[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
Lebanon's Hezbollah Accuses Israel of Fabricating Border Clash Hezbollah denied its fighters staged an "infiltration attempt" that led to clashes with Israeli Forces on Monday calling the Israeli account a move to create "false victories". The Lebanese armed group also vowed revenge for a Hezbollah member killed in a suspected Israeli air strike in Syria last week saying a response against Israel was "coming for sure".
Israel Soldiers Destroy Another Palestinian Coronavirus Testing Center Israeli Forces on Tuesday demolished a Palestinian coronavirus testing center at the entrance of the city of Hebron in the occupied West Bank, Anadolu Agency reported. As the structure was nearing completion, Israeli bulldozers destroyed it.
Palestinian Minor Kidnapped By Undercover Israel Soldiers According to local witnesses, undercover Israeli Forces were in a civilian car with which they abducted twelve-year-old Moath Ewewi from Issawiya and drove him away to an unknown destination.
Israel Soldiers Arrested For Smuggling Weapons to Palestinians The suspects, who were stationed at a military checkpoint located in the occupied Hebron Hills, south of Jerusalem, allegedly collaborated with Palestinian truck drivers and smuggled merchandise, stolen vehicles and weapons into the occupied West Bank.
Israeli Occupation Military Infiltrates Northern Gaza Border, Raze Farmland Israeli Occupation military vehicles today infiltrated Gaza border to the north of Beit Hanoun town in the northern besieged enclave and razed farmlands, reported WAFA correspondent. Israel’s Occupation Forces regularly breach the Gaza borders to destroy land and build dirt mounds as part of creating a buffer zone along the borders not accessible to Palestinians.
Palestinian Babies Denied By the Israeli Occupation Authorities the Right to Travel With Their Mothers The Israeli Occupation authorities yesterday denied two Palestinian women the right to leave the West Bank via the crossing with Jordan with their newly born babies under the pretext the babies were not registered in Israel despite the fact they are West Bank Palestinian citizens, according to the Palestinian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Expatriates.
Shin Bet Have Been Secretly Spying on Israelis’ Phones For Years Israel’s internal security agency, Shin Bet, has been secretly tracking Israeli citizens for at least two and a half years and had access to their phones’ content, which may still be ongoing as part of a program to fight Daesh, reported Channel 13. The Dark Box program was reported to be approved by a team of senior Justice Ministry officials, headed by then-state attorney Shai Nitzan as well as Attorney General Avichai Mandelblit, but was not subject to parliamentary oversight, legislation, or any regulations.
OPINION: Israel's Nightmare: The Dissolution of the Palestinian Authority It seems that there is an increasing likelihood that the Palestinian Authority will be dissolved, or at the very least, its powers greatly reduced. If the Palestinian Authority proceeds with dissolving its security apparatus, the onus of providing security in the West Bank will fall on the Israeli authorities, which hides many risks for them.
Israel: Many Held in Protests Over Gov't Handling of Coronavirus Thousands of people have protested in Israel against Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu over alleged corruption and his handling of the coronavirus. Israeli police have arrested twelve people and used water cannon in Jerusalem before dawn on Sunday to disperse furious demonstrators protesting against the government's handling of the coronavirus crisis, police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld said.
Israel Sees Record Surge in Coronavirus Cases Israel saw a record rise in coronavirus infections on Wednesday, with 1,977 new cases, according to the country’s Health Ministry, Anadolu reports. Israel lifted most of the COVID-19 measures after the daily number of virus cases dropped below twenty last month, reopening schools, universities, shopping malls and restaurants.
Palestine Police Uncover Counterfeit Money Network in Gaza Palestinian police officers in the Gaza Strip revealed on Wednesday that they have uncovered a network producing counterfeit money. Hundreds of coins and notes produced in three workshops have been confiscated. According to the police statement, four people have been arrested in connection with the production of counterfeit money.
Hamas Rejects Offer of $15bn in Return For Disarming The Palestinian Islamic Resistance Movement revealed on Monday that it had rejected a fifteen billion dollar offer for Israel to lift its siege imposed on Gaza on condition that it disarms and abandons resistance to the occupation.
