[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
Gantz: Israel Will Impose Israeli Sovereignty in West Bank Next Month Benny Gantz, acting minister of army, announced that he would go ahead with the implementation of the annexation plan and Israeli sovereignty in the West Bank before the American Jewish Committee. Israel announced its infamous intention to annex its settlements in the West Bank and the Jordan Valley strategic area, a move included in the US President Donald Trump’s plan announced in late January and is due to take place in 1 July.
Israeli Army 'arrests' Palestinian Youth in Ramallah Raid The Israeli army raided Ramallah in the occupied West Bank on Tuesday, the first such incursion since the Palestinian Authority announced last May it would cut security coordination with Israel, a Palestinian official told AFP news agency. The PA has its headquarters in Ramallah and the city is nominally under Palestinian control, but the Israeli army has carried out numerous raids there.
Israeli Warplanes, Artillery Bomb Sites in Gaza; No Injuries Reported Israeli warplanes and artillery bombed several sites in the Gaza Strip on Monday night, according to WAFA. The bombings targeted Khan Younis, Rafah, and two more areas in Central Gaza. No injuries were reported. Israel claims that their bombings were in retaliation for a rocket that was fired into a field in southern Israel, which caused no injury or damage.
Israeli Forces Injure 3 Photojournalists Three photojournalists along with dozens of Palestinians in the occupied West Bank were injured and suffocated by the Israeli Army’s live and rubber bullets, and tear gas, Anadolu Agency reports. Murad Shtaiwi, coordinator of the Popular Resistance Committees in the town of Kafr Qaddum, Qalqilya, said the Israeli Forces used rubber bullets and teargas to disperse peaceful demonstrators.
Gaza Announces 35% Shortfall in Cancer Medicines Palestinian Health Ministry in Gaza announced on Monday that it is suffering from thirty-five percent deficit in cancer medicines, Anadolu reported. Al-Borsh said that the fourteen-year-old Israeli siege imposed on the Gaza Strip along with the restrictions put in place due to coronavirus and the sanctions imposed by the Palestinian Authority in Ramallah are the reasons for the deficit.
Gazans Resume Flying Incendiary Balloons to Israel Palestinian activists on Friday resumed firing incendiary balloons from Gaza Strip towards Israeli settlements, Anadolu Agency reports. Abu Yassir (an alias), one of the activists, told Anadolu that he and a number of Palestinian youths of the “Descendants of Nasser Salah al-Din” group are responding “to Israeli violations against al-Aqsa Mosque, as well as the decision to annex parts of the West Bank.”
Far-right Israel MK: Negev Bedouins Are a 'Time Bomb' That Should Be 'Defused' Far-right Israeli Member of Knesset and former Transportation Minister Bezalel Smotrich described the birth rate among the Bedouin community in Negev as a “demographic time bomb” that should be “defused,” Israeli media reported on Thursday. His racism was clearly on display as he continued by saying “The more Western you make them, the more the birthrate will come down,” stating that his goal was “to maintain the Jewish majority, not just in Israel, but in the Negev.”
For the First Time in Weeks, Palestine Records Double-digit Coronavirus Cases in West Bank After weeks of a slowdown in the number of new coronavirus cases in Palestine, the Minister of Health said on Wednesday that the situation was back to double-digit with eighteen new cases recorded since the morning. Health Minister Mai Alkaila said seventeen new cases were recorded this afternoon in the southern West Bank city of Hebron and nearby Tafooh of people who had tested positive after they were in contact with infected patients.
Israel Approves Remdesivir Drug for COVID-19 Treatment Israel approved on Tuesday the use of Gilead Sciences Inc’s antiviral drug remdesivir for the treatment of patients with COVID-19 infection. Remdesivir is the first drug shown to be effective against the novel coronavirus in human trials, with South Korea, Japan, India, the United States, and Singapore having already approved it for emergency use.
Fearing Israel Invasion, PA Destroy Secret Documents Palestinian Authority security services have destroyed secret documents, fearing Israeli Occupation Forces may invade the West Bank and break into its offices, Rai al-Youm reported on Tuesday. Sources, who refused to disclose their identities, said: “We have been ordered to destroy confidential documents in our possession and we have obeyed this order.”
