[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 Demolish Palestinian’s Home in Jerusalem On Tuesday, Israeli occupation bulldozers demolished a house belonging to Rami Sabih al-Khatib, in the town of Hizma, northeast of occupied Jerusalem, displacing its residents. The town is witnessing continuous raids, punctuated by the arrest of citizens and the delivery of notifications of the demolition of commercial and agricultural facilities.
Israeli Forces Injure 6 Palestinians in Kafr Qaddum At least six Palestinians were injured by Israeli Occupation Forces today during the weekly protest against Israeli settlement construction, in the village of Kafr Qaddum in the northern West Bank, local sources said. Some of the injured were treated at the scene while others were moved to hospital for treatment.
Israeli Forces Attack Activists Planting Trees Near Tubas Israeli forces attacked and dispersed activists participating in the tree planting event, which was called for by the anti-settlement and apartheid wall committee and national factions. No injuries or arrests were reported.
Israeli Army Closes Road Palestinian Farmers Use to Reach Their Fields in South of West Bank The Israeli army on 3 March closed a road which farmers in Khirbet Shaab al-Batm in Masafer Yatta in the south of the occupied West Bank use to reach their fields, according to Rateb Jabour, a local activist.
B’Tselem: At least 19 Palestinians Have Lost an Eye From Israeli Fire During Gaza Protests Since the Great March of Return began in Gaza two years ago, an estimated nineteen Palestinians have lost an eye as a result of Israeli fire, Israeli human rights group B’Tselem said in a new report this week.
MoH: No corona-virus Patients in Palestine The Ministry of Health said in its daily update on the global coronavirus epidemic today that the Palestinian territories remain until now free of the disease. The ministry has run tests on 145 suspected cases since 20 January, which all came back negative.
Netanyahu’s Party is Accused of Using Coronavirus Hoax to Suppress Vote Two recent hoaxes about coronavirus contagions in Israel have led to warnings that Likud will attempt to used corona hoaxes as a tactic of voter suppression during Israel’s election. Both rumors were denied as hoaxes within hours by the Ministry of Health, but during election day, a delay of hours can lead to massive vote suppression.
Poll: Only 37% of Israelis Say Human Rights Orgs Should Operate Freely, Just Half Support Freedom of Speech In a major international survey conducted by the US-based Pew Research Center, only thirty-seven percent of Israelis said human rights groups should be able to operate freely. Support in Israel is “significantly lower than in most countries for freedom of expression, including an uncensored press, internet freedom and freedom for human rights groups to operate freely.”
‘What’s next?’: Palestinians Fear Area B Ban Will Set Dangerous Precedent The halt on construction in Area B was pushed by Israeli Defense Minister Naftali Bennett, who pushed the ban due to “security concerns.” While Bennett’s request still needs to go through a series of approvals before it is enforced, locals in the villages around Turmus Ayya say they have also been facing pushback from Israeli forces in Area B—something they have never experienced before.
Right Wing Bloc Gets 60 Seats, 33 of Them For Netanyahu’s Likud According to the results of preliminary media surveys, the right wing bloc won sixty seats, thirty-three of which were for the Likud party led by Benjamin Netanyahu, while the Blue and White party won thirty-three seats, the Arab Joint List won fifteen seats, the Lieberman’s Yisrael Beiteinu party got six seats, and the left six seats.
Israel: Arab Voter Turnout High Despite Facebook Harassment Against Joint List Head Voter turnout from the Arab citizens of Israel was at its highest since the 1999 election, standing at sixty-seven percent, according to official results. The high turnout among Arab voters in the country’s third election in under a year came despite the thirty fake accounts on Facebook designed to reduce Arab voter turnout in the election, which were revealed following an investigation conducted by the Democratic Bloc non-profit organization.
PA Denies Plan to Make 8,000 Gaza Employees Retire Early The Palestinian Authority has denied reports that it is planning to make eight thousand of its employees in Gaza take early retirement, sources at the Ministry of Finance have told Al-Watan Voice. The statement was issued after several local media outlets mentioned a plan by the Palestinian Authority to make the move after completing a data review of all employees.
Palestinian medical group threatens to step up protests against government
The Palestinian Doctors Association has threatened to take “unprecedented measures” and step up protests against the government, after the Supreme Court ruled to end their strike. Head of the medical association Dr Shawky Sabha explained that the group’s demands were not only financial, but that there is also an acute shortage of staff, equipment, and beds. Doctors’ demands for pay increases, he explained, are in line with the agreement signed with the government in 2011 which outlined that specialists would receive a two hundred percent raise.
US Middle East Plan Has Apartheid Characteristics, Say 50 Former European Officials In a letter published today in the British newspaper, The Guardian, fifty former European foreign ministers, presidents, party leaders, NATO officials, and others have expressed grave concern about US President Donald Trump’s so-called “Peace to Prosperity” plan for the Middle East, saying it envisages an outcome with characteristics similar to apartheid.
EU Official Stresses Necessity of EU’s Recognition of State of Palestine The chair of the European Union’s Delegation for Relations with Palestine Manuel Pineda stated that it has become necessary for the European Union and all member states to recognize the State of Palestine.
US’ Michael Bloomberg Rallies to Israel’s Defense in AIPAC Conference Democratic US presidential candidate Michael Bloomberg presented himself as the standout candidate on the issue of Israel during a speech at the AIPAC conference. The former New York mayor attacked his rival Bernie Sanders over his position on Israel and offered unconditional support for the Zionist state.
UN Seeks India’s Assistance on Palestine-Israel Conflict The United Nations is seeking to inject some new blood into the peace process between Israel and Palestine, which many say has been dealt a fatal blow by US President Donald Trump’s “deal of the century.” A delegation of the UN Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People began a two-day visit to New Delhi on 2 March.
