[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
Israel Temporarily Opens Crossings For Palestinians Seeking Work Israel has reopened a number of crossings following an agreement with the Palestinian Authority, in a move that allows thousands of Palestinians in the occupied West Bank seeking employment opportunities to return to work despite fears of being exposed to the new coronavirus.
Israeli Forces Smash Plants Nursery in South of West Bank Hasan Breijieh, director of the Wall and Settlements Resistance office in Bethlehem, told WAFA that soldiers raided Jourat al-Shamaa village, south of Bethlehem, and demolished an agricultural nursery owned by Mahmoud Abu Hammad.
Youth Shot And Injured by Israeli Soldiers in West Bank Refugee Camp Israeli soldiers shot and injured last night a Palestinian youth in Aqbat Jabr refugee camp in the eastern West Bank city of Jericho, according to witnesses. They said the soldiers opened fire at a group of youths who were at the camp’s cemetery hitting one in the leg. He was rushed to hospital in the city.
Israel Occupation Hands Over Al-Ghamr Region to Jordan The Israeli occupation is scheduled to withdraw from al-Ghamr enclave, south of the Dead Sea, to Jordan, at 5pm on Thursday evening, after it handed over the Baqoura area to Jordan on 9 November. At the end of 2018, the Jordanian government announced that it would not extend the lease of the two regions, initially signed in 1994, for another twenty-five years.
Terrorism Was Israel's 'pretext' to Turn Jordan into Palestine, Says Ehud Barack The goal of the First Lebanon War in 1982 was to use the “pretext of Palestinian terror” to force the Palestinian Liberation Organization back to Jordan where they would take over government from the Hashemite Kingdom after rallying in the fallout of the Palestinian Liberation Organization’s expulsion in 1970, former Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak has said in an admission about the true intention of Israel.
Israeli Army Targets Hamas Posts in New Attacks on Gaza The attacks struck posts belonging to the al-Qassam Brigades, the Hamas military wing, in northern and central Gaza, according to local media reports. According to the Israeli military, the attacks were in response to an alleged rocket attack from Hamas which, if true, could possibly be in response to Israel’s attack on Iranian-supported militias fighting in Syria.
The Palestinian Standards Institution and the Ministry of Health Approve AQU’s Medical Ventilator The Palestinian Standards Institution and the Ministry of Health officially approved the medical ventilator that was designed and produced by al-Quds University’s faculties of engineering and medicine and was unveiled earlier this month.
Abbas Backtracks On Benefits Package For Senior PA Officials Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas has backtracked on an improved benefits package for senior Palestinian Authority officials, Arab48.com has reported. Reports about the package stirred anger among the Palestinian people, rights groups, and legal centers because it is aimed only at senior officials and neglected those in need.
PA Arrests 21 Palestinians in First 10 Days of Ramadan The Palestinian Authority in Ramallah has arrested twenty-one Palestinians in the first ten days of Ramadan due to their political views and charitable activities, Arab48.com has reported.
PA Extends Coronavirus State of Emergency in Occupied West Bank The Palestinian Authority has announced a one-month extension of a state of emergency imposed in the occupied West Bank to try and curb the spread of the novel coronavirus. In place since March, the emergency measure has introduced a full lockdown that confined Palestinians to their homes, except for essential travel.
President Abbas to Nullify Agreements if Israel Annexes Parts of West Bank Speaking before the special online Non-Aligned Movement summit via videoconference, Abbas reiterated that if Israel moves to apply sovereignty over, or in other words to annex, the Jordan Valley and the illegal colonial settlements in the occupied West Bank, he would absolve all agreements with it and the United States.
Arab Local Councils in Israel Go On Strike Demanding Equality to Their Jewish Counterparts Arab local councils in Israel went today on a general strike in protest against failure of the Israeli government to respond to their demands to compensate them for the great losses suffered in light of the coronavirus pandemic and to treat them equally to their Jewish counterparts.