Meshaal Proposes Plan to Confront Israeli Annexation Former Hamas leader Khaled Meshaal’s proposal is part of a “political vision” produced for the Arab Thinking Forum in London. According to Arabi21.com, the proposal is based mainly on rebuilding the Palestinian national program and reformation of the Palestinian Authority in a way that enables it to face up to the measures imposed by Israel.
Why are Palestinian Citizens Staying out of the anti-Netanyahu Protests? Journalist Yaser Abu Areesha did not spot any Palestinian citizens among the demonstrators aside from himself, the Israeli Public Broadcasting Corporation journalist Suleiman Maswadeh, and Joint List head Ayman Odeh. Why? Abu Areesha says that Palestinians in Israel are at a different starting point from most of the people taking part in the current protests. From their perspective, this is a struggle for change that does not include Palestinians, and that they therefore have little interest in.
Two Palestinians Killed in Israel as Crime Wave Continues Two Palestinians holding the Israeli nationality were last night shot dead in the Arab cities of Yafa and Umm al-Fahm in Israel, marking the latest episode in a continuous crime wave blamed for Israeli police's inaction towards rising violence in the Arab community in the 1948 land.
The Israel Lobby Has Spent $2 Million to Defeat Ilhan Omar Members of both US parties spent months last year lambasting the progressive Minnesota Congresswoman, branding her antisemitic for claiming that the pro-Israel lobby influences US policy and discourse with its political spending. As the controversy’s latest installment plays out, federal campaign finance records show the pro-Israel lobby is doing just that — spending heavy in an attempt to oust Omar.
In Defiance of Popular Opinion, DNC Rejects Motion to Condition Aid to Israel Over Annexation On Monday, the Democratic National Committee’s platform committee voted down an amendment that would have added the word “occupation” to its platform and conditioned aid to Israel if the country moved forward with its proposed annexation of the West Bank. A 2019 Center for American Progress poll which found that fifty-six per cent of American voters believe the U.S. should stop giving Israel unconditional aid if the country continues to expand settlements or annexes portions of the West Bank.
Hamas Condemns US’ Claims It Is Responsible for Gaza Suffering In comments to the United Nations Security Council, Craft held Hamas responsible for the dire humanitarian conditions in the Gaza Strip, which has been under a strict Israeli siege since 2006 after the movement won democratic Palestinian elections. Palestinian Resistance Movement Hamas described allegations made by US Ambassador to the UN, Kelly Craft, as “lies, fabrications and political bullying”.
Brazilian-Israeli Relations: The Turning Point Jair Bolsonaro’s rise to power in 2018 launched a completely new chapter in Brazil’s foreign policy and its relationship with Israel and the Arab-Israeli conflict. Israel and Brazil have since strengthened bilateral ties under the right-wing president. The two leaders announced a “brotherhood” between their countries that would boost defense ties, the economy, employment, security, water, and industry.
Palestine, France Sign €10 Million Agreement on Health, Water, Civil Society Palestine and France today signed a ten-million-euro agreement in support of the health, water, energy and the civil society sectors. The agreement was signed by Finance Minister Shukri Bishara, who represented the Palestinian government, and the French Consul General in Jerusalem, René Troccaz, and the French Development Agency Director, Catherine Bonnard, who represented the French government.
Settlers and Illegal Settlements
Israeli Settlers Raid Palestinian Quarry in West Bank Hardline Israeli settlers attacked a quarry in Jamma’in village, which is located southwest of the Palestinian city of Nablus in the occupied West Bank. The settlers stormed the quarry, spray-painted remarks on its walls, and tried to set fire to a bulldozer and an excavator on the site.
Israeli Settlers Set Fire to Palestinian Mosque in Fresh Price Tag Attack A group of Israeli settlers has torched a mosque in the central sector of the occupied West Bank amid continued acts of vandalism and violence by settlers, known as price tag attacks, against Palestinians and Muslim holy sites.
Palestinian Cyclists Attacked By Israeli Settlers A group of Palestinian cyclists were attacked Saturday by Israeli settlers in the occupied West Bank after a trail app landed them on a remote path dotted with Jewish settlements, Reuters reported. The settlers began throwing rocks at the cyclists and beating them with metal rods. Photos the cyclists took after the incident, which they reported to Israel’s police, show Samer’s legs and arms bruised and bloodied. The cyclists assert that navigation apps fail to grasp the West Bank’s complexity.