Hamas: Ready to Work With Fatah Against Annexation Hamas Deputy Chief Saleh al-Arouri said on Monday that his movement is ready to work with rival movement Fatah to face Israel’s annexation plan. In a televised interview with al-Aqsa TV, Arouri said: “We are ready to put our differences behind us and work together with Fatah and the Palestinian Authority to face the annexation plan.” He stated that the factions have all been in contact in an attempt to “reach a consensus on a joint national program against the Israeli plan.”
New Irish Government Reneges on Occupied Territories Bill The program of the newly formed government of Ireland does not include the Occupied Territories Bill that has been awaiting passage through the lower house of the Irish parliament. In so doing, this law would “make it an offence for a person to import or sell goods or services originating in an occupied territory or to extract resources from an occupied territory in certain circumstances.”
UN Rights Experts Condemn Israel's Annexation Plan, US Support A joint statement, signed by nearly fifty independent experts, voiced dismay at US support for Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's "unlawful" plan for de facto annexation of land the Palestinians seek for a state. What would be left of the occupied West Bank, after the annexation of about thirty percent, would amount to a "Palestinian Bantustan," it said.
Update | UNSC to Convene on June 24 to Discuss Israel’s Annexation Plan – Official Permanent Observer of Palestine to the United Nations, Riyad Mansour, said today that the United Nations Security Council will be meeting on 24 June at the level of the foreign ministers to discuss Israel’s plan to annex parts of the occupied West Bank. Speaking to official Voice of Palestine radio, Mansour said invitations for the meeting were sent out to the foreign ministers of many countries, including the member states of the Non-Aligned Movement and the Arab League.
US Ambassador Says Israeli Leaders Have Failed to Reach Annexation Agreement The US Ambassador to Israel David M Friedman and Israeli leaders failed to reach agreement on the annexation plan at a meeting yesterday, local media have reported. Friedman is known to support Israel’s illegal settlements built on Palestinian land. Early on Sunday, it was reported that Friedman intended to reach an agreement on annexation acceptable to both sides.
Israel to Dispatch Head of Spying Agency to Ask Arab Countries to Accept Annexation Chief of Israeli Mossad, Yossi Cohen, is set to visit Arab countries to persuade them not to accept the planned annexation of the occupied West Bank, al-Rai al-Youm reported on Monday. Quoting Israeli TV Channel 11, the Arabic paper said Cohen would visit both Arab countries with and those that do not have relations with Israel in order to discuss the plan which Israel is set to put into place next month.
Netanyahu: Putin Saved Israel From UNSC Resolution to Create Palestine State Russian President Vladimir Putin saved Israel from a potential United Nations Security Council resolution in 2016 that would have forced the occupation state to setup a Palestinian state along the 1948 borders, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has revealed. According to Israel Hayom, approximately six months ago, Netanyahu said that he had asked a “friend,” whom he referred to as “the leader of one of the superpowers who holds veto power in the UN Security Council,” to vote against the resolution.
Canada's Support for Israel in the Spotlight Ahead of Key UN Vote A poll conducted by EKOS Research Associates and published on Tuesday, showed that three out of four Canadians want their government to express opposition to Israeli annexation in some form, while forty-two percent supported sanctions. The survey's authors said it "confirms that Canadian foreign policy is out of touch with the preferences of Canadians" as Ottawa competes for a non-permanent seat at the UNSC against Norway and Ireland.
UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson Opposes Israel's West Bank Annexation Plan UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson said yesterday that Israel’s plan to annex parts of the occupied West Bank constitutes a “breach of international law,” adding that his government strongly objects it and will continue to work towards the achievement of the two-state solution.
Settlers and Illegal Settlements
Israel to Build New Settlement Named After ‘Trump’ Israel is to construct a new illegal settlement and name it after US President Donald Trump in order to “express gratitude” for his services to the Zionist regime. The new settlement, located in the Golan Heights, will be named “Ramat Trump” which means “Trump Heights” in English, according to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
Israeli Settler Threatens Palestinian Family At Gunpoint Today, an Israeli settler intercepted a Palestinian car with a man and his wife in it as it was passing on Bypass Road 60, south of Bethlehem, and threatened them with his personal machine gun. According to PNN, the settler stopped his car in front of the Palestinian car and got out of it while taking his personal machine gun, pointing it in their faces.
