Feb 01 07:52

Qatar pledges $360 million in aid to Palestinians in Gaza

The Qatari government on Sunday said it would provide $360 million in assistance for the Gaza Strip during the coming year, renewing a program that has helped reduce fighting between Israel and the territory's Hamas rulers.
Qatar, an energy-rich Gulf country, has been providing $20 million to Gaza each month since 2018.

The payments have paid for much-needed electricity, helped Hamas cover the salaries of its civil servants and provided monthly $100 stipends to scores of impoverished families.

Qatar has provided additional funds for development projects such as new roads and hospitals.

Israel and Hamas are bitter enemies that have fought three wars since the Islamic militant group took control of Gaza in 2007.

The fighting, combined with an Israeli blockade and continued infighting with the rival Palestinian Authority, have ravaged Gaza's economy.

Feb 01 07:49

Jewish Settlers Set up Caravan on Palestinian Land

Jewish settlers last night set up a caravan on a Palestinian-owned land near the village of Bidya, in the occupied West Bank district of Salfit, apparently in a prelude to establishing a new settlement outpost, according to the Palestinian news agency WAFA.

Three vehicles brought the caravan at about 3:30 pm last night and installed it in the Khallet Hassan area, on the outskirts of the village that has been facing an imminent threat of confiscation for the benefit of the Israeli settlement project.

Jan 30 11:05

Israeli Forces Demolish Mosque in Masafer Yatta

Israeli forces Wednesday demolished a mosque in the Bedouin community of Azwadeen, east of Yatta city, south of Hebron, according to the Palestinian news agency WAFA.

Coordinator of the Protection and Steadfastness Committees, Fuad al-‘Amour, told WAFA that Israeli forces escorted bulldozers into Khirbet Umm Qassa in the Bedouin community of Azwadeen, in what is called the Eastern Slope, where the heavy machinery tore down the mosque, reducing it to rubble.

The demolition was carried out less than two weeks after soldiers posted demolition notices against the mosque and a local school, which serves 50 students from three marginalized communities, purportedly for being built without licenses.

Meanwhile, soldiers seized a tin-sheet health unit in Khirbet al-Rakiz hamlet in Masafer Yatta.

Masafer Yatta is a collection of almost 19 hamlets that rely heavily on animal husbandry as the main source of livelihood.

Jan 30 11:02

Israeli Forces Destroy Nature Reserve, Uproot 10,000 Trees in Jordan Valley

The Israeli army on Wednesday destroyed a natural reserve and uprooted at least 10,000 trees in a military campaign in the northern West Bank in a move that Palestinians termed a “crime”.

Moataz Bisharat, who is responsible for monitoring Israeli settlement activity in the Jordan Valley, told Anadolu Agency that the occupation army pushed military vehicles and dozens of soldiers into the Ainun area in Tubas city in the morning and destroyed a nature reserve built on an area of about 400 dunums (98 acres).

The occupation army “chopped down and destroyed about 10,000 forest trees and about 300 olive trees,” he said.

Trees were planted in the nature reserve eight years ago as part of the Greening Palestine project supervised by the Palestinian Ministry of Agriculture and funded by the Venezuelan consulate in Palestine.

Jan 30 08:10

Dubai and Tel Aviv plan to dismantle the UNRWA

In August last year, the United Arab Emirates and the Israeli regime decided to normalize - or as critics put it - to publicize their relations. Since then, many bilateral agreements in various areas such as technology, media, and tourism have been made.

Whereas these deals have been announced with much fanfare, Dubai and Tel Aviv are reportedly in cahoots with each other over issues they prefer to keep secret.

One of them is the elimination of UNRWA, or the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees.

Jan 30 07:55

Apartheid is too mild a concept

Apartheid is too mild a concept for the way Israel deals with Palestinians under its control when they show any level of resistance. Three days ago, The Guardian published a daring admission by the director of B’Tselem, the largest human rights organization in Israel, of the Apartheid reality that runs throughout Israel and all of the Palestinian Territories that it occupies. It is the standard way Israel deals with Palestinians whether they are its citizens, its permanent residents as in the case of the East Jerusalem population, or subjects of its military occupation in Gaza and the West Bank.

Jan 28 12:16

Biden’s UN Nominee Vows to Work Against BDS Movement

During Senate confirmation hearings on Wednesday, President Biden’s nominee to be the UN ambassador vowed to be a staunch supporter of Israel if she is confirmed.

As part of her comments on Israel, Linda Thomas-Greenfield said the actions of people that support the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) movement are “unacceptable.” BDS is an international campaign that calls on people to pressure Israel over its human rights violations and occupation of Palestinian territory through various boycotts.

