[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
Palestine TV’s Jerusalem Correspondent Summoned By Israeli Security The Israeli security today summoned Palestine TV correspondent in Jerusalem, Christine Rinawi, for interrogation at the infamous Russian Compound police station in West Jerusalem, according to the correspondent. The Shabac shut down Palestine TV office in Jerusalem on 6 December, seized all cameras and equipment, and barred its employees from doing any work for the TV.
Israeli Forces Injure Three Palestinians in Kafr Qaddum Morad Shtewi, coordinator of the popular resistance in the village, told WAFA that Israeli soldiers raided the village, provoking clashes with protesters. The forces fired live bullets at the protesters injuring three of them.
Israel Restricts UNRWA Coronavirus Efforts in Jerusalem Refugee Camps Spokesperson for the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestinian Refugees Sami Mshasha said the Israeli Occupation Authorities are impeding UNRWA’s efforts to prevent the spread of the coronavirus in the occupied city of Jerusalem and its refugee camps.
Israel Closes Coronavirus Testing Center in Occupied East Jerusalem Israeli occupation soldiers raided and shut down a coronavirus testing clinic in occupied East Jerusalem last night and arrested four people, the Daily Sabah reported. The Israeli soldiers provided no explanation for the closure; however the Haaretz daily newspaper wrote that the clinic was closed due to its collaboration with the Palestinian Authority.
Israel Refuses to Freeze Jerusalem Electricity Company’s D0ebt Despite Coronavirus Outbreak The Director General of the Jerusalem District Electricity Company, Hisham al-Omari, said yesterday that the Israeli authorities rejected JDECO’s request to freeze debt accumulated by the company due to the spread of the coronavirus and the subscribers’ inability to pay their bills.
Israeli Military Infiltrates Southern Gaza Border, Raze Land Israeli military vehicles infiltrated this morning the southern Gaza Strip border near the city of Rafah and razed land, reported WAFA correspondent. He said six military vehicles breached the border east of Rafah and razed land while shooting in the air, before returning to their base inside Israel.
Israel Stops Coronavirus Tests in Gaza Israeli soldiers conducting coronavirus tests in the Gaza Strip have been ordered to stop by Defense Minister Naftali Bennett. According to Maariv, the Israeli government cancelled the initiative and claimed that Bennett himself was not aware of the army initiative due to a “lack of communication.”
Israel Orders PA Security Officers to Withdraw From Jerusalem Israeli Occupation Forces on Monday ordered Palestinian security officers to withdraw from Palestinian areas in the outskirts of occupied Jerusalem, Arab48 reported. Palestinian security officials said that the order came following the creation of a Palestinian security checkpoint to prevent the movement of Palestinian people between these areas and the occupied West Bank city of Ramallah.
Israelis Demonstrate Against Netanyahu Amid Coronavirus Pandemic Wearing face masks, waving black flags, and keeping two meters apart, thousands of Israelis demonstrated against Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu under strict coronavirus restrictions. Under the banner of “Save the Democracy,” thousands of protesters called on prime minister's rival party not to join in a coalition.
First Coronavirus Death in East Jerusalem Amid Israeli 'neglect' An elderly Palestinian woman has become the first fatal victim of the coronavirus disease, COVID-19, in occupied East Jerusalem, health officials have said. Since the onset of the health crisis, Palestinian officials allege the Arab population of East Jerusalem has been overlooked by Israeli efforts to curb the spread of the virus.
Fatah Says Abbas Willing to Send Delegation to Gaza to Discuss Reconciliation A senior member of the Fatah said on Saturday that the Palestinian president and head of the movement, Mahmoud Abbas, is willing to send a delegation to the Gaza Strip to hold reconciliation meetings with Hamas and other factions.
Domestic Abuse Against Palestinian Women Soars Banging pots and pans and waving homemade banners, scores of Palestinians have expressed their solidarity with women enduring various forms of domestic violence during a lockdown imposed due to the coronavirus pandemic. According to the independent feminist movement Tali’at, eleven Palestinian women have been killed as a result of domestic violence, with five of these murders occurring since lockdown.
Israeli Coalition Deal Keeps Netanyahu in Power Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his chief rival have announced that they have forged a deal to form an "emergency" coalition government, with Netanyahu serving as Prime Minister for eighteen months initially and Gantz for eighteen months afterwards. Gantz's party will take control of a number of senior government ministries, including foreign affairs and defense, but Netanyahu's party will gain influence over judicial appointments–a key goal for Netanyahu was to influence the judicial system before he is tried for corruption charges.
Abbas Orders Easing of Coronavirus Restrictions Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas ordered yesterday the easing of some of the lockdown measures. Speaking during a virtual cabinet meeting, he did not specify which restrictions would be lifted.
Palestine, China Share Anti-coronavirus Experience In Palestine, one new COVID-19 cases were confirmed, raising the total to 376, including 2 deaths and 62 recoveries. Chinese doctors and medical experts held a video conference via the internet with Palestinian counterparts to share the Chinese experience in fighting the novel coronavirus.
Ireland's Sinn Féin Extends Solidarity Greetings to Palestinian Prisoners Seán Crowe, spokesperson for Ireland's Sinn Féin party on Foreign Affairs, European Union, Brexit and Defense, sent today solidarity greetings to the thousands of Palestinian prisoners detained in Israeli jails.
Israel Refuses to Export Ventilators to the UK Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu rejected a request from the United Kingdom last week to allow respiratory ventilators to be exported to the United Kingdom despite its mounting death toll from coronavirus, a report by Axios stated. However, due to Netanyahu having signed an emergency decree outlawing any exports of life-saving machines, the sale did not go through.