'American Road' to Cut off West Bank From East Jerusalem Construction is under way on a controversial road through occupied East Jerusalem. Palestinian activists say the so-called "American Road" is part of a wide-ranging plan to cut the eastern half of the city off from the occupied West Bank. It is meant to connect settlements much more efficiently. Rasem Obeidat of the Land Protection Committee says it will effectively make it impossible for Jerusalem to be capital of Palestine.
Boycott, Divest, and Sanction Movement
European Court of Human Rights Deals Major Blow to Israel’s War on Palestine Solidarity The European Court of Human Rights ruled unanimously today that the French highest court’s 2015 criminal conviction of activists with the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement advocating nonviolent boycotts of Israeli goods violated Article 10 (freedom of expression) of the European Convention on Human Rights. It confirms a 2016 European Union position defending the right to call for BDS against Israel to achieve Palestinian rights under international law.
The Co-owner of Total Wine is An anti-BDS, Democratic Congressman Who Donates at Least $100,000 to AIPAC Every Year Jewish Insider has an article on Rep. David Trone up today. Trone represents Maryland’s 6th district and he is the co-founder/co-owner of Total Wine & More, which operates 208 stores across twenty-four states. Total Wine & More is also the largest retailer of Israeli wines in the United States. The piece explains how Trone has donated to the American Civil Liberties Union and American Israel Public Affairs Committee for many years but has seemingly stopped supporting the ACLU on account of their opposition to anti-BDS laws.
World Council of Churches Calls for EU Sanctions on Israel Israel should be punished with European Union wide sanctions if it goes ahead with its planned annexation of further Palestinian territory, the World Council of Churches has said in a letter to the foreign ministers of the twenty-two-country block. Urging the European Union not to make exceptions for Israel, the council said that the body should apply sanctions on Israel “at least commensurate with those adopted by the European Union in response to Russia’s annexation of Crimea.”
Israeli Court Sentences Palestinian Detainee to Six Years An Israeli military court sentenced today Palestinian detainee Salem Ghaleb Abu-Bakr, twenty-eight, to six years and eight months in jail and a fine of eighteen thousand shekels. Abu-Bakr, who comes from the city of Jenin in the north of the West Bank, was arrested in April 2018 during a raid by the Israeli army on his family’s house.
Israel Re-detains Palestinian Shortly After Releasing Him Salah Hussein, who comes from the village of Beit Duqqu in the occupied West Bank, was just released by Israeli authorities when he was detained by prison guards at one of the Israeli detention facilities, according to the Palestinian Prisoner’s Society. No reason was given for the re-detention of Hussein.
Euro-Med Monitor: Trump's Executive Order Against ICC Obstructs International Justice The United States’ measures against the International Criminal Court officials directly provides cover for human rights violators and obstructs international justice, the Euro-Mediterranean Human Rights Monitor said in a statement.
100 Law Experts Warn Against Israel’s Annexation of West Bank Over a hundred jurists and law scholars from around the world, including scores from Israel, have said Israel’s plans to annex the occupied West Bank would “constitute a flagrant violation of bedrock rules of international law, and would also pose a serious threat to international stability in a volatile region.”
Environment, Economy, and Other
“Shareeka”: an Online Platform to Enhance Gender Economic Equality in Palestine In cooperation with Canada Feminist Fund, launched an online platform “Shareeka” to enhance gender economic equality in Palestine, and raise awareness of women’s economic rights. The “Shareeka” project aims to contribute in raising awareness of the Palestinian public in general and women in particular about economic participation, in addition to a change in community awareness, policies and legislation that work to enhance gender economic equality and the full empowerment of women in Palestinian society.
Home Gardening Plants Seeds for Palestinian Self-sufficiency With unemployment and poverty rates surging due to the coronavirus pandemic, Palestinians have returned to working their land, and vegetable gardens are sprouting alongside homes in the occupied territories. One of the early initiatives arrived courtesy of the municipality of Beit Sahour, a town east of Bethlehem, which distributed a variety of vegetable and herb seedlings for residents to grow in their yards—including tomatoes, eggplants, cucumbers, onions, and potatoes.