[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
Behind the Lens: Remembering Muhammad al-Durrah, 20 Years on On 30 September 2000, a Palestinian cameraman from Gaza, Talal Abu Rahma, shot a video of a father and his twelve-year-old son under fire on the Saladin Road, south of Gaza City. The boy, Muhammad al-Durrah, was mortally wounded and died soon after. The video of Jamal al-Durrah trying to shield his son as bullets rained down on them was aired by France 2, the news channel Abu Rahma was working for. It became one of the most powerful images of the second intifada.
Palestinian Youth Shot And Injured by Israeli Soldiers in the South of the West Bank Israel soldiers tonight opened fire at Palestinians in the town of Surif in the south of the West Bank injuring one, according to Palestinian security sources. They told WAFA that the soldiers fired live rounds at Palestinians in Surif injuring a sixteen-year-old boy in the chest. He was taken to hospital in Hebron where he was immediately admitted to surgery.
Israeli Occupation Forces Summon Jerusalem's Palestinian Governor For Questioning The Israeli Occupation Forces today summoned the Palestinian Authority's governor of Jerusalem, Adnan Ghaith, to questioning, according to local sources. They said Ghaith was ordered to appear before Israeli intelligence officers at the Russian Compound police station in West Jerusalem this evening.
Adding Pandemic to Injury With Gaza’s authorities imposing new lockdowns and travel restrictions–adding to those imposed by Egypt and Israel–in response to a new and dangerous spike in virus cases since August, perhaps those who are hit the hardest are those waiting to go abroad for surgery. Nearly eight thousand Palestinians were injured during the twenty-one months of Great March of Return protests, causing a health crisis in Gaza that has been compounded by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Egyptian Army Kills Two Palestinian Brothers at Sea The Egyptian military fatally shot two Palestinian fishers and injured a third off the Gaza coast. Hasan Muhammad al-Zazou, twenty-six, was sailing with his brothers Mahmoud, twenty, and Yasser, eighteen, near the maritime boundary between the Gaza Strip and Egypt on Friday. Their boat is suspected to have crossed into Egyptian waters, according to Gaza-based human rights group al-Mezan. The Egyptian navy then opened fire at the boat, killing Hasan and Mahmoud, and injuring Yasser.
Khaled Calls for Unity in Struggle Against Occupation on Al-Aqsa Intifada Anniversary Tayseer Khaled, member of the Executive Committee of the Palestine Liberation Organization, warned of the dangerous consequences of the policy of the Tel Aviv government in occupied Jerusalem, especially in the blessed al-Aqsa Mosque, holding it responsible for the deterioration of the situation, if it continues its irresponsible policy of wholesale demolition of citizens’ homes and the policy of transfer and silent ethnic cleansing in the city and its suburbs and continued to restrict the freedom of Palestinian citizens to reach al-Aqsa Mosque and allow settlers to storm its courtyards and engage in acts of orgy and religious rituals in a manner that stirs the feelings of Palestinian citizens.
Will the Latest Reconciliation Talks Between Fatah and Hamas Succeed? The agreement of both parties is undoubtedly historic, and a Palestinian election would rejuvenate the leadership and its agendas. The Palestinian Authority will hold the international community responsible for respecting the electoral will of the Palestinian people and put pressure on Israel to allow elections in occupied Jerusalem. Most importantly, it will be a test of the universal standards of democratic nations and whether they will endorse the Palestinians’ election choices.
In Lieu of a Liberation Strategy: Palestinian Elections are Designed to Buy Time The expeditious declaration that rivals Fatah and Hamas are finally ready for democratic elections, is a cunning but, ultimately, futile initiative. The agreement will buy Abbas time to promote himself as a political moderate, although free and democratic elections can never be held under occupation. It is doubtful that any kind of elections, free or otherwise, is possible.
Israel Normalization Deals Will Not Usher in Peace. Just More US Arms Sales The new “peace agreements” will ensure confrontation and fuel an arms race, while providing an Israeli security umbrella to Gulf rulers. not only are such agreements between Israel and the Gulf states built with the policy principle of "peace for armaments," but the United States is continuing with a long record of maintaining Israel’s regional dominance and contributing to a state of increasing militarisation and conflict in the Middle East in the name of peace.
PM: Financial Crisis is a Result of US-Israeli Money War Against the Palestinians The financial crisis facing the Palestinian government is due to the money war waged by the United States and Israel against the Palestinians, today said Prime Minister Muhammad Shtayyeh. Speaking through a video conference at the weekly cabinet meeting in Ramallah, Shtayyeh also said that the discontinuation in Arab financial support has also contributed to this crisis.
