[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.]
The Occupation Forces
IOF Find Body of Martyr Who Went Missing on Six February The liaison office on Monday officially confirmed the martyrdom of the citizen Fakhr Qurt, fifty-three years, from the town of Betunia, west of Ramallah. Qurt’s family has rejected the Israeli story that Fakhr was killed as he carried out an attack on Israeli soldiers.
Israeli Bulldozers Invade Northern Gaza, Target Shepherds in the South Local sources reported the entry of four Israeli bulldozers, for a limited distance, into the lands of the citizens east of Jabalia, starting from the gate of the “Netiv Asra” settlement. The incursion coincided with the occupation soldiers firing at sheep herders near the security fence in the “Al-Sanati” area of Abasan Al Kabira, east of Khan Yunis.
IOF Close Down “Volunteer for Hope” Jerusalem Members of the intelligence and Occupation Forces stormed the association’s headquarters after besieging them, then deployed in them and started a search of files and rooms and seized three computers and mobile phones from the association’s director, Sylvia Abu Laban. The occupiers closed the association and took Sylvia to her house in the Wadi al-Jouz neighborhood in the city, and also searched and vandalized some of its contents.
Israeli Military Carries Out Drills in Northern Jordan Valley Aref Daraghmeh, a local activist, told WAFA that Israeli military conducted drills in al-Farisiya, al-Burj and Khirbet Samra villages, using live ammunition, tanks and buses. This came as Israeli troops chased Palestinian shepherds in al-Burj village and detained three.
Israeli Forces Shoot, Injure Minor During Clashes in East Jerusalem Area Witnesses said an unidentified minor was shot with a rubber-coated metal bullet in the head in al-Issawiyeh, which necessitated his transfer to Hadassah Medical Center for treatment. His medical condition remains unknown until the moment.
Israeli Warplanes Strike Several Posts in Gaza Fighter jets struck with several missiles a post west of Deir al-Balah, in the central Gaza Strip, causing huge damage there and partial damages to neighboring homes and facilities. There were no reports of casualties.
Israel Bans Palestinians From Working Their Land, Citing British Mandate Ruling Israeli occupation authorities banned Palestinian farmers from working their own land last month, on the basis that the area “had been declared an antiquities site during the British Mandate period”. According to the report by Haaretz, the Palestinian landowners in question – residents of Al-Mughayyir village in the occupied West Bank – have been farming the area since the 1950s.
Hamas Hacks Hundreds of Israeli Soldiers’ Smartphones, According to Israel Army According to Haaretz, the spokesperson acknowledged that the Israeli army was not aware of any classified information being leaked to Hamas, however, Quds Press reported an Israeli army statement revealing that Hamas has used sophisticated hacking methods.
Israel Army Conducts Drill in Lebanon’s Shebaa Farms Lebanese state news agency reported that “heavy artillery shells were heard coming from inside the occupied Shebaa farms, which reached the adjacent liberated villages”. On 2 February, the Israeli army announced its intention to carry out a large-scale exercise, “to maintain the army forces’ readiness on all fronts within the framework of its annual training plan for the year 2020.”
Israeli Forces Kill Palestinian Near Gaza Fence, Wound Two Others A Palestinian has been killed by Israeli Forces and two others were wounded as they tried to retrieve his body in the besieged Gaza Strip, according to local media reports. The killing took place near the separation fence east of Khan Younis.
Israeli Forces Kill Palestinian in Jerusalem After Alleged Attack According to Palestinian official news agency Wafa, witnesses said the man was shot several times and left on the ground bleeding near the Lions' Gate (also known as Bab al-Asbat) before Israeli paramedics arrived at the scene.
Palestinian Boy, 8, Loses Eye After Being Shot by Israeli Police in Jerusalem Eight-year-old Malek Issa was on his way home from buying a sandwich on Saturday afternoon in the occupied East Jerusalem neighborhood of Issawiya when he was shot in the face with a rubber-coated steel bullet fired by an Israeli police officer. Issa’s father Wael says his son “escaped death” and that there was likely no brain damage — something the family feared would happen due to the severity of his injuries.