Gaza Makes Millions of Face Masks for Europe Sewing factories in the Gaza Strip have been busy manufacturing face masks for the local and international markets in response to the coronavirus crisis. They are continuing to operate in spite of the difficult situation in the Strip as a result of the ongoing fourteen-year Israeli imposed blockade and the coronavirus pandemic, he explained.
Settlers and Illegal Settlements
Israeli sSettlers Attack Palestinian Farmers in Masafer Yatta Attending to Their Lands Israeli settlers attacked today Palestinian farmers as they were working in their lands in Masafer Yatta in the south of the West Bank. Israeli soldiers, who protected the settlers as they attacked farmers and stole an activist’s camera, kicked the farmers of their land once the incident had already occurred.
Israeli Settlers Plant Trees in a Land Owned by a Palestinian as a Prelude to Taking it Over Hasan Breijieh, director of the Bethlehem office of the Wall and Settlements Resistance Commission, told WAFA that settlers planted olive trees in a land owned by Zeinab Abu Sneineh in an area near the village of Irtas. This step is usually a prelude to seizing the land.
EU Warns Gantz Not to Accept Annexation of West Bank Settlements European Union officials have apparently told Gantz’s foreign affairs adviser, Melody Sucharewicz, over the past few weeks that Europe strongly opposes any unilateral move to extend Israeli sovereignty over the West Bank. The officials also told Sucharewicz that any such move would have serious implications for Israel-European Union relations.
Presidency Pledges Strong, Decisive Response to Annexation of Palestinian Land The Palestinian Presidency today pledged a strong and decisive response to the Israeli annexation of Palestinian land after the formation of the Israeli unity government. It reiterated that such Israeli decisions on annexation would “lead to disastrous results move the entire region to the brink of the abyss.”
Boycott, Divest, and Sanction Movement
Amazon Donates $300,000 to Supply Israel With Medical Equipment Global ecommerce company Amazon has donated three hundred thousand dollar to a non-profit US organization which is supplying medical equipment to healthcare professionals and patients in Israel during the coronavirus pandemic. Earlier this year, the online retailer was accused of favoring illegal Jewish settlers in the occupied Palestinian territories over the indigenous Palestinian population, after Amazon said it would make shipping free for Palestinians if they list their country as Israel.
UN Chief Urges Protection of Palestinian Detainees From Coronavirus Infection The United Nations Chief Antonio Guterres has said that he asked the United Nations Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process, Nikolay Mladenov, to remain in contact with Israeli officials to ensure the protection of the Palestinian detainees in Israeli prisons during the ongoing coronavirus outbreak.
Israel Has Not Responded to Prisoner Exchange Proposal, Says Hamas The Palestinian Islamic Resistance Movement has said that Israel has not yet responded to its prisoner exchange proposal. “The success or failure of this initiative depends on [Israel’s] seriousness, and the ball is in its court,” said Hamas spokesman Abdel Latif al-Qanoua on Thursday.
Palestinian Prisoner Dies in Israeli Jail Palestinian prisoner, Nour Jaber al-Barghouthi, twenty-three, was announced dead this morning in the Israeli Negev prison, on his fourth year of imprisonment out of an eight-year-sentence. He died due to the prison guards failing to provide medical care after he fainted in the bathroom section.
Hamas: Israel’s Decision to Seize Prisoners’ Money is ‘unethical’ Senior Hamas leader Mahmoud al-Zahar on 21 April described the new Israeli law which stipulates seizing the money of Palestinian prisoners as “racist” and “unethical.” Al-Watan Voice reported that the Israeli military commander in the occupied West Bank had approved a law that stipulates seizing the salaries of Palestinian prisoners from banks which will go into effect on 9 May.
Israeli Citizen Indicted for 'spying' For Iran is Identified Well known to the Palestinian community in Israel, activist Ayman Haj Yahya has been identified as the individual indicted for allegedly spying for Iran after he was arrested on 16 March by the internal security agency Shin Bet and Israeli police.
Environment, Economy, and Other
MADA Demands Facebook to Support Palestinian Media And Increase the Capacity of Its And CSOs on the Platform. The Palestinian Center for Development and Media Freedoms “MADA” sent a letter to Facebook Company in which it called for allocating a specific part of the “Facebook Journalism Project” dedicated to supporting media and journalists in the world, for which one hundred million dollars was allocated in order to support the independent Palestinian media.
Pioneering Economic Recovery Plan in Response to Corona Pandemic While the corona pandemic has paralyzed the global economy, the Palestinian Authority has been consulting private sector representatives. It appears that due to economic fragility, the absence of a national currency, and an inability to control resources due to the Israeli occupation, the Palestinian Authority will have difficulty with economic resiliency.
Number of Palestinian Families Living Under Poverty Line Could Double, Warns Minister Ahmad Majdalani told reporters in Ramallah that some 53,000 families have dropped below the poverty line since the start of the crisis. “This has prompted thousands of enterprises and businesses to impose strict measures to contain the situation,” he explained. This figure is expected to increase by the end of April and could double.
COVID-19 Crisis Fuels Gaza Farmers' Economic Woes Farming in Gaza was already unstable due to the Israeli blockade preventing technological advancement, but the pandemic has made things worse. Farmers are reporting that many orders they were relying on have been canceled. Hamas officials have enacted roughly one million dollars in vouchers for animal feed to sustain their livestock.