[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
Ofek 16: Israel Launches New Spy Satellite In a statement on Monday, Israel's Ministry of Defense and Israel Aerospace Industries said "Ofek 16" was shot into space at 4am local time [01:00 GMT]. There were no further details on the satellite's mission, but Israeli public radio said it would be used to monitor the nuclear activities of regional rival Iran.
Israel Targets Hamas Post in New Air Raids on Gaza Strip Israel has said it carried out fresh air raids on the Gaza Strip in response to three alleged rockets fired from the besieged Palestinian enclave. Palestinian media outlets said an Israeli fighter jet targeted a position belonging to Hamas, the group that administers the Gaza Strip, in the al-Zaytoun neighborhood. Agricultural land in the area was also reportedly hit.
NYT: Israel Planted Bomb at Iran Nuclear Site Israel was behind an explosion at an Iranian nuclear facility last week caused by a powerful bomb, according to a report in the New York Times. Citing an unidentified “Middle Eastern intelligence official,” the report alleges that Israel was responsible for the attack on the Natanz nuclear plant on Thursday, this claim was also made by a member of the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps who said an explosive was used.
Palestine: State of Emergency Renewed For 30 Days The Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas on Sunday issued a decree renewing the state of emergency for thirty days starting today, to confront the continuing spread of the coronavirus. The decree states that: “The competent authorities will continue to take all necessary measures to face the dangers resulting from the Corona virus, protect public health and achieve security and stability.”
Fatah, Hamas Address Future National Vision in Joint Press Conference Secretary general of Palestine Liberation Organization Central Committee Major General Jibreel Rjoub and the Deputy Head of the Political Bureau of Hamas Saleh al-Arouri, on Thursday held a joint press conference to address future national tactics and the reconciliation government, in synchronization with the US-Israeli annexation plans.
In Gaza, Families Plead For Help After Two Infants Die Awaiting Permits For Medical Treatment in Israel Two infants have died in the Gaza Strip awaiting permits for medical treatment in Israel, a tragedy that Palestinians anxiously fear could expand in the coming weeks. Permits for Gaza’s sickest patients to receive treatment in Israel and the West Bank ended abruptly on 19 May when Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas announced an end to coordination with Israel.
Israel Report: Significant Rise in Racism Against Ethiopia Jews Gant Dasa, chief executive of Migrants Together, a non-profit organization for Ethiopian Jews, said in a report published by Yedioth Ahronoth that “racism is very common among all Israelis. The day I see them protesting against the conditions of the Ethiopian community, then I will start believing that something positive is taking place…Ethiopian community constitutes only 1.6 per cent of the Israeli public, Ethiopian Jews suffer from a phenomenon that is well known to the American society, where minority groups are being stigmatized due to their dark skin color.”
Fatah: We Will Deal With Israel 'like an enemy' If It annexes the West Bank Secretary general of Fatah‘s Central Committee, Major General Jibril Rajoub, yesterday stressed that his party will “deal with it [Israel] like an enemy” if it proceeds with its planned annexation of the occupied West Bank. Rajoub called Hamas a “complete partner” in the battle against Israel’s intention to extend sovereignty.
‘Palestinians will not raise the white flag’ Says Palestine Archbishop Atallah Hanna In a press release sent to mass media, Hanna stated: “May God help the Palestinian people who endure the sufferings under coronavirus, unemployment and poverty.” The archbishop continued: “May God help this nation amidst these circumstances which includes conspiracies aiming to liquidate our people, our just cause which is the most just and noble cause in modern human history."
Gaza to Send Doctors to Help Face West Bank Tackle Coronavirus The Palestinian Minister of Health in the besieged Gaza Strip has today decided to dispatch a team of doctors to the occupied West Bank to help fight the coronavirus. In a press release, a copy of which sent to MEMO, Deputy Health Minister in Gaza Dr Yousef Abu al-Rish said: “A well-qualified team of physicians are preparing to travel to the West Bank to help their colleagues fight the coronavirus.” Meanwhile, Gaza has not recorded any new cases for more than three weeks.
Palestinian Rights Group Concerned About ‘surge’ in Gaza Suicide Attempts At least seventeen people have taken their own lives in the impoverished Gaza Strip this year and hundreds more have attempted suicide, a Palestinian human rights group has claimed. “These have mainly been among young people,” explained Samir Zaqout, the Deputy Director of Al Mezan Centre for Human Rights.
Egypt, France, Germany And Jordan Warn Israel Over Annexation The foreign ministers of Egypt, France, Germany, and Jordan have urged Israel to abandon plans for annexing settlements in the occupied West Bank, warning such action could have "consequences" for relations. Netanyahu's office made no announcement on 1 July, but said talks were continuing with US officials and Israeli security chiefs.
Over Annexation Plan, Chilean Senate Approves Resolution Calling For Review of All Agreements with Israel The Chilean Senate on 1 July approved, by twenty-nine votes in favor, six abstentions and no votes against a resolution that called for the review of all Israeli-Chilean agreements, as well as to promote legislation to ban all Israeli settlement products, ban companies involved in the Israeli occupation to benefit from any agreements or bidding signed by Chile, promote tourism guidelines for Israel and Palestine in order not to allow the promotion of trips to Israel using pictures of East Jerusalem or Bethlehem, to forbid any kind of cooperation, including monetary, with the Israeli colonization of occupied Palestine and to make sure that no organizations operating in Chile will have any tax benefits if they are involved in the occupation of Palestine.
Ashrawi Welcomes Global Call By International Women Leaders Against Israeli Annexation Hanan Ashrawi, member of the Executive Committee of the Palestine Liberation Organization, welcomed today the global call by over forty international women leaders against Israeli annexation plan of occupied Palestinian territory. The statement is signed by former heads of state, parliamentarians, Nobel Peace Laureates and senior United Nations and human rights officials.