Israel Shuts Erez Crossing in Occupied Gaza “The Erez crossing will be closed until a further announcement,” the Coordinator of Israeli Government Activities in the Territories, Kamil Abu Rukun, was quoted by local media as saying. He added that the fishing area in Gaza would be reduced by “6 nautical miles.”
Netanyahu Continues Bombing Gaza Strip Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu decided, on Monday evening, to continue bombing the Gaza Strip. Netanyahu made the announcement, via Twitter, following the security consultations he had with military officials.
‘Israel is ready for a widescale military operation in Gaza’ Israeli Public Security Minister Gilad Erdan said yesterday that Israel is closer to carrying out widescale military operations in Gaza than ever, Israeli media reported. His remarks came amidst tension between Israel and Palestinian resistance forces in Gaza after Israeli Occupation Forces killed and then used a bulldozer to drag away the body of a Palestinian man.
Israel Confiscates Palestinian Classroom in Hebron According to local sources, Israeli troops stormed Khirbet Susiya in the east of Yatta, raided the school and appropriated a prefabricated structure used as a classroom, the Palestinian Information Centre reported. Occupation Forces also assaulted a number of local residents and detained one of them after beating him.
Hamas Says Israel Move to Tighten Blockade will Increase Tensions Israel's move to tighten the blockade on the Gaza Strip, including re-imposing restrictions on Palestinian fishing, will "increase tensions", a spokesman for Hamas, the group that governs the enclave, has said. His remarks came hours after Israel announced it would cancel a slight easing of the siege on Gaza, saying the move was in response to the launch of two rockets from the strip.
PA: Security Cooperation With Israel Continuous Palestinian Authority’s security cooperation with Israel is continuous, senior Palestinian Authority official and aide to Mahmoud Abbas, Nabil Abu Rudeineh, announced on Sunday, adding that the Palestinian Authority is ready to start peace talks within two weeks.
Palestinian Factions Form National Committee Against Trump Deal According to senior Hamas official Salah Al-Bardaweel, the committee is made up of representatives of those factions which have resistance fighters on the ground. The committee is to set out a timetable for its activities, explained Al Bardaweel.
Palestinian Teen Killed During West Bank Protests, PA Security Blamed The teen, identified as seventeen-year-old Salah Zakareneh, was shot and later succumbed to his wounds, the Daily Star Lebanon reported. While, an unnamed security source told the Palestinian news site Ma’an that Zakareneh was hit by a bullet in the chest.
Jewish-Israeli Left Vote Swinging to Arab Parties Israeli Jews are casting off center leftist parties like Meretz and Labor in favor of the coalition of Arab parties. This swing may lead the Joint List gaining up to two seats in the Knesset in March’s general election.
Shaky Ceasefire Holds Between Islamic Jihad, Israel in Gaza Following Egyptian and international mediation, a unilateral ceasefire came into effect at 11:30pm (20:30 GMT) on Monday, Ihsan Ataya, a senior Islamic Jihad leader, announced. During two days of fighting, Israeli aircraft pounded dozens of targets in the Gaza Strip, killing at least ten, while Islamic Jihad bombarded southern Israel with heavy rocket fire, though less than ten rockets landed.
Family of Slain Palestinian Demands Israel Return Body For Burial After Israeli Forces used a bulldozer to retrieve the body of Mohammad al-Naim, who they accused of planting improvised explosive device – which his family denies, his relatives are demanding the return of his body. The Israeli military used a bulldozer to violently steal al-Naim’s body while civilians had been attempting to retrieve it despite facing live fire.
WHO Says Zero Cases of Coronavirus in Occupied Territories, But Risk is High The World Health Organization said today that while there are zero cases of coronavirus in the occupied Palestinian territories, the risk, nevertheless, remains high. Coordination has begun between the Palestinian Authority’s Ministry of Health, the International Committee of the Red Cross, the Palestine Red Crescent Society, and the World Health Organization to counter COVID-19.
Arab MK Calls for Israel Voters to Beat Netanyahu By Voting For Joint List Speaking to Al-Arab TV, Joint List Member of Knesset Yousef Jabareen said that the Arab community in Israel “has an opportunity to achieve a big victory and let sixteen Arabs become members of the Knesset.”