“It verges on anti-Semitic, and it’s important that they not be allowed to have a voice at the UN, and I intend to work against that,” Thomas-Greenfield said. Her comments line up with the previous administration. During one of his last trips to Israel, former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo had called BDS a “cancer” and said the movement is “anti-Semitic.”

Jan 26 08:35

UK turns to “counterterror” law to repress Palestine Action

Solidarity campaigners shut down an Israeli drone parts factory in the UK for several hours last week.

Three activists from Palestine Action were arrested outside the Elbit Systems factory in Shenstone in the Midlands on 18 January. This is the third time the factory has been hit in five months.

Red paint symbolizing the deaths of Palestinians was also sprayed across the factory front yard.

Jan 26 06:50

'Vaccination apartheid': Gaza struggling with Covid-19 infections while Israel rolls out jab

In the intensive care unit of the European Gaza Hospital lie 50 critically ill Covid-19 patients. Their doctors are not confident that the available medical supplies will be sufficient to keep them alive in the next few weeks.

With the hospital's capacities dwindling due to the rising numbers of coronavirus cases, and the already fragile healthcare system, the chances of survival for Covid-19 patients with chronic diseases in the Gaza Strip remain slim.

As of Monday 25 January, the total number of Covid-19 cases in the blockaded enclave stands at 49,834, of whom 508 died.

Jan 26 06:50

Israeli Health Minister likens his obligation to vaccinate Palestinians to Palestinians’ responsibility to care for ‘dolphins in the Mediterranean’

Andrew Marr of the BBC grilled Israeli Health Minister Yuli Edelstein about why Israel is not extending its vaccination program to the Palestinian people in territories it occupies, and Edelstein said Israel has no more obligation to them than the Palestinian minister of health has to “take care of dolphins in the Mediterranean.” Yes, you heard that right.

Here’s the exchange. It’s amazing that American media are covering Israeli vaccination rates as if they’re some kind of model. (Richard Engel of NBC, among others).

Jan 26 06:49

Jewish Settlers Assault Shepherds near Bethlehem

Jewish settlers today assaulted Palestinian shepherds in Kisan village, to the east of the occupied West Bank city of Bethlehem, according to the Palestinian news agency WAFA.

Mayor of Kisan, Ahmad Ghazal, told WAFA that settlers from the illegal Jewish settlement of Ibei Hanahal hurled rocks toward a number of shepherds, injuring one, and released dogs towards the sheep, which devoured the heads of several sheep.

Jan 25 10:21

Why Israel is a settler-colony

When I first began my journey into the Palestine solidarity movement two decades ago, there was much debate about whether or not Israel is truly an apartheid state.

These days, of course, the debate is over. Even the liberal Israeli human rights group B'Tselem now defines Israel as an apartheid regime.

Back then, broadly speaking, those who opposed – or at least questioned – the use of the term "apartheid" in relation to Israel had two main arguments (neither of which I've ever found convincing).

First of all, they claimed that Israel and South Africa have very different histories, and so it's inaccurate to make an analogy between the two. This claim was made then, and is still made today by Israel's propagandists, in defence of Israeli apartheid.

Jan 25 08:34

Palestinian worker killed by tear gas as Israeli forces arrest three youths

Israeli forces in the occupied West Bank detained three young men from the town of Qabatiyeh near Jenin in the northern West Bank on Sunday morning and blew up two vehicles they were travelling in.

Elsewhere in the West Bank, a 48-year-old Palestinian worker died after inhaling tear gas fired by Israeli forces near the Israeli separation wall in Tulkarm.

Muntasir Salloum, the head of the Palestinian Prisoners’ Club in Jenin, told The New Arab’s Arabic-language service that there was no information regarding the circumstances of the three men’s arrests, why their cars had been blown up, or where they were taken after they were detained.

Jan 25 08:34

Palestinian Central Elections Commission Invites EU to Observe Upcoming Elections

The Palestinian Central Elections Commission (CEC) extended an official invitation today to the European Parliament and the European Union (EU) to observe the upcoming Palestinian elections.

EU Representative, Sven Kuhn von Burgsdorff, received the invitation during his meeting today with the CEC Chairman, Hanna Nasser, at the CEC headquarters in Al-Bireh, where Nasser stressed the importance of international observation to the electoral process, particularly by the EU, as a long-running key partner to the CEC.

Jan 23 08:29

Israeli settlers leave Palestinian children bloody and bruised in latest attack

A six-year-old Palestinian boy and his three-year-old brother were wounded on Thursday night after a group of masked Israelis attacked their family’s car outside the occupied West Bank city of Ramallah.

Majd, six, sustained injuries to his face after being hit with a rock, while Jad was cut by broken glass. Their father, Alaa Sawfta, remained relatively unharmed, while their mother’s arm was hurt by another rock thrown at the vehicle.