Israeli Official Offered Trump Campaign ‘critical intel’ to Avoid Defeat in 2016 — FBI doc A declassified FBI affidavit is a smoking gun inasmuch as it reveals an apparent willingness on the part of high Israeli officials, including those close to the “PM”—Benjamin Netanyahu—to interfere in the election on behalf of Donald Trump. However, the evidence of any actual interference is largely suggestive. The affidavit shows that the FBI regarded these contacts as possibly criminal.
Joe Biden Will Keep US Embassy in Jerusalem if Elected President US Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden will keep the US embassy in Israel in Jerusalem if elected, despite claiming to disagree with Trump’s decision to move the embassy from Tel Aviv. On Tuesday, senior foreign policy adviser for the Biden campaign, Tony Blinken, said the former US vice president is against Israel’s unilateral annexation of the occupied West Bank territory.
UN Palestinian Refugee Agency Operating on 'month-to-month' Basis Scrambling to tackle COVID-19 in camps across the Middle East, the United Nation agency supporting Palestinian refugees said it only has enough cash to operate until the end of May because of American funding cuts. UNRWA’s director, Elizabeth Campbell, said the agency had only secured one-third of its 1.2 billion dollars’ annual budget and it was suffering its "worst financial crisis" since beginning operations seventy years ago.
Lebanon Bans Palestinian Refugees From Returning to The Country The Directorate of Public Security in Beirut has banned Palestinian refugees who are stranded abroad from returning to Lebanon, al-Watan Voice reported on Monday. Domestic workers are also included in the ban, with many people finding themselves suddenly removed from lists of those approved to enter the country.
Settlers and Illegal Settlements
IOF Seize vast Palestinian Land to Build Cemetery For Settlers Local sources, reported on Sunday that the Israeli authorizes had started building the largest graveyard yet in Azzun Atma village, which will contain thirty thousand burial spaces. Local researcher Abdul-Kareem Ayyoub stated that the cemetery land would also be seized from several nearby villages behind the separation wall in the Salfit area.
Israel Settler Accused of Murdering Palestinian Mum Returns to his Settlement Forty-seven-year-old mother of eight, Aisha al-Rabi, was killed in 2018 after being hit on the side of her head by a rock which was hurled by Jewish settlers through the windshield of the car in which she was travelling. The rock-throwing attack was carried out by the sixteen-year-old Jewish Israeli, who cannot be named due to a court-imposed gag order, and four others.
Israel ‘renovation’ of Ibrahimi Mosque to Involve Seizure of Palestinian Land Israel has seized municipal power from the Palestinian Authority’s Ministry of Endowments and Religious Affairs in order to “renovate” the Ibrahimi Mosque in the occupied city of Hebron. Permission for the move has been granted by Defense Minister Naftali Bennett.
Boycott, Divest, and Sanction Movement
Some 130 British MPs Call For Sanctions on Israel Over West Bank Annexation In a letter organized by the Council for Arab-British Understanding on Friday, 127 current and former Members of Parliament from across the political spectrum urged British Prime Minister Boris Johnson to make it clear that annexation is illegal under international law and “will have severe consequences including sanctions.”
Activists Challenge Point Park University President’s Attack on BDS In its 8 April issue, the Pittsburgh Jewish Chronicle published an article titled, “Anti-Semitism in all forms, including BDS, has no place at Point Park,” by Point Park University president Paul Hennigan. In contrast, over seventy individuals from a variety of disciplines and organizations wasted no time in responding to the president’s attack on the BDS movement in a letter that supports academic freedom, explains that the BDS movement is grounded in international law and human rights, and includes a strong condemnation of real anti-Semitism, which the president failed to do his Op-Ed.
Boston Students Vilified For Tackling How Israel Trains US Cops After the group received an award for creating a coalition to expose collaboration between the US police and Israel’s Forces of occupation, officials at Tufts University in Boston have denounced Students for Justice in Palestine after anti-BDS groups like StandWithUs, AMCHA, and CAMERA on Campus urged the Tufts president to rescind the award.