Israel: Likud ‘given up’ on Convincing Far-right Party to Quit Election The Likud party has reportedly “given up on attempts to persuade Itamar Ben Gvir, the leader of the far-right Otzma Yehudit party, to withdraw from the election race”, according to sources cited by the Kan broadcaster yesterday.
Likud Moves Ahead of Blue and White in the Polls a Week Before Israel Election The Likud party moved narrowly ahead of the Blue and White opposition list in the polls for the first time, reported Haaretz, a week before Israel’s third election in a year. According to two polls published yesterday by Channel 12 and Kan public broadcaster, neither party will be able to secure a majority to form a coalition government, promising yet more deadlock.
US Names Members of Panel for West Bank Annexation The US government has appointed members of a committee tasked with mapping out areas of the occupied West Bank that Israel plans to annex as part of President Donald Trump’s self-proclaimed “Deal of the Century.” A senior Trump administration official told the Israel Hayom daily that US ambassador to Israel David Friedman will lead the joint committee.
Pompeo: US Rejects UN Database of Israeli Settlement Companies United States Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Thursday said the US government would not furnish any information for a database of companies operating in the occupied West Bank that the United Nations' human rights office released and said the compilation hurts efforts in the Middle East.
Sanders: US Cannot 'ignore the needs of the Palestinian people' Democratic frontrunner for the US presidency, Senator Bernie Sanders, says the United States must be "pro-Palestinian" as much as "pro-Israeli" and described the Israeli government as "right-wing" and "racist".
Arab League Warns That Israel May End Life of PA President Abbas Ahmed Aboul Gheit, secretary general of the Arab League, warned on Monday that Israel may end the life of Palestinian Authority president, Mahmoud Abbas, the same way it did with the late president, Yasser Arafat, Al Watan Voice reported.
Egypt Builds Separation Wall on Border with Gaza Last month the Egyptian army began construction of a new separation wall on the border shared with the besieged Gaza Strip, allegedly to reinforce security in the Sinai Peninsula, Israeli media revealed earlier this week.
Sanders Accuses pro-Israel Group of Giving Platform to 'bigotry' Democrat presidential candidate Bernie Sanders said on Sunday he would skip The American Israel Public Affairs Committee's annual policy conference, citing his concern that the pro-Israel lobby group provides a platform for leaders expressing "bigotry" and opposition to "basic Palestinian rights".
Democratic Senators Call on US Administration to Restore Aid to Gaza A group of thirty-one US Democratic Senators called on the US administration to restore funding and aid to the Gaza Strip, saying that Palestinians there are facing a humanitarian crisis due to the harsh economic situation, according to American media reports.
Foreign Minister Urge EU to Support President’s Alternative to US Plan Al-Malki urged the European Union foreign policy chief Josep Borrell to support Abbas’ initiative to hold an international peace conference based on the United Nations resolutions and the Arab Peace Initiative.
UK Hosts Second Conference For Palestinian Medical Teams Palestinian medical workers in the UK took part in the second Palestinian Physicians’ Association in Britain in Manchester on Saturday. Attendees discussed strategies for providing medical care in areas of conflict, training surgeons to deal with war-like injuries, and sought to connect medical providers between the two countries.
Ireland’s FM Slams Israel Settlements in Occupied Palestinian Territories Ireland’s Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade Simon Coveney yesterday criticized the Israeli government’s plans to build thousands of new settlement units in occupied East Jerusalem. The Irish minister urged the Israeli government to refrain from taking any further steps regarding these specific illegal settlement plans and stop settlement construction.
Foreign Policy Chief: EU will Not Recognize Israel’s Changes to East Jerusalem The European Union Foreign Policy Chief, Josep Borrell, said the bloc will not recognize any changes brought by Israel to occupied East Jerusalem, urging Tel Aviv to reconsider its plans to build more settlement units in the area.
Settlers and Illegal Settlements
Israel to Build 9,000 Settlement Units North of Jerusalem The Israeli “Peace Now” movement said that Israel has prepared a huge plan to build nine thousand settlement units on the lands of the abandoned Jerusalem International Airport (Qalandia) north of Jerusalem.
Israeli Forces Open settler-only Road South of Nablus Israeli Forces Thursday started the groundwork for the construction of a road that would connect colonial settlements in Nablus district with those in the Jordan Valley.