The family had just left their home in Ramallah and were on their way to visit relatives in the northern West Bank city of Tubas. It was a drive that Sawafta, his wife and children did at the end of every week, and at first everything seemed normal.

Jan 22 11:01

EU anti-Semitism chief stands by blatant lie

This is a story about how European Union officials evade accountability when they are caught in a blatant lie for the benefit of Israel.

Earlier this week I wrote about a major legal victory for supporters of Palestinian rights in Spain.

In 2015, activists from the group BDS País Valencià called on a music festival to cancel a performance by Matthew Paul Miller, the singer who uses the stage name Matisyahu, because he had made anti-Palestinian statements and had helped raise money for the Israeli occupation army.

This month, a court in Valencia threw out hate crime accusations against the activists. The judges found that they were only contesting Miller’s presence in the festival because of his alleged views on Israeli policy, “not because of his Jewish status, religion or any other circumstance.”

Jan 22 11:00

Media bias: CNN and NPR are afraid to say “Apartheid” out loud

On January 12, the respected Israeli human rights group B’Tselem released a bombshell report entitled “This is Apartheid: Jewish Supremacy from the Jordan River to the Mediterranean Sea.”

The “apartheid” label is big news – especially from an Israel-based organization. It is relevant to every American because our government gives Israel $10 million a day in aid.

Those familiar with the Israel-Palestine issue have known for years that Israel is an apartheid regime – but also know that the bias in mainstream media has led to a shortage of deep reporting on stories critical of Israel (If Americans Knew has been reporting on it since the organization’s inception).

Jan 22 10:56

Israeli settlers attack Palestinian homes with petrol bombs

Israeli settlers threw petrol bombs at two Palestinian homes in the occupied West Bank village of Burin, near Nablus, on Thursday evening, Wafa has reported. When local residents rushed to try to extinguish the resultant fire, Israeli occupation forces fired rubber-coated metal bullets and tear gas at them.

The soldiers then entered the village and opened fire on the villagers. Many suffered from tear gas inhalation, and one resident in his 30s was arrested.

The attack came shortly after groups of extremist settlers sealed off several roads and junctions and attacked Palestinian vehicles with stones and empty bottles. Eyewitnesses said that the Jewish settlers who hurled the petrol bombs were identifiable but were not detained by the security forces.

Jan 22 10:55

Israel police prevent Palestinian workers from appearing in court to hide abuse

The Israeli police have refused to bring Palestinian workers who have been arrested while working without permission in Israel to court to hide police brutality against them, Haaretz newspaper reported on Thursday.

Haaretz said that a large police force attacked a group of Palestinian workers in the Modiin settlement near the occupied city of Jerusalem, causing fractures and severe physical harm.

According to the paper, the police attacked the workers in a construction site after receiving a false tip claiming that they planned to carry out an attack in the settlement, noting that two workers suffered various fractures on the body and face and a dislocated shoulder.

The judge at the Magistrate's Court in Petah Tikva demanded the Israeli police clarify how they dealt with the detainees, and to explain why they decided not to bring three of them to the court.

Jan 22 10:54

Israeli settlers threaten to kill Palestinian bus drivers in occupied West Bank

Israeli settlers have called for the murder of Palestinian bus drivers in the occupied West Bank, the Times of Israel has reported. Racist graffiti reading "Kill Arab drivers" was sprayed in Modi'in Illit, the largest illegal settlement in the occupied Palestinian territories.

Other graffiti warned that "The damage won't stop" until Israeli-run Kavim Bus Company stops employing Arabs. The word "revenge" was also sprayed on the back of a bus. The Israeli army claims to have launched an investigation into the graffiti.

"The writing on the wall is clearer than ever," said Kavim. "The day isn't far away when drivers will be harmed, and it doesn't matter what sector they're from."

Jan 22 10:31

The Separate Regimes Delusion

Last April?,?Haaretz?ran a statement warning the Israeli government against formally annexing its settlements in the occupied West Bank. Opinion polls showed that the public didn’t care much about the issue, but political elites were debating it fiercely. Both proponents and opponents of annexation claimed that the future of Israel and Zionism was at stake. The statement argued that ‘annexation would mean a fatal blow to the possibility of peace and would be the establishment of an apartheid state.’ It was signed by 56 former members of the Knesset, among them former ministers of the interior, foreign affairs, finance and more than a dozen other departments, as well as former ambassadors, generals in the Israeli army, chairs of political parties, a head of the semi-governmental Jewish Agency for Israel, a former speaker of the Knesset, and a winner of the Israel Prize.

