[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
[UPDATE] One Killed And 16 Injured By IOF in Nablus The Palestinian Ministry of Health announced the death of Mohammed Abdel Karim Hamayel, fifteen, after he was shot with live bullets in the head during protests between soldiers and the residents of Beita, south of Nablus, during settler storming into Jabal al-Arma.
Israel Demolishes Two Palestinian Houses in Occupied West Bank Walid Hanatsheh and Yazan Mughamis are currently in custody and facing trial over allegations of carrying out an attack in the West Bank last year which killed an Israeli citizen and injured another. Israeli forces destroyed their homes and suppressed protests against the demolitions with tear gas and stun grenades.
Israeli Navy Attacks Palestinian Fishermen’s Boats off Gaza Coast The navy opened fire and water hoses at the boats that were sailing only three nautical miles off the coast and forced them to return to shore. One boat was damaged, said WAFA correspondent.
Israeli Forces Uproot Hundreds of Olive Saplings in a Bethlehem-area Village Israeli forces today uprooted hundreds of olive saplings in the village of Wadi Fukin, to the West of Bethlehem in the south of the occupied West Bank, according to a local source. Nidal Manasra, member of Wadi Fukin village council, told WAFA that Israeli soldiers raided the village and uprooted about four hundred olive saplings planted in land belonging to a local Palestinian resident.
IDF Censor Redacted Two Thousand News Items in 2019 According to official figures, the Israeli Defense Forces military censor barred the full publication of 202 stories in media outlets, and partially redacted another 1,973 stories. Despite being the lowest number in recent years, this is still a huge number, considering that no other country in the world that defines itself as a democracy imposes such explicit limits on the press.
‘I remember the knee in the crosshairs, bursting open’ – Israeli Snipers Boast of Shooting ‘ducks’ in Gaza Two days ago (Friday) a piece came out in Haaretz by Hilo Glazer, featuring stories from five anonymous snipers who told how they gunned down unarmed protesters at the March of Return near the Gaza perimeter fence. These are not shamed confessions: the snipers appear to be boasting about their “hits,” in competition over the number of knees they can claim to have shot to pieces.
30 Coronavirus Cases in Palestine: Youngest Patient is Two years old Palestinian government spokesman, Ibrahim Milhem, on Tuesday night reported a new case of the novel coronavirus, bringing the total number of the infected people to thirty, twenty-nine in Bethlehem and one in Tulkarem. Melhem confirmed that all patients are in good health and had no health complications.
Palestinian Premier, With Emergency Powers, Shuts Down Country For One Month Over Corona Prime Minister Mohammad Shtayyeh, speaking on the official Palestine TV, said that based on the powers granted to him in the decree by President Mahmoud Abbas, he decided to shut down all educational facilities, all tourist and religious areas, national parks, and cancel all hotel reservations for foreign tourists. Media statements from any official except those authorized by the prime minister were also prohibited.
Israel: Gantz Agrees on Lieberman’s Conditions For Joining Left-wing Alliance Chief of Israel’s Blue and White party, Benny Gantz, agreed on the conditions set by Yisrael Beiteinu head Avigdor Lieberman to join a left-wing alliance, local media reported yesterday. However, Gantz’s alliance with Lieberman may face a crisis as the Joint List–a party which is Arab dominated–has said it would never join an alliance which includes Lieberman.
As a Precautionary Step, Ramallah City Sterilizes Mosques, Churches And Homes for the Elderly As part of its effort to combat the deadly coronavirus disease, the Ramallah municipality decided following an emergency meeting to take preventive measure starting with sterilization of a number of the city’s institutions as per the priority plan set by the municipality.
Closure of Gaza Schools Extended For 1 Week Palestinian Education Ministry in Gaza and UNRWA yesterday decided to extend the closure of schools until the end of this week over fears of spreading the coronavirus. Both said that they would re-evaluate the situation on Thursday and decide whether to extend the closure of schools or re-open them.
Palestine Government, Union Agree to End Medical Strike The Palestinian government yesterday signed an agreement with the Medical Association putting an end to nearly a month of strikes and demands for overdue benefits. Some demands have been met, with a hiring process of more staff beginning next week, but with others, such as the demand for raises and increased funding, currently being described as “unavailable” options by Prime Minister Shtayyeh.
PA Arrests 4 For Spreading ‘fake news’ on Coronavirus The Palestinian Authority has arrested several residents accused of spreading fake news about the coronavirus in the West Bank. Commander of the Palestinian Authority Police in Bethlehem said that “Rumors are a lethal weapon that affects the morale of the people.”
Shtayyeh: There is Coordination to Close Borders With Jordan Soon Prime Minister Mohammad Shtayyeh said that there is coordination with Jordan to close the border bridges soon, saying it was prior warning to those who want to return home from Palestine. The prime minister confirmed that a new hospital in Bethlehem has been fully equipped to deal with cases of coronavirus infection.
Serbia to Open Diplomatic Mission in Jerusalem Serbia is going to open a diplomatic mission in Jerusalem, the country’s President Aleksandar Vucic announced at the AIPAC Policy Conference in Washington, DC.
Palestinian-American Coalition Backs Bernie Sanders for US President A broad coalition of key Palestinian-American organizations has announced its support for Senator Bernie Sanders for president. “More than any other presidential candidate, Senator Bernie Sanders has built a historically inclusive and forward thinking-movement, one that represents America as a set of ideas grounded in the belief that all humans are equal and worthy of dignity and rights,” the coalition of political, academic and social organizations said in a joint statement.