Jewish Scholars Call for Sacking of German Antisemitism Official for Shameful Attack on Mbembe Thirty-seven Jewish scholars have called for the replacement of Felix Klein, the German government coordinator for the fight against anti-Semitism, in a statement in response to his attack on renowned scholar Achille Mbembe. The statement calls for Klein’s replacement and calls his accusation of Mbembe as an anti-Semite “baseless, inappropriate, offensive, and harmful” and as an example of “the ‘weaponization’ of antisemitism against critics of the Israeli government.”
Democratic Bigwigs Strip pro-Palestinian Planks From a Nevada Platform, Citing Coronavirus, Jewish Community In late April, the platform committee for Nevada’s biggest county Democratic committee, in Clark County (Las Vegas), approved a platform that included three planks in support of Palestinian rights: calls to end the blockade of Gaza, to support the right of return, and to repeal anti-boycott legislation.
Israel's Court Resumes Hearing on Netanyahu-Gantz Coalition Deal Israel's Supreme Court has started the second day of a hearing to determine if a coalition agreement between Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and main rival Benny Gantz is valid as the former faces corruption charges. The Supreme Court's ruling is expected to be announced by Thursday. A ruling against Netanyahu would likely trigger a snap election, the fourth since April 2019.
PLO Welcomes ICC Report on Jurisdiction Over Palestinian Territories The Palestine Liberation Organization has welcomed the position International Criminal Court chief prosecutor that the court has jurisdiction in the occupied Palestinian territories. This means that the International Criminal Court would be able to probe on possible war crimes in the Occupied Palestinian Territories, and a major legal battle can begin.
US Court of Appeals Drop $900m Lawsuit Against PA Over Israel Attacks The US Court of Appeals of the District of Colombia has dropped a lawsuit filed in 2004 against the Palestinian Authority and the Palestine Liberation Organization, for damages suffered by American families in attacks allegedly carried out by Palestinians against Israeli targets.
Palestinian Detainee Taken to Hospital After Harsh Interrogation General Bilal al-Natsheh was among thirteen Palestinians, most of them officials, who were arrested on Tuesday morning during raids by the Israeli forces in different parts of Jerusalem and the West Bank. After a couple of hours of being interrogated, the head of the National Popular Conference in Jerusalem had to be rushed to the Israeli Shaare Zedek Medical Centre.
Israel Allows Shin Bet to Continue Using Tracking App For Virus Carriers Last month, the High Court placed a 30 April limit on such use unless it was cemented into law. Now, a parliamentary panel made a controversial decision allowing Israel’s Shin Bet security service to continue using mobile phone data for three more weeks. This has caused conflict between Israel’s right-wing parties such as Yisrael Beiteinu, Yemina, and others.
Environment, Economy, and Other
PIF Launches ‘Esnad’ Emergency Lending Program in Support For Micro and Small Enterprises The Palestine Investment Fund has launched its emergency lending program “Esnad” for the support of non-bankable micro- and small enterprises through MFIs. The program aims at enabling eligible businesses access the needed liquidity for maintaining their operations and retain their workers and employees during the state of emergency.
Palestinian Film, The Present, Qualified For the Oscars – Filmmaker Palestinian-British filmmaker Farah Nabulsi announced today that her film, The Present, has qualified for the Oscars after winning the Jury Award for Best Live Action Short. The film is about a man named Yusef who, on his wedding anniversary, sets out in the West Bank with his young daughter to buy his wife a gift.
From Canada to Gaza, Physician Uses 3D Printing to Make Medical Face Shields Loubani, a thirty-nine-year-old Palestinian-Canadian emergency physician and associate professor at the University of Western Ontario, began using 3D printers to produce medical supplies seven years ago—but not in Canada, in the Gaza Strip—under the Gila Project. Loubani is now producing personal protective equipment to combat COVID-19 in Canada and Palestine with thirteen 3D printers in a home factory operation.
Palestinian Trade Unions Highlight Plight of Workers Under Occupation and Covid-19 A May Day statement issued by Workers in Palestine on behalf of local trade unions has highlighted the dire economic situation of Palestinian workers who are the most affected by the COVID-19 lockdown under Israeli occupation.