Jan 22 09:14

Human rights org B’Tselem defies Israeli orders to stop teaching about apartheid

Israel’s Education Minister announced a ban this week on human rights groups from entering Israeli public schools, a move seen by many as a response to a bombshell report from B’Tselem, one of the country’s leading human rights groups, calling Israel an “apartheid state”.

Minister Yoav Gallant said on Sunday that he was banning members of groups that “call Israel false derogatory names” from entering Israeli schools — something commonly practiced by groups like B’Tselem to educate Israeli youth on their work documenting human rights violations in places like the occupied Palestinian territory.

Jan 22 08:09

Pregnant Palestinian Woman Miscarries After Inhaling Tear Gas Fired by Israeli Military

A Palestinian woman who was seven months pregnant suffered a miscarriage last Thursday after Israeli forces repeatedly fired tear gas toward her home in Mughayir village, east of Ramallah,

Areej Abu Alya, 37, was hospitalized for several days with severe bleeding following the firing of over a hundred tear gas canisters by the Israeli military in front of and around her home over the course of the previous week.

Her home is located in an area scheduled by Israeli authorities for forced takeover, and Palestinian residents protest the Israeli military’s actions on an almost-daily basis.

According to Iyad Abu Alya, Areej’s husband, “We live in a very dangerous area. Tear gas canisters are scattered around the house and inside, and I can no longer collect them immediately to throw them out of our children’s reach.”

Jan 21 11:25

Filmmakers denounce Israel ban on Palestinian documentary 'Jenin, Jenin'

Filmmakers and cinema producers on Wednesday denounced an Israeli court decision to ban the screening of the 2002 Palestinian documentary Jenin, Jenin, three years after a libel and defamation case was filed by an Israeli army officer against the Palestinian director Mohammad Bakri.

Bakri, a renowned actor and filmmaker, was asked by Lod District Court on Monday to pay $55,000 in damages to Nissim Magnagi, an Israeli officer who appears in the film, for defamation, and $15,000 for legal expenses.

All 23 copies of the film will be seized, and it will be banned from screening in all Israeli cinemas.

Jan 21 11:25

Israel Bulldozes Structures in Al-Arakib Village for the 182nd Time

The Palestinian Bedouin village of al-Arakib, was demolished, for the 182nd time, on Wednesday, have once again been displaced by the Israeli authorities, Palestinian WAFA News Agency reported.

Israeli officials forced their way into the rural community and bulldozed the tents that the community had re-constructed out of wood and nylon as use for shelter in the cold rainy winter.

The unrecognized al-Arakib village, north of Beersheba, in the Negev desert region of Israel, was destroyed by authorities one month ago, on December 17, 2020. The inhabitants continue to stay on the land and they attempt to rebuild each time the state tears down structures.

Jan 21 10:45

Israel censored this film. Watch it here

Every act of censorship inadvertently achieves its opposite by drawing attention to its subject.

Last week, an Israeli court ordered the 2002 film Jenin, Jenin to be banned in Israel and all copies of it confiscated.

The film – which was directed by Mohammed Bakri, a Palestinian citizen of Israel – has been the subject of censorship attempts since its release around 18 years ago.

Jan 20 08:03

Biden State pick backs two-state solution, but doubts prospects

Anthony Blinken tells Senate recognition of Jerusalem as Israel's capital will remain and embassy to stay in the city, adds that administration will return to nuclear deal if Iran returns to compliance and will seek a more comprehensive agreement

Jan 19 08:48

Torture, trauma and intimidation: How Israel treats Palestinian child prisoners

Imagine waking up in the dead of the night to heavily armed soldiers pounding on your door.

They barge in, wreak havoc in your home, abduct your teenage child or sibling from their bed without telling you what they’re charging them with or where they’re taking them.

This is how the journey often begins for hundreds of Palestinian children who are detained by Israeli occupation forces and tried in military courts – or held without charge or trial – every year.

That journey is detailed in two recent reports by human rights groups that lay bare the experience of Palestinian children when they are imprisoned by Israel.

Jan 19 08:25

2 Gaza rockets fired toward Ashdod land in sea; IDF strikes Hamas in response

Palestinian terrorists in the Gaza Strip fired two rockets toward the southern Israeli city of Ashdod before dawn on Monday, which landed in the sea just off the coast of the city, the army said.

The projectiles did not trigger warning sirens, the Israel Defense Forces said. There were no injuries or damage reported.

Jan 19 07:33

Why calling Israel an apartheid state is not enough

B’Tselem, a leading human rights group in Israel, recently released a report concluding that Israel is an apartheid state, with a regime of Jewish supremacy stretching from the Jordan River to the Mediterranean Sea.

The report found that Israel meets the definition of apartheid under international law, which defines apartheid as “inhuman acts committed for the purpose of establishing and maintaining domination by one racial group of persons over any other racial group of persons and systematically oppressing them”.