Israel Set to Build 1,000 Settlement units in Jerusalem Sunday, Israeli public radio reported that the construction of one thousand settlement units in the area where the settlement of Givat Hamatos will be established will be approved within the framework of a plan to build 5,200 new housing units in occupied Jerusalem, including 3,000 units in Givat Hamtos and 2,200 units in the Har Homa settlement.
Israeli Settlers Storm Northern Jordan Valley Villages Aref Daraghmeh, a local activist, confirmed that Israeli Forces escorted a convoy of buses packed with some four thousand settlers into al-Burj and Umm al-Qaba, where they stayed for over four hours.
Dozens of Israel Settlement 'outposts' Connected to Electricity Grid There are more than two hundred settlements across the occupied Palestinian territory, including at least one hundred so-called outposts. Under international law, all settlements are illegal. The Israeli prime minister’s office yesterday ordered that twelve unauthorized settlement outposts in the occupied West Bank be connected to the state’s power grid, reported the Times of Israel.
Boycott, Divest, and Sanction Movement
Harvard Students Form ‘anti-Zionist Jewish organization’ As reported by JTA, the Harvard Jewish Coalition for Peace introduced itself in a public statement posted Monday on Facebook as “a new organization founded in the idea that Jewish liberation is inextricably bound up with the liberation of all people”.
AIPAC is a ‘hate group’ ‘weaponizing anti-Semitism’, Says US Congresswoman Congresswoman Betty McCollum, Democratic representative for Minnesota, denounced the pro-Israeli group in a scathing response to an advert which she described was “weaponizing anti-Semitism” to “incite followers” of the lobby group to attack her and other Democratic colleagues.
BDS Resolution Passed by US’ University of Illinois Student Body The student body at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign passed a Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions resolution this morning that calls on the university to divest from companies that do business with Israel.
Jewish Activists Shut Down Biden Headquarters to Demand that He Skip the AIPAC Conference After the progressive groups MoveOn, Indivisible, and Working Families Party formed a coalition to encourage Democratic candidates to skip the event, Jewish activists and allies shut down Biden’s campaign office in Philadelphia.
A Group of Harvard Students is Demanding that the School Divest From Israel’s Occupation Harvard Out of Occupied Palestine posted a mission statement on Medium earlier this month in which they declared themselves to be “a campaign centered around the actualization of Palestinian liberation.'
Activists Block Israel Lobby Censorship Effort in New Zealand The city council in the capital Wellington was due this week to consider adopting the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance’s misleading definition of anti-Semitism. But the Palestine Solidarity Network Aotearoa, a national coalition, successfully urged the mayor and city council to abandon the measure.
Israeli PM Netanyahu's Corruption Trial to Begin on March 17 An Israeli court has said the corruption trial of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu will begin on March 17, two weeks after national elections are held. Netanyahu is charged with bribery, fraud and breach of trust under a number of cases in which he is alleged to have accepted lavish gifts from billionaire friends and exchanged regulatory favors for more positive media coverage.
In Blatant Defiance of International Law, Amazon Provides Free Shipping to Illegal Israeli Settlers In blatant defiance of international law, Amazon is offering free shipping to illegal Israeli settlements in the occupied West Bank and only to the Palestinians if they list their country as Israel, according to the Financial Times.
Palestine to Take Legal Action Against Amazon Company Over Its Discrimination Policy The Ministry of National Economy announced today that legal action will be taken against the American e-commerce company Amazon over its discrimination policy that favors illegal Jewish settlements.
Israel Prosecutes Leaders From Golan For Opposing Wind Turbines The Israeli Magistrates Court in Nazareth held trial Tuesday evening of well-respected leaders from the occupied Golan, who opposed the Israeli project to install wind turbines.
Pro-Israel Lawyers to Fight European Court Ruling on Settlement Produce Labelling According to right-wing news outlet Arutz Sheva, the Lawfare Project and Israel Allies Foundation “are teaming up” to undermine the ECJ decision. According to Arutz Sheva, “this new partnership will focus on strengthening the legal and political response within European countries.”