Israel, US Air Force Sign Military Contract Worth $472m An Israeli defense company revealed on Monday that its American subsidiary had been awarded a US Air Force contract worth up to 471.6 million dollars. Israel-based Elbit Systems, a company which sells weapons to the Israeli military used in attacks on Palestinians, will be supplying a missile warning system to F-16 fighter jets belonging to the US Air National Guard and Air Force Reserve Command.
Settlers and Illegal Settlements
Palestinians Slam Israeli Road Plan that Would Cut Off West Bank Palestinian leaders have slammed the Israeli defense ministry's approval of planning for a road that would separate Palestinians and Israeli commuters east of Jerusalem, a highly controversial move meant to help advance an illegal settlement plan in the strategically sensitive E1 region.
Israeli Settlers Assault Palestinian Youths Near Nablus Extremist Israeli settlers Wednesday morning assaulted two Palestinian youths in Huwwara town, south of the occupied West Bank city of Nablus, said a settlement watchdog. Two youths were beaten up by a group of settlers in the town, kept on hold by Israeli soldiers before being released and moved to a medical center for treatment.
Boycott, Divest, and Sanction Movement
Bard Students Cleared of False anti-Semitism Charges Bard College has cleared two students who protested racist speakers last October of false accusations of anti-Semitism. Ben Mulick and Akiva Hirsch were part of a protest against the anti-Palestinian views of Harvard professor Ruth Wisse, The Forward opinion editor Batya Ungar-Sargon and Shany Mor, a former senior official of Israel’s national security council. Bard decided to investigate Mulick and Hirsch on its own, based on the false accusations of anti-Semitism of which they were finally cleared.
Palestine Writes Announces Postponement Due to Coronavirus In a statement, the organizers of the conference state, “It is with heavy hearts that we announce the postponement of Palestine Writes Literature Festival, which was set to take place the weekend of March 27-29, 2020 in New York City. Given the global uncertainty and concern surrounding the rapid spread of COVID-19 (coronavirus), we must prioritize the safety and well-being of our speakers, attendees, staff, and volunteers.”
MAGA Congressman Wants Trump Administration to Kill ‘anti-American and pro-BDS’ Arizona Mideast Studies Program Representative Paul Gosar (R-AZ) is calling for the Department of Education to investigate the Center for Middle East Studies at the University of Arizona. Gosar argues that the program has misused federal money and should have its funding stripped away by the Trump administration. On 24 February, Gosar sent a letter to Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos claiming that the program is “anti-American and pro-BDS.”
Israeli Court Rejects Netanyahu's Request to Delay Trial A court in Israel on Tuesday rejected Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's request to delay the start of his corruption trial, ruling it would begin as planned next week. Lawyers for Netanyahu—the first Israeli prime minister to be indicted while in office—had told the Jerusalem district court they had not received all the prosecution's case material and asked for a forty-five-day delay.
Dozens of Palestinians Face 'terrorism court' in Saudi Arabia Saudi Arabia has put dozens of Palestinian activists on trial, accusing them of supporting the Gaza-based rulers Hamas. Families of the accused said their relatives were being prosecuted without legal representation. The detainees were arrested by Saudi secret police in April of last year.
After Serving 18 years in Israeli Prisons, Palestinian re-detained the Minute of his Release Randy Odeh, thirty-nine, from Shufat refugee camp in occupied East Jerusalem, was arrested on 7 March 2002 and sentenced to eighteen years in prison. He was supposed to be released today but as he was getting ready to leave the Naqab prison in the south of Israel, he was re-detained. His wedding, scheduled for the day of his release, was postponed by his family.
Prisoners Denied Timely Treatment Dying in Israeli Custody Aged thirty-six, Sami Abu Diyak, died in Israeli custody late last year. He had been imprisoned since he was seventeen. He is just one of many such cases, which are particularly prevalent at Ramleh prison. His mother visited her son a few days before he succumbed to illness on 26 November. The Israeli Prison Service has adopted a “policy of deliberate medical neglect against prisoners and detainees,” since Israel’s occupation of the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, and the Gaza Strip in 1967, Ehteram Ghazawneh of Addameer, a Palestinian prisoner rights group, said.
Environment, Economy, and Other
Zionists Can Find Allies on the Left by Sharing Jewish ‘pain and trauma,’ AIPAC is Told This week’s AIPAC conference in Washington wrestled with the crisis facing the Israel lobby: the growing partisanship of Israel support. In an AIPAC forum on “Progressive Zionism,” Rabbi Noah Zvi Farkas said that Zionists could build alliances with left-wing groups by sharing their “vulnerability” and “pain and trauma” from Jewish history as a persecuted minority, because that way other marginalized and historically oppressed groups will relate to Zionists.
‘No Free Homeland Without Free Women’: Palestinian Youth Movement Celebrates International Women’s Day 2020 This International Women’s Day, the Palestinian Youth Movement, paid homage to Palestinian women who have been pillars in our struggle for justice, liberation, and return to Palestine. They highlighted the connection between patriarchy, Zionism, and colonialism.
Israel's DM Twitter Hacked with 'freedom for Palestine' Tweet The anonymous hacker of Naftali Bennett’s account posted a tweet demanding “freedom for Palestine” with the Palestinian flag. Although Bennet later recovered his account, he did not comment until 8.00 GMT on the incident.
Israel Students Beat Pinata With Arab MK’s Face On It Ahmad Tibi, deputy in the Israeli Knesset’s Joint List, has filed a police complaint after his face was pasted onto a pinata at a yeshiva in southern Israel and subsequently beaten, reported The Times of Israel. The incident took place during a Purim holiday party at the Sderot pre-military hesder yeshiva, a program which combines advanced Talmudic studies with military service in the Israel army.