The report received widespread international media attention and was described as a “watershed” moment. But it was only a watershed moment for B’Tselem, which was using the term “apartheid” for the first time in its three-decade history, and for an international community that is so infatuated with Israeli voices. For Palestinians, none of this is new.

Jan 18 10:53

Not ‘apartheid in the West Bank.’ Apartheid

For just six months of its 73 years was Israel a democracy. Six months, and not one day more. This shocking fact, which most Israelis and the wider world repress and truth-seekers have no way of denying, must resound in every civics lesson and every debate in Israel.

All the nonsense about “Bibi is destroying democracy” ignores this eternal fact: Only for six months did the state treat all the people under its rule in a democratic way, at least for the sake of appearances. Throughout all its decades of existence, Israel has treated part of its subjects tyrannically. That’s why it has no connection at all with democracy.

On October 21, 1948, Israel put its Arab citizens under a military government. On December 1, 1966, Prime Minister Levi Eshkol lifted this disgrace. Six months later, in June 1967, military tyranny returned to define Israel when its newly occupied territories were placed under military rule.

Jan 18 10:09

780 West Bank Settlement Housing Units In Palestinian Lands, Approved Ahead of US Presidential Transition

The Higher Planning Council (HPC) of the Civil Administration approved today plans to build 780 housing units in settlements, most of them deep in the West Bank (714 units (92%) in settlements that Israel will have to evacuate under a peace agreement, according to the Geneva Initiative model). Among other things, the HPC approved for deposit the legalization of two illegal outposts: Havat Yair with 96 units of which 82 units are already (illegally) built, as a “neighborhood” of the Yakir settlement, and the outpost of Nofei Nehemiah with 118 units, as a “neighborhood” of the Rehelim settlement which itself was an illegal outpost that was legalized in recent years.

Jan 18 09:15

Palestinian Official: Jewish Settlers Call for Demolition of Dome of the Rock

Israeli occupation authorities have taken the measurements of the Dome of the Rock while Jewish settlers are calling for its demolition, Director of Al-Aqsa Mosque Sheikh Omar Al-Kiswani announced on Friday.

Al-Kiswani described what is being done inside Al-Aqsa Mosque and the Dome of the Rock as “a dangerous measure”.

Jan 14 13:59

Israel applies double standards in determining if violence is acceptable or not

"Shocking scenes of violence" was how the Jewish Insider described last week's storming of the Capitol Building in Washington DC by supporters of outgoing US President Donald Trump. It is a dissociative statement, one that does not equate the US with violence, apart from glossing over the fact that Trump himself encouraged and incited such action in his own country.

But perhaps the greatest dissociation comes from Israeli diplomats, whose statements are bizarre. The article quotes the former Israeli Ambassador to the US, Michael Oren: "Israel has faced an impossible dilemma: how to embrace the historic achievements of the Trump White House while dissociating from its incendiary domestic acts." Briefly, Israel admires US violence and disregard for the law on foreign territory, especially when used to benefit Israel, such as the string of diplomatic concessions which have paved the way for the "postponed" annexation of more Palestinian land.

Jan 13 07:09

Israel is an 'apartheid' state, says the country's leading human rights group

Israel is an “apartheid” state operating to advance “the supremacy of the Jews over the Palestinians”, a leading Israeli human rights group said on Tuesday, breaking from the consensus, even among Israel's left, that the country is a democracy.

In an eight-page report entitled “A regime of Jewish supremacy from the Jordan River to the Mediterranean Sea: This is apartheid”, B’Tselem described all of present-day Israel and the occupied Palestinian territories as being organised “under a single principle: advancing and cementing the supremacy of one group - Jews - over another - Palestinians”.

“By geographically, demographically and physically engineering space, the regime enables Jews to live in a contiguous area with full rights, including self-determination, while Palestinians live in separate units and enjoy fewer rights.

Jan 13 07:08

Israeli Court Bans Film Documenting Army Massacre in Jenin (VIDEO)

The Palestinian Ministry of Culture condemned today a ban by an Israeli court on playing the film “Jenin Jenin” by the artist Mohammad Bakri and the heavy fine imposed on him.

The Israeli District Court in Lydda in central Israel yesterday banned playing the film in Israel and ordered Bakri, the film director, to pay 175,000 Israeli shekels ($55,000) in damages to an Israeli soldier who appeared in the film that documented the Israeli army massacre in Jenin during the April 2002 military incursion of that northern West Bank city that left dozens of Palestinians dead and most of the city’s refugee camp leveled to the ground.