Israel Reduces Amount of Bread Served to Palestinian Prisoners In a statement, the PPC announced that this step is part of Gilad Erdan’s Committee, which decided in 2018 to cancel all the achievements that the prisoners gained throughout their struggle with the IPS. In addition, the IPS will also cut down on the amount of meat, water and books allowed.
Prisoner: They hung me on the wall and threatened to keep me in jail On February 20, the Prisoners and Ex-Prisoners’ Affairs Authority monitored the testimony of the prisoner Halima Khandakji, forty-five, from the town of Deir Sudan, Ramallah District, in which she tells details of her torture.
Netanyahu Challenger's Failed Company Faces Criminal Probe In a statement released on Thursday, Israel's justice ministry said Israeli police will conduct the investigation into Gantz’s "Fifth Dimension." Gantz, who alleges that this is part of political pressure from Netanyahu, was not explicitly named in the statement.
Israeli Court Approves Demolition of Homes of Five Palestinian Detainees The Israeli Supreme Court today unanimously approved the proposed demolition of the Ramallah-area family homes of five Palestinian detainees allegedly involved in the killing of a settler in late August 2019.
Israel Extends Detention of Palestinian With Kidney Failure Twenty-one-year-old Mohammed Taqatqa will spend another eight days in prison while occupation authorities “complete the investigation procedures”. The Palestinian Detainees and Ex-Detainees Affairs Commission said that Taqatqa, who is being held at Ramla prison’s clinic, suffers from serious kidney failure and needs dialysis three times a week.
New Evidence Reveals Bedouin Citizen Was Left to Die After Police Shooting A new petition to Israel’s High Court of Justice challenges the decision by Israeli authorities to close the investigation of the police killing of Yacoub Musa Abu al-Qi’an in the unrecognized Bedouin village of Umm al-Hiran in January 2017.
Environment, Economy, and Other
Palestine: Deir Al-Balah, Bethlehem Rank Highest in Unemployment Rates The Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics “PCBS” issued its 2019 Labor Force Survey Results, which showed that the unemployment rate was twenty-five per cent on average. Bethlehem governorate in the West Bank and Dier Al-Balah governorate in Gaza Strip were registered the highest unemployment rate in 2019.
‘We gave up on historic Palestine in exchange for nothing’ Bassem Tamimi, a veteran Palestinian activist and father of Ahed Tamimi, states that the two-state solution “is no longer an option.” Continuing in an interview with +972 Magazine, he said, “Ahed once asked me why we’re fighting for a two-state solution,” Tamimi says. “I’ve sat in jail for this idea, I’ve lost my sister and 22 other people from our village in the struggle for two states. We put our faith in international law and the international community, but we’ve lost. How can I convince my daughter to continue down this road?”
Israeli Siege of Gaza Pushes Youth Unemployment Up to 70% The Head of the Popular Committee against the Siege in the Gaza Strip said on Monday that the Israeli siege of the Palestinian territory has pushed the youth unemployment rate up to seventy percent.
First “Media Technology” Course to Integrate People with Disability Launched in Bethlehem Implemented by the Arab Bethlehem Society for Rehabilitation in partnership with the Governorate of Bethlehem and the Ministry of Labor, the course included sixteen students, four of them with disabilities, adding that the department was equipped with modern equipment, including cameras and supplies for practical training for students.
First-ever U.S. festival of Palestinian Literature Comes to NYC in March On March 27-29, the first-ever festival of Palestinian literature in the United States will feature a three-day celebration of Palestinian writing with Ibrahim Nasrallah, Hala Alyan, Huzama Habayeb, Ghassan Zaqtan, and other attending.
Jewish ‘hero’ in US Hanukkah Attack Refused $20,000 Reward Over Zionism An Orthodox Jewish man hailed as a hero for stopping a machete-wielding man from causing further harm, having stabbed five people during a Hanukkah celebration at a rabbi’s home in Monsey, New York, has refused to accept a 20,000 dollars reward from established Jewish organizations because he considers them Zionists.
Gaza: 5,000 Factories Closed Due to Israeli Siege Head of Popular Committee Against the Siege on Gaza, Member of Parliament Jamal Al-Khodari, announced on Friday that 5,000 factories in Gaza were closed down due to the fourteen-year-long Israeli siege.