Boycott, Divest, and Sanction Movement
BDS Success: Luton Town FC Drop Puma as Kit Supplier Following Pressure From Palestine Solidarity Campaign Activists Championship team Luton Town FC have announced they have dropped PUMA as their first-team kit supplier, switching to UMBRO for the upcoming 2020/21 season. The decision has been hailed as a victory by Palestinian rights campaigners, who have been targeting PUMA for its sponsorship of the Israel Football Association, which includes teams based in illegal Jewish-only Israeli settlements based on stolen Palestinian land.
Meet the UK Students Fighting For Their Universities to Cut Ties with Israeli Apartheid Apartheid Off Campus is a newly formed student network fighting to sever the ties between UK universities and the Israeli occupation. Research recently released by the Palestinian Solidarity Campaign shows that UK universities continue to invest over 580 million dollars in companies complicit in Israeli apartheid.
Palestinian Prisoners’ Club Closes Offices Due to Lack of Funds The Board of Management of the Palestinian Prisoners’ Club has announced that it is closing its offices in the occupied West Bank, Al-Quds Al-Araby reported on Sunday. Only the main offices in Ramallah and Qalqiliya will remain open. The head of the Council, Qaddura Fares, attributed the closure to the ongoing financial crisis arising from the fact that half of the funding for the organization comes from the Palestinian Authority.
Knesset Passes Coronavirus Law, Sidelining Coronavirus Committee The Knesset voted through sweeping powers to the Israeli government to manage coronavirus on Wednesday. The law will allow the Israeli government to extend the state of emergency at sixty-day intervals, up from forty-five -a power which will apparently expire by June 30, 2021.
Palestinian Prisoners Have No Right to Social Distancing Against COVID-19: Israel's Supreme Court Rules Israel’s Supreme Court rejected yesterday a petition by Adalah, The Legal Center for Arab Minority Rights in Israel, demanding the Occupation authorities to implement COVID-19 protective guidelines for prisoners at Gilboa prison, where at least three dozen are infected. The court ruled late on Thursday evening that Palestinians held in Israeli prisons have no right to social distancing protection against the COVID-19 pandemic, said Adalah in a press statement.
Environment, Economy, and Other
Israel is Ridiculous, Antiquated And Based on Lies About Other People’s Land, Seth Rogen says, But He’s Afraid to Tell Other Jews Writer/comedian Seth Rogen was on the Marc Maron podcast yesterday, promoting his new movie “An American Pickle,” which involves Jewish life in the U.S. His remarks went viral when he said, “And I also think that as a Jewish person, like I was fed a huge amount of lies about Israel my entire life. You know, they never tell you, that oh by the way, there were people there. They make it seem like it was– just sitting there, oh the fucking door’s open!” This seems to be a switch from his previous politics, evidenced in a 2014 statement that he signed standing by Israel as it massacred hundreds in Gaza.
Study: Israel's Plans to Annex West Bank Could Damage the Environment Israel’s plans to annex illegally occupied Palestinian territory could seriously damage the environment, a study by the Avara Institute for Environmental Studies claimed. The effects include exacerbating the damaging effects of climate change, including threatening the region’s strategic water supplies, endangering the food security of Palestinians and bring an end to essential cross-border environmental collaboration.
Wage Crisis Worsens in Gaza The Palestinian Authority has not paid the full wages of its employees in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip since May, citing a severe financial crisis. In Gaza, some 38,000 people rely on Palestinian Authority salaries, down from 60,000 in 2017, when the Palestinian Authority began reducing its Gaza wage burden by enforcing early retirement.
Israel Faces Double Whammy in Goal to Preserve Ethnic Majority in Palestine Israel is expected to face a massive post-pandemic wave of emigration and a significant drop in the rate of immigration, the country’s leading demographer warned in an interview with Haaretz. Drawing attention to the highly sensitive issue of the Zionist state’s demographic makeup, which over the decades has been maintained as a Jewish majority through ethnic cleansing and violent gerrymandering of boundaries, Professor Sergio Della Pergola warned that high unemployment rate, coupled with political discontent, could drive young Israelis away.