Jan 10 12:04

Israeli Settlers Severely Beat 78-Year-Old Palestinian Man

n almost biblical figure emerges from a cave carved into the rock. An old man, clad in a black robe, a white keffiyeh wrapped around his bearded, deeply wrinkled face, his pants held up with a rope, his feet in flip-flops, climbs slowly from the cave. Meet Khalil Haraini, a farmer of 78 who was born here on this land and will likely die on it. He lives in the cave with two of his sons, and together they work the adjacent family plot, 20 dunams (five acres) of wheat fields and barley. The brown soil has been plowed in furrows and is well-tended; now a green carpet sprouts from it.

Jan 10 09:34

Israeli Jews defending apartheid

Lawrence Davidson highlights how Israeli racism and apartheid, which emanate from Israel's founding ideology, Zionism, has culminated in the ultimate apartheid law, the "Nation-State" Law, which "confirms in law a process that condemns non-Jews to a legal no-man’s-land".>>

Jan 08 23:58

The ACTUAL Truth About Palestine in response to Danny Ayalon (2013)

Israel's Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Danny Ayalon in a video titled "Israel Palestinian Conflict: The Truth About the West Bank" told lies and FALSE historical facts relating to the Israeli Palestinian conflict. Here 2 courageous Palestinian ladies responding with facts to all the lies he told in the video.

Spoiler alert: Sharon born in Palestine, 1928.

Jan 08 08:21

Palestinians Fear Israelis Promoting COVID Vaccine As Covert Means To Sterilize And Kill Them

Despite the heavy promotion of the COVID vaccination in the Israeli media, the Palestinians in East Jerusalem have all but ignored it — convinced that the vaccines will be used as part of the decades-long, ongoing effort to ethnically cleanse Jerusalem — and all of eretz Israel — of its Palestinian population:

The least crowded coronavirus vaccination center in Israel might be in East Jerusalem’s Beit Hanina neighborhood. On Tuesday morning, the brand-new clinic opened for business but it was nearly empty, bereft of people waiting to be immunized….

Only 20 percent of Palestinian East Jerusalem residents over the age of 60 have been vaccinated, compared to about 75 percent of Jews over 60 in the city as a whole, according to a Home Front Command assessment published in the Haaretz daily Tuesday.

Jan 07 07:19

New year off to bloody start in West Bank

The new year is off to a deadly start in the occupied West Bank where Israeli soldiers reflexively use lethal force against Palestinians.

A Palestinian man was shot dead by soldiers at a settlement road junction near the West Bank city of Bethlehem on Tuesday. The military claimed that the slain man, identified as Ahed Abdulrahman Qawqas, 25, had thrown a knife at soldiers.

No one besides Qawqas was injured during the incident, as in countless other alleged attacks on Israeli soldiers in which only the accused Palestinian assailant was injured, often fatally.

Israeli outlets published photos of a meat cleaver that was reportedly found at the scene where Qawqas was killed.

It is not clear whether Qawqas posed a life-threatening danger when he was shot dead.

Jan 06 08:16

Israel went on demolition spree in 2020

While people around the world were told to stay home due to the pandemic, Israel made more Palestinians homeless in 2020 than it has in years.

Israel demolished and confiscated more than 850 Palestinian structures throughout the year, displacing 1,000 people. More than half of those displaced were children.

Israel targeted almost any kind of structure Palestinians need for sustainable life, including homes, agricultural buildings, infrastructure and water sanitation facilities.

The number of demolitions last year was also the highest annual total since United Nations monitoring group OCHA began keeping records in 2009 – with the exception of 2016.

Jan 05 10:34

Soldiers Fire Concussion Grenades In A Palestinian Hospital In Tulkarem

Israeli soldiers invaded, on Monday at dawn, the northern West Bank city of Tulkarem, before storming into Thabet Thabet governmental hospital, and fired several concussion grenades.

Dr. Haitham Shadeed, the director of the hospital, said the soldiers invaded the external area of the hospital approximately at 3:30 at dawn, before storming the main floor of the medical facility.

He added that the soldiers fired several concussion grenades into the reception area, and the Emergency Unit, causing anxiety attacks among many patients, doctors of workers.

The invasion into the hospital was carried out simultaneously as the soldiers stormed the city, Tulkarem refugee camp, and Ektaba area, in the eastern part, before breaking into and ransacking many stores.

Jan 03 07:38

Palestinians excluded from Israeli Covid vaccine rollout as jabs go to settlers

Israel is celebrating an impressive, record-setting vaccination drive, having given initial jabs of coronavirus shots to more than a 10th of the population. But Palestinians in the Israeli-occupied West Bank and Gaza can only watch and wait.

As the world ramps up what is already on track to become a highly unequal vaccination push – with people in richer nations first to be inoculated – the situation in Israel and the Palestinian territories provides a stark example of the divide.