Israel-Jordan Treaty ‘definitely at risk’, says PM of the Hashemite Kingdom The peace treaty between Jordan and Israel is “definitely at risk” according to Omar al-Razzaz. The Jordanian prime minister stated it was at peril because of Israel’s “unilateral measures” and the Israeli government’s “violation of the sanctity of Muslim and Christian endowments in Jerusalem.”
Haniyeh Visits Moscow to Discuss ‘deal of the century’ Ismail Haniyeh is in Moscow to discuss Russia’s role in endorsing Palestinian rights as well as the threats posed by the US “deal of the century,” a spokesman for Hamas has revealed. The delegation will also brief Russian officials about the ongoing Israeli attacks on Jerusalem, the Gaza Strip, and Palestinian holy sites across the occupied territories.
Arab League Calls For Sending International Protection Forces to Hebron On the twenty-sixth anniversary of the Ibrahimi mosque massacre, the Arab League called for international protection forces to be sent the occupied Palestinian territories, namely the West Bank city of Hebron, Shehab News Agency reported.
Settlers and Illegal Settlements
Villagers, Including Journalist, Injured As Settlers Storm Area in Nablus The Palestinian Red Crescent said that three civilians were wounded by live bullets, and twenty others, including photojournalist Muhammad al-Sayeh, with rubber-coated metal bullets, and about fifty cases of teargas inhalation, after a group of settlers stormed Jabal al-Urma with protection from the occupation army.
Netanyahu Pledges to Annex More Lands of West Bank ‘within weeks’ if Re-elected In an apparent attempt by Israel’s scandal-hit premier to secure votes on the eve of a decisive general election, Benjamin Netanyahu has pledged to annex further parts of the occupied West Bank “within weeks” provided that he is re-elected.
Israeli Settlers Damage 780 Trees in Three Days An activist in al-Khader town, Emad Da`dou, said that the settlers cut down two hundred vine trees in the “Fagur” area, owned by Mohammed Ibrahim Abu al-Kat’a, on Saturday. On Friday, the settlers cut down three hundred vine trees in the lands of Nasser Ismail Marzouq in the “Zakandah” area between the settlements of “Daniel” and “EliAzar.” On Thursday, settlers of “EliAzar” cut down two hundred perennial olive trees and eighty grapevine trees in the lands of citizens Marwan Abdel Salam Salah and Anas Fathi Abdel Salam Salah.
New App Allows Settlers to Measure Distance From Palestinian Territories A notorious right-wing settler group has developed an app that enables users to calculate the distance between their homes and the borders of the Palestinian state being proposed by US President Donald Trump, reported The Jerusalem Post.
Boycott, Divest, and Sanction Movement
US: Pro-BDS Store Wins Major Legal Victory Against Israel Advocates Advocates for the state of Israel have suffered an embarrassing defeat in a decade-long legal battle to sue Olympia Food Co-op over its decision to boycott Israeli goods. Deputy Legal Director for the Centre for Constitutional Rights, which defended the Co-op, Maria LaHood spoke of the wider ramifications of the case, viewing it as a victory for free speech.
Israel Says US Will ‘punish’ Those Who Boycott UN Blacklist Companies At the AIPAC conference, Israel’s ambassador to the United Nations said on Sunday that the United States will punish those who boycott companies and individuals on the UN Human Rights Council blacklist. Danny Danon also used the speech to criticize Democratic Party presidential hopeful Bernie Sanders for boycotting the event.
US Athletes Kneel in Protest As Israeli National Anthem Plays Two volleyball players from Brooklyn College showed solidarity with Palestinians by taking to their knees earlier this week during the playing of “Hatikvah,” Israel’s national anthem, before a match at Yeshiva University in New York.
Palestinian Boycott Movement Slams Austrian Parliament anti-BDS Motion “Instead of fighting real anti-Jewish racism at home,” the BDS Movement stated, “Austria’s parliament adopted an anti-democratic resolution today that demonizes BDS as antisemitic and calls to restrict our peaceful movement for Palestinian rights, lending support to Israel’s apartheid.”
Palestinian Women Detainees Report Harsh Imprisonment Conditions The Detainees and Ex-Detainees Affairs Commission said in a report today that Palestinian women detainees in the Israeli prison of Damon, near Haifa, have been facing unbearable humanitarian and health conditions, including a deliberate policy of medical negligence. The lack of medical care, both psychological and physical, is another and worse type of suffering for the women detainees, especially given that some of the sick prisoners there require hospitalization at times.
Two Palestinian Prisoners Complete 28 Years Behind Israeli Bars Yahya Ighbariyah, fifty-two, from the village of Musheirfeh, and Mohammad Jabareen, sixty-nine, from Umm al-Fahm, both Arab towns in Israel, were sentenced for life in prison for resisting the Israeli occupation. On 3 March, they completed twenty-eight years in Israeli prison, being among thirty prisoners held since before the signing of the Oslo Accords.
Israel Faces Escalating International Legal Battle, says Attorney General Avichai Mandelblit and his aide Gil Limon said in a joint article in Yedioth Ahronoth on Sunday that the core of the battle will be the accusations that Israel is guilty of war crimes. The legal experts said that Israel’s 2010 attack on the Freedom Flotilla in international waters and the killing of nine activists on board is the main focus of the legal case against Israel, especially involving a probe by the International Criminal Court.
Environment, Economy, and Other
Palestine Wins the Right to Direct International Postal Exchanges The United Nations Universal Postal Union has recognized Palestine’s right to have direct postal exchange with the world through Jordan without any restrictions imposed. The Palestinian postal service has been largely dysfunctional as mail deliveries to the Israeli-occupied West Bank must pass through international crossings and borders before reaching the Palestinian territory and are often subject to long delays.