photojournalist has lost his eye after being hit by Israeli Forces during a protest. A tear gas canister hit Attiyah Darwish's face in December 2018 while he was covering the weekly Friday protests in the Gaza Strip near the Israeli separation barrier.
Israeli Warplanes Target Posts in Besieged Gaza Enclave Israeli warplanes Thursday overnight targeted at least two posts across the besieged Gaza Strip, according to WAFA. Israeli F-16 fighter jets pounded the one location with two missiles, causing extensive material damage to the nearby civilian houses. No human casualties were reported.
Israeli Forces Detain 11 Palestinians From Jerusalem, West Bank Israeli Forces today detained eleven Palestinians in multiple raids in occupied Jerusalem and across the West Bank, said the Palestine Prisoner Society.
Israeli Police Assault Worshippers at Jerusalem’s Al-Aqsa Mosque Israeli police on January 17 stormed Jerusalem’s flashpoint Al-Aqsa Mosque compound and assaulted Palestinian Muslim worshippers. Witnesses told WAFA that thousands of Palestinians rallied at the mosque compound following the Fajr Prayer, chanting slogans slamming Israeli intrusions into the site.
Israeli Forces Raid School Near Ramallah Israeli Forces raided today a school and terrorized its students in the village Deir Nizam to the west of Ramallah in the occupied West Bank, according to local sources. The soldiers claimed that rocks were thrown by some students at illegal settlers’ vehicles near the aforementioned village.
Palestinian Succumbs to Wounds Sustained in the March of Return Protests in Gaza A thirty-year-old Palestinian man from the Gaza Strip yesterday died of wounds sustained during the March of Return protests on the Gaza border with Israel, medical sources said. Amer al-Hajjar, from north of Gaza city, was shot by Israeli Forces and seriously injured while participating in the protests on March 30, 2018 on the Gaza border with Israel.
Poll: Majority Supports Holding Elections But Doubt Results’ Integrity Findings of the fourth quarter of 2019 show a small majority indicating optimism about the holding of legislative elections in the near future. Moreover, the poll shows that majority is in favor of holding these elections even if Israel does not allow them in East Jerusalem. The bad news, however, is that half of the public believes that these upcoming elections will not be free or fair.
Human Rights Groups Demand Israel Immediately Halt Aerial Herbicide Spraying Along Gaza Fence Israeli crop dusters flew along the perimeter fence separating Gaza and Israel on Tuesday and sprayed chemicals purported to be herbicides. Israel’s practice of conducting aerial herbicide spraying was first documented in 2014. The spraying is typically carried out without prior notification or warning to Palestinian farmers and when the wind is blowing west in order to carry the chemicals deep into Gaza.
Israeli Rightwing Parties Merge Ahead of Election – Wolves in Sheep’s’ clothing After much political gridlock and handwringing about the relationship between Jewish Home, the New Right, Jewish Power, and National Right parties, a merger was made in the last hours before the deadline. In the new alignment, the New Right, National Right, and Jewish Home parties have merged. However, according to polling, even with this new merger, the political gridlock is expected to continue.
Israel Concerned of Hamas Victory if Abbas Dies Israeli Military Intelligence, known as Aman, has announced it is concerned about the possible imminent death of Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, and the subsequent victory of Hamas, Shehab News Agency reported on Wednesday.
PA to carry out projects worth $100m in Gaza Palestinian Authority announced on Monday that it will carry out projects worth one hundred million dollars in the occupied Gaza Strip, noting the funds pledged by the World Bank. It was disclosed that sixty-six million dollars will come from Al-Aqsa Fund, and other Arab funds run by the Islamic Development Bank, with more projects funded by the World Bank in the future.
Israeli Electric Company Ends Power Cuts to West Bank After Palestinians Pay Debt Palestinians in the West Bank rely on IEC for over ninety-five percent of their electricity supply. Israel Electric Corp began sporadic, three-hour power cuts on Dec. 18 to press for payment of some $519 million owed by the Jerusalem District Electricity Company.
Putin Set to Meet Abbas today Russian President Vladimir Putin will visit Palestine on January 23. This will be the third time where he is set to meet President Mahmoud Abbas at the presidential headquarters Bethlehem, West Bank.
Jordan Parliament Passes Draft Law to Ban Gas Imports From Israel The Parliament of Jordan has approved a draft law to ban imports of Israeli gas just days after they started under a multibillion-dollar deal struck in 2016 that is opposed by much of the population. The motion was unanimously passed on Sunday by Jordan's 130 legislators and will be referred to the cabinet to be made law, although legal hurdles may prevent it from coming into force.
Finnish MP Among Activists Arrested For Attempting to Break Gaza Siege Israeli police arrested a delegation of foreign activists, including a member of the Finnish parliament named Anna Kontula, while the group were attempting to break the thirteen-year blockade on Gaza by cutting through the Israeli “security fence” around the territory. The group, called Gaza 2020: Breaking the Siege, stated that after being interrogated multiple times by Israeli police, their passports were held, and they were notified of wiretapping on their phones.