Israel transports batches of the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine deep inside the West Bank. But they are only distributed to Jewish settlers, and not the roughly 2.7 million Palestinians living around them who may have to wait for weeks or months.

Jan 02 07:31

Joe Biden should end the US pretence over Israel’s ‘secret’ nuclear weapons

Every recent US administration has performed a perverse ritual as it has come into office. All have agreed to undermine US law by signing secret letters stipulating they will not acknowledge something everyone knows: that Israel has a nuclear weapons arsenal.

Part of the reason for this is to stop people focusing on Israel’s capacity to turn dozens of cities to dust. This failure to face up to the threat posed by Israel’s horrific arsenal gives its prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, a sense of power and impunity, allowing Israel to dictate terms to others.

But one other effect of the US administration’s ostrich approach is that it avoids invoking the US’s own laws, which call for an end to taxpayer largesse for nuclear weapons proliferators.

Jan 02 07:30

Israel orders house demolitions in Jerusalem, prompting local Palestinians to 'build tents'

Several Palestinian families are in danger of being made homeless following new demolition orders in East Jerusalem's Silwan neighbourhood.

Residents of Al-Bustan were served with demolition orders by the Israeli municipality in December, and in the absence of a home, families risk becoming homeless and having to live in tents.

Fakhri Abu Diab is one such person served with an order – which, if carried out would cost some $30,000.

He had built his property without permission, as he was denied four times since applying in 1987.

Jan 02 07:29

Israeli forces shoot Palestinian in neck as they attempt to confiscate generator

Israeli forces shot a 24-year-old Palestinian man in the neck on Friday as they attempted to confiscate a generator from a group of Palestinians.

The man, identified as Harun Abu Aram, is currently hospitalised and in critical condition, Israeli rights group B'Tselem said in a statement following the incident in the village of A-Rakeez in the South Hebron Hills.

Abu Aram, along with three unidentified men, was seen on a video captured at the scene attempting to stop five armed Israeli soldiers from confiscating an electric generator.

Dec 31 08:02

Israeli Soldiers Open Fire at Palestinian Workers near Apartheid Wall, Injure Two

Two Palestinian workers were today injured by Israeli army gunfire near the apartheid wall in the Yabad area, southwest of the northern West Bank city of Jenin, according to the Palestinian news agency WAFA.

Local sources told WAFA that the two Palestinians, one from the town of Qabatia, and the other from Nazlet Zibda village, were shot with live bullets in the leg as they were attempting to go to work inside Israel.

Dec 29 11:56

Israeli minister orders jails not to vaccinate Palestinian security prisoners

Israel's Public Security Minister Amir Ohana told the country's prison service late last week not to inoculate Palestinian security prisoners, an Israeli newspaper has revealed.

The order came despite health ministry guidelines that prisoners should be part of the second group of Israelis to be vaccinated against the Covid-19 coronavirus, together with security personnel, Haaretz wrote on Sunday.

The report came as Israel began its third coronavirus lockdown at 5pm (15:00 GMT) on Sunday, with most people forced to stay within 1,000 metres of their home.

Dec 29 07:25

Israel said planning to advance settlement building before Biden enters office

Israel is expected to greenlight settlement construction ahead of the inauguration of US President-elect Joe Biden, according to a television report on Saturday night.

The Defense Ministry body responsible for authorizing settlement construction is expected to convene in the next two weeks — for the first time since the November US election — to advance plans for building in the West Bank and East Jerusalem, according to the Kan public broadcaster.

Dec 29 07:24

Hundreds of Settlers Attack Palestinian Homes in Sheikh Jarrah

In the pre-dawn hours of Sunday morning, hundreds of Israeli settlers attacked Palestinian homes, businesses and vehicles in the Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood of East Jerusalem.

This is a neighborhood that has been designated by Israeli authorities as an area to be colonized by Israeli settlers, and the past several years have seen numerous violent assaults against Palestinians and Palestinian property, as Israeli colonizers move in and force out the indigenous Palestinian inhabitants.

The Sunday morning attacks took place around Road 1 in Sheikh Jarrah. The settlers, protected by Israeli police, threw stones at Palestinian vehicles, then proceeded to attack Palestinian homes and pedestrians.

In addition, local sources reported that Israeli settlers threw rocks at Palestinian vehicles traveling on Route 60, north of Ramallah in the West Bank.

Dec 28 09:29

US to label all of West Bank Area C goods 'made in Israel'

The Trump administration granted de facto recognition of West Bank Area C sovereignty when it issued labeling requirement that all goods produced in that region, either of Israeli or Palestinian origin, should be labeled "Made in Israel."