Op. Why is EU Rewarding Israel for Annexation? Last month the Israeli foreign minister Gabi Ashkenazi was invited by German foreign minister Heiko Maas to meet all European foreign ministers in the context of the European Union Foreign Affairs Council. Palestine was not invited. Regardless of any explanations with regards to European Union-Israel relations, the occasion was seen as a reward for “suspending” a formal declaration of annexation.
AOC Reversal on Yitzhak Rabin Event Deals Blow to Israel Lobby On Saturday, Americans for Peace Now confirmed that Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez has pulled out of its event next month honoring Yitzhak Rabin, the Israeli prime minister who was assassinated by a Jewish extremist twenty-five years ago. This came after a massive outcry from Palestinians and supporters of Palestinian rights, due to Rabin’s personal role in atrocities, including the 1948 ethnic cleansing of Palestine and the brutal crackdown against Palestinians protesting military occupation during the first intifada.
British Police May Deploy Israeli Drone Used to Kill Palestinians Police in the United Kingdom have tested a killer Israeli drone and may deploy it along with the helicopters they use for tracking protesters and general surveillance. The National Police Air Service announced last week that it had “made use of the Elbit Systems Hermes 900 as part of a wider trial.” Elbit is Israel’s biggest private arms manufacturer. Their Hermes 900 drone was first deployed in 2014 to bomb Palestinian civilians in Gaza.
Peace without Justice: Why Israel's Left Supports Netanyahu's Gulf Agreements According to Orly Noy, “the sad, discouraging fact is that the Jewish left in Israel hastened to embrace an agreement the main goal of which, alongside opening another market for Israel's arms industries, is to circumvent the Palestinian question and gain regional legitimacy while continuing to perpetuate the occupation, abuse and dispossession of the Palestinian people. I think it is not by chance that the Zionist left has chosen to make 'peace' its emblem, rather than the idea of justice the left’s argument that an agreement with the UAE and Bahrain ‘took the annexation option off the table’ is embarrassingly infantile. Annexation from the outset was an idle threat designed to provide Israel with precisely this kind of room to manoeuvre.”
Settlers and Illegal Settlements
Shams Report Documents Hundreds of Home Demolitions and New Installations by Israel Human Rights and Democracy Media Center “SHAMS” launched its semi-annual observatory on Israeli demolitions, confiscations, evictions and seizures against Palestinian establishments, whether religious, tourist, industrial, commercial, educational, official or agricultural, with a focus on residential ones. Which came under the title “The semi-annual monitoring report on Israeli demolitions against Palestinian houses and installations by “Israel” the occupying authority in the occupied Palestinian territory.” As a specialized observatory, it is the first in Palestine in this regard.
Boycott, Divest, and Sanction Movement
Students at Two Universities Just Voted to Divest From Israel The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and Columbia University have both passed historic resolutions calling for divestment from Israel. Last week, the Illinois Student Government passed a resolution calling for the school to divest from transnational companies that contribute to the American and Israeli military, prisons, police forces, or ICE.
Israel’s War Industry Embraces Emirates With Open Arms Palestinians are calling for a boycott of Mohamed bin Zayed University of Artificial Intelligence in Abu Dhabi. Earlier this month, the newly established university–named after the crown prince of the United Arab Emirates–held a virtual signing ceremony for a cooperation agreement with Israel’s Weizmann Institute of Science.
Scientific Journal Refuses Normalization of Settlement-based Ariel University The scientific journal Molecules has taken steps to avoid normalization of Ariel University, an Israeli academic institution located in an illegal Israeli settlement in the occupied Palestinian territory in violation of international law. Molecules recently announced a special issue with a guest editor from Ariel University, whose affiliation was falsely listed as “Ariel University, 65 Ramat HaGolan Street, Ariel, Israel.” Academics supporting the call from authoritative Palestinian higher education bodies for non-recognition of Ariel University raised concerns with Molecules over this misleading information.
Law and Prisons
‘No one cares’: Palestinian Citizens Decry Israeli Inaction on Gun Violence A fifth of the state’s population, Palestinian citizens of Israel have long felt that they are living in a state of lawlessness in their communities, with the Israeli authorities doing little to curb organized crime and rampant illegal gun ownership. This violence, activists argue, does not happen in a vacuum. Although there are circumstances that serve as a catalyst for violence in Arab communities—such as oppression, poverty, unemployment, and low educational opportunities—those are not the main reasons for the phenomenon, asserts Touma-Sliman. The main reason, she says, is Israel’s discriminatory attitude toward its Palestinian citizens.