Palestinian Americans Release Statement of Principles For Support to US Candidates in 2020 Elections Dozens of Palestinian Americans, including celebrities and imminent figures, declared on 4 July a set of principles and criteria, according to which Palestinians in the United States, as a group or as individuals, will determine their support to candidates running for federal offices. These principles include the recognition of the right to Palestinian self-determination, commitment to ending the Israeli occupation, granting equal rights to all peoples living under Israeli control, and the right of the Palestinian refugees to return to their homes.
Vatican Summons US, Israeli Envoys Over West Bank Annexation Moves The Vatican, in a highly unusual move, summoned both the US and Israeli ambassadors to express the Holy See’s concern about Israel’s moves to extend its sovereignty to Jewish settlements and the Jordan Valley in the West Bank, Reuters reports.
Germany Votes to Take Steps to Stop Israel’s West Bank Annexation Plans The German parliament passed a resolution yesterday urging the government in Berlin to use its close ties with Israel to prevent Tel Aviv from annexing large swaths of the occupied West Bank. The resolution calls for Berlin to use its “special relations and contacts [to Tel Aviv] to express to the Israeli government our concerns and our urgent demand to refrain from the annexation of parts of the West Bank and from the continued expansion of settlements, both of which contradict international law.”
Settlers and Illegal Settlements
Israel to Begin Construction of 164 New Settlement Units in Bethlehem Head of the Wall and Settlement Resistance Committee in Bethlehem, Hassan Brejiyah said that the Settlement Council the West Bank announced the start of work for building 164 new settlement units in the “Neve Daniel” settlement, south of Bethlehem. Brejiyah added that, according to Hebrew sources, this settlement expansion aims to create a new neighborhood in the “Neve Daniel” settlement at the expense of the citizens’ lands in the towns of al-Khader and Nahhalin, which will put hand on dozens of agricultural dunums.
Israeli Settlers Torch Palestinian-owned Olive Tree Fields in North of West Bank Israeli settlers torched this morning fields planted with olive trees in the town of Huwarra, south of the northern West Bank city of Nablus, according to Ghassan Daghlas, a local activist.
In Their Effort to Expand Illegal Outposts, Israeli Settlers Set Up Mobile Homes on West Bank Land Israeli settlers set up mobile homes on land in the northern West Bank village of al-Sawiyeh in an effort to expand their illegal outposts in that area, according to a local official. Activists say the illegal settlement of Rahalim has been growing at the expense of the local Palestinian population and has taken over several hilltops by first building shacks and setting up tents to later become stone structures and a full-fledged settlement.
Boycott, Divest, and Sanction Movement
+320 Latin American Public Figures, Including Former Leaders, Call for Sanctions on Israel Over 320 public figures from Latin America, including former leaders, signed yesterday a statement calling for imposing sanctions on Israel in response to its plan to annex portions of the occupied Palestinian territory and for its apartheid practices, according to the Palestinian Boycott, Divestments, and Sanctions Movement.
Biggest Dutch Pension Fund Dumps Israeli Banks Dutch pension fund ABP announced last month that it has stopped investing in two Israeli banks involved in Israel’s violent colonization of the occupied West Bank. ABP is the biggest pension fund in the Netherlands, and one of the world’s largest, with about five hundred billion dollars in assets.
Elderly Palestinian Prisoner in Israel Dies of Cancer; Group Blames Medical Negligence A seventy-five-year-old Palestinian man from Gaza serving a life sentence in Israel for resisting the occupation has died of cancer, said the Palestinian Detainees Commission, which in turn blamed his death on medical negligence by the Israel Prison Service. Sadi Gharabli, from Shajayeh in the northern Gaza Strip, had served twenty-six years of his life sentence when he died of prostate cancer.
Environment, Economy, and Other
Palestinian Government to Pay Its Employees Only 50 Percent of Their Monthly Salary - Finance Minister Citing financial strains and one month after not paying salaries for its 180,000 employees, the Palestinian government said today that it will pay only fifty percent of the May salary for its employees and nothing for the June salary.
Lebanon Bans Palestinians From Buying Subsidized Dollar Syndicate of Money Changers in Lebanon has banned none-Lebanese citizens from buying subsidized dollars, al-Watan Voice reported on 5 July. It affects university fees and residences of the Palestinian refugees abroad, in addition to the affordability of rent fees and even food prices.
Israel Feels Exposed As US Drops Satellite-imaging Cap An Israeli official flagged a possible security risk on Monday following a US move to allow American providers to sell clearer satellite images of Israel and the Palestinian territories. Under a 1997 US regulation known as the Kyl-Bingaman Amendment, satellite images of Israel and the Palestinian territories used in services like Google Earth could show items no smaller than two meters across. But the US Commercial Remote Sensing Regulatory Affairs Office said on 25 June it would allow enhanced resolutions of 0.4 meter.
Israel Facing $16.9bn Budget Deficit, Its Worst in History The economic consequences of the pandemic are set to push Israel’s state deficient to 16.9 billion dollars, its highest rate in history. Israel’s budget deficit has widened to 6.4 percent of gross domestic product for the twelve months ending 30 June 2020, the Ministry of Finance reports, up from six percent at the end of May.
Bella Hadid Says ‘proud to be Palestinian’ After Instagram Deletes Story Showing Her Father's Birthplace Bella Hadid has hit out at Instagram after the site deleted a story post of her father’s expired passport, which listed his place of birth as Palestine, saying she’s “proud to be Palestinian.” Hadid, twenty-three, shared the picture last week, writing, “My baba and his birthplace of Palestine,” but revealed yesterday Instagram had removed the post for violating “community guidelines.”