Italy’s Salvini Makes Pro-Israel Pledge in Election bid One of Europe’s most prominent far-right politicians has pledged to make radical changes in support for Israel if he is elected as the next Prime Minister of Italy. In an interview with Israel Hayom, the frontrunner for Italy’s top job, Matteo Salvini, pledged to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital; criminalize the Boycott Divestment and Sanctions campaign; adopt the controversial International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance definition of anti-Semitism; and make the European Union more pro-Israel.
Settlers and Illegal Settlements
Israel Threatens to Seize Lands South of Nablus Israeli Occupation Forces on Wednesday handed out a decision seize lands from the villages of Tal, Madama and Burin, south of Nablus. Ghassan Daghlas, who is responsible for the settlement file in the northern West Bank, said that the occupation Forces notified villagers of taking over an area of their land in these villages.
Israel Robs Land, Erects Nature Reserves and National Parks to Expand Settlements Israeli Army Minister, Naftali Bennett announced last week the approval of seven nature reserves in the West Bank, with an area of 130,000 State donums, as well as the expansion of twelve existing reserves. According to data from B’Tselem, Israel has announced that about twenty per cent of the Jordan Valley has become “natural reserves, and national parks” in violation of international law.
Boycott, Divest, and Sanction Movement
UN Experts Unveil Letter Slamming Germany’s Pro-Israel Law Targeting BDS Movement Five United Nations special rapporteurs have unveiled a letter to the German government censuring a German law that targets a pro-Palestinian boycott movement while insisting that criticism of the Israeli regime “is not anti-Semitic.” The letter called on Berlin to provide information on how the law complies with international law, but Germany has not responded.
Proposed Arizona Amendment Could Target Critics of Israel Foundation for Middle East Peace President Lara Friedman pointed out that a proposed Arizona amendment could potentially trample on free speech and target critics of Israel. The new amendment, which was used to defend the anti-BDS law from legal challenge, could cite the IHRA working definition of anti-Semitism as an “aggravating factor” in sentencing.
Congressional Republicans Are Pushing an Anti-BDS Bill that Would Target the UN and EU US Republicans continue to push bills that target the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement and their first move of 2020 is the Israel Anti-Boycott Act. The law would an add an amendment to the Export Administration Act of 1979 that would prohibit boycotts against United States allies and block requests for boycotts by “international governmental organizations.”
Israeli Court to Keep Spyware Firm Information From Public Tel Aviv District Court is allowing a closed-door hearing of the case challenging an Israeli spyware firm, NSO Group, following the ministry’s legal team appeal that it should be held in secret, on national security grounds. Amnesty International has filed a case against the notorious tech company, which calls for Israel to impose restrictions by revoking the spyware firm’s export license, preventing it from selling its contentious product abroad.
Leaked Pictures Show Torture of Palestine Prisoner in Israel Prison A number of pictures leaked to mass media show the grave effects of the severe torture of Palestinian prisoner, Walid Hanatsha, inside an Israeli prison, Shehab News Agency reported on Friday.
Palestinian Child in Solitary Confinement in Israel Jail For 27 Days Palestine Liberation Organization’s Committee of Prisoners and Freed Prisoners announced on Sunday that a Palestinian child, Mus’ab Abu Ghazalah, fifteen, from Jerusalem, has been in solitary confinement in an Israeli jail for twenty-seven days.
Israel Transfers Dozens of Palestinian Child Detainees Outside the West Bank Israeli authorities “transferred dozens of Palestinian child detainees outside the occupied West Bank to a prison inside Israel last week”, human rights NGO Defense for Children Palestine has revealed, in a move it described as “amounting to a war crime”.
Netanyahu Calls For Imposing Sanctions on ICC Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu yesterday accused the International Criminal Court of attacking democracies and called for sanctions to be imposed on it, the Jerusalem Post reported. He appealed for authorities “to ask for concrete actions: sanctions against the international court, its officials, its prosecutors, everyone.”
Bug Infested And No Hot Water: Prison Conditions For Palestinian Minors Palestine Liberation Organization’s Commission for Prisoners and Freed Prisoners revealed yesterday that thirty-three Palestinian minors are facing “disastrous” conditions in the Israeli Damoun prison, Al Resalah newspaper reported.
Environment, Economy, and Other
Palestinian Community Orgs And Ex-prisoners Say the Arab Bank is Closing Their Accounts After a class action lawsuit was filed against the Jordan-based Arab Bank by the families of Israeli victims of Palestinian attacks, Palestinian community organizations and Palestinians who have been released from detention have reported that their accounts are being closed by the bank.
Science Against all the Odds: ‘Scientists for Palestine’ Holds Its Third International Conference Over the weekend from Friday the 10th January through Sunday the 12th Scientists for Palestine held their conference at MIT. Hubert Murray, the writer for Mondoweiss, discussed the importance of science in the fight for Palestinian rights as well as the impressive nature of Palestinian scientific advances under incredibly oppressive conditions.