Israeli Prison Ban on Phone Calls Risks ‘breaking spirits’ of Palestinian Minors Palestinian security prisoners in Israel, and minors in particular, are suffering from deteriorating conditions as a result of the coronavirus crisis. Without phone calls and visits, these prisoners have been cut off from the world for months—with no end in sight. As of August, there were one hundred forty Palestinian minors in Israeli prisons, according to the rights group Addameer.
Environment, Economy, and Other
Bethlehem: Tourism Employees Raise Sounds of Protest to Seek Support Dozens of oriental antique shop owners, hoteliers, tourist guides, and employees of the tourism sector organized a protest in Bethlehem today, in front of one of the biggest souvenir oriental antique shops in the city, The Three Arches, which was turned into a “vegetable shop,” as a sign of protest and seeking support amidst the economic collapse due to the pandemic.
Jerusalemite Children And Youth Face Challenges in Digital Rights Protection 7amleh – The Arab Center for the Advancement of Social Media published “Digital Safety Among Jerusalemite Children and Youth”. The report explores the needs and capacities of Palestinian children and youth in East Jerusalem regarding digital safety through quantitative and qualitative research methods.
HRW : University of Toronto Rescinding Job Offer to Pro Palestine Law Scholar a Threat to Academic Freedom The University of Toronto’s law school allegedly rescinded a job offer for director of the law school’s International Human Rights Program in response to external pressure about the candidate’s scholarship and work on Israeli government violations of international law, Human Rights Watch Canada said yesterday in a statement. If true, it added, "not only does this do serious harm to the academic freedom, integrity, and reputation of the university’s human rights program, it creates a dangerous chilling effect on other scholars’ rights to research and advocacy."
IHRA Definition of anti-Semitism Silences Solidarity The recent use of the controversial IHRA definition of anti-Semitism to silence political speech about Palestine shows what a dangerous weapon it is. Originally passed by the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance in 2016, the actual definition within the IHRA Working Definition of Anti-Semitism is vague but not particularly controversial. The threat to speech critical of Israel arises with the eleven examples which are instrumental to how the definition is meant to be applied.
Redefining anti-Semitism on Facebook Several years ago, the Israeli Ministry of Strategic Affairs alongside students from IDC, an Israeli university in Herzliya, helped create ACT.IL, an “online community that will act to promote a positive influence on the international public opinion towards the state of Israel via social media platforms”. ACT.IL established an army of trolls and then developed an app to make their work more effective by coordinating mass reporting of Facebook posts critical of Israel. Soon, it became clear that no army of trolls can cope with monitoring the massive amount of content on Facebook. That is why, right-wing Zionist organizations have recently begun pressuring Facebook to include criticism of Israel as part of its own definition of hate speech.
Stranded in Gaza Whenever it has been possible to leave Gaza in recent years, large numbers have emigrated. Building new lives abroad has generally meant that emigrants only visit friends and relatives in Gaza every once in a while. Lately, people who have come to Gaza for what they thought would be brief spells have found that they have been unable to leave.
YouTube, Zoom and Facebook Censor Leila Khaled for Israel Major Silicon Valley companies censored an event at San Francisco State University on Wednesday. This means that during the pandemic, private companies closely aligned with the government have immense power over what can be said, even in an academic setting. Zoom, the web-based videoconferencing platform, announced Tuesday evening that it was prohibiting SFSU from using its software to host a planned webinar on Wednesday with Leila Khaled, the Palestinian resistance icon who is now in her seventies and lives in Jordan.
Culture and Art
Video: Palestinian Puppeteers Bring Theater to Gaza Puppet theater may be an old-fashioned performance art, but it is enjoying a revival in the Gaza Strip. With no professional puppeteers in Gaza, Mahdi Karira taught himself all he knows about puppetry. He then went on to form a troupe called Khuyut, Arabic for strings, in Gaza City in 2018. It includes more than a dozen puppeteers who have created at least thirty-five puppets.
Anti-Zionism versus anti-homophobia? Anthropologist Sa’ed Atshan’s Queer Palestine and the Empire of Critique examines how LGBTQ Palestinians and their allies struggle to combat homophobia without reinforcing Israeli homonationalism. Coined by queer theorist Jasbir Puar, “homonationalism” marks some nation-states’ recent shift to include certain gay and lesbian subjects as they exclude Muslim and Arab others perceived as threatening to the body politic. Rooting his reflections in his queer Palestinian identity, Atshan combines media analysis with interviews and ethnographic research he conducted in order to examine queer Palestinian activism since the early 2000s.