On Wednesday, the US Customs and Border Protection Agency published a notice to this effect to ensure that "country of origin markings for Israeli and Palestinian goods are consistent with the United States’ foreign policy approach."

Dec 28 08:04

A very scary Christmas – Israeli airstrikes bring destruction and death

While Americans were busy zooming with loved ones on Christmas, and mainstream media reported on the explosion in Nashville and Covid-19, Israel was causing explosions amid pandemic conditions in the Palestinian territories and Syria.

Bombing Gaza on Christmas Day

Israeli reports allege that two rockets were fired from Gaza toward Israel (this claim is disputed – see below), and were intercepted by the Iron Dome defense system, without damage or injuries.

Israeli policy holds Hamas responsible for all aggression from Gaza, regardless of its source – a policy that refuses to acknowledge the many factions within Gaza that operate independently of Hamas.

Palestinian resistance groups in Gaza began firing rockets after Israel had invaded and shelled the area in 2001. They have killed approximately 30 Israelis, while Israeli airstrikes have killed over 4,000 Gazans.

Dec 28 07:17

Human rights activists slam Israel for ‘politically motivated’ decision to postpone vaccination of Palestinian prisoners

The order by Israeli Public Security Minister Amir Ohana to withhold Covid-19 vaccines from Palestinian prisoners was discriminatory and contradicted the guidelines of the country’s own Health Ministry, human rights groups say.

Ohana told Israeli prison officials to hold off administering jabs to Palestinian inmates until further notice, and provide the vaccine only to prison staff. The prisoners will get their shots later, “in accordance with the progress of vaccinating the general public,” according to the Saturday statement by the office of Israel’s first openly gay minister.

The order came after a high-ranking Palestinian official dealing with prisoner affairs, Qadri Abu Bakr, announced that voluntary vaccination of those held in Israeli prisons will kick off “in the coming days.”

Dec 28 06:47

Israel and UAE 'collaborating to eliminate UNRWA': report

Israel and the United Arab Emirates are working together to eliminate the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestinian Refugees (UNRWA), the French newspaper Le Monde has reported.

UNRWA was established in 1949 to provide relief and development services to Palestinian refugees expelled by Israeli forces from their homeland during the 1948 Arab-Israeli war. It is the only UN agency dedicated to helping refugees from a specific conflict.

Le Monde correspondent Benjamin Barthe tweeted that UAE officials were working to 'gradually eliminate' UNRWA
Israel has long demanded that UNRWA be dissolved, because the agency's existence draws continued attention to the displacement and hardship of Palestinian refugees.

Dec 28 06:47

Hundreds of protesters, cops clash outside police HQ over settler teen’s death

Hundreds of right-wing protesters clashed with cops in Jerusalem Saturday evening, over the death of a young settler in a car crash while fleeing police after allegedly throwing stones at Palestinians. Eleven policemen were injured, and two toddlers were hit by water from a police cannon.

Protests have been held nightly in Jerusalem and elsewhere since the death on Monday of 16-year-old Ahuvia Sandak in the central West Bank.

Dec 28 06:31

PHOTOS: Israeli Warplanes Bomb Pediatric Hospital in Gaza, Injure Child

Israeli airstrikes and artillery attacks damaged a pediatric hospital, a center for disability services and several homes in the besieged Gaza Strip early Saturday morning, Palestine Chronicle correspondent Wafa Aludaini reported.

Dec 28 06:30

Settlers: If Netanyahu wants votes, he must legalize outposts

Settlers warned politicians, primarily Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu that if they want their votes, they must legalize the West Bank outposts.

“Whoever sees himself as the next prime minister and leader of the right-wing public in Israel, cannot ignore this most burning problem," Gush Etzion Regional Council head Shlomo Neeman said on Sunday during a protest vote in front of the Prime Minister's Office in Jerusalem.

Dec 23 09:40

Democratic lobby group defends Israel’s demolition of Palestinian hamlet

When Israeli bulldozers stormed the West Bank community of Humsa al-Fuqa (Khirbet Humsa) and demolished its structures on Nov. 3, leaving 11 Palestinian families homeless, some Democrats in Washington, D.C. took notice.

Two weeks after the Israeli demolition, which took place under the cover of U.S. election day, Rep. Mark Pocan (D-Wisc.) and 39 of his Congressional colleagues sent a letter to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo criticizing Israel’s actions as “a serious violation of international law” and an example of “creeping annexation.” Pocan’s letter also demanded that Pompeo examine whether Israel had utilized U.S.-made equipment during the demolition operation.

Dec 23 09:32

The Israeli settler who knows where the barbarians are coming from

Every murder of an Israeli in the West Bank – and even before suspects are found – is an opportunity for the settlement dignitaries to preach their powerful victimhood and plant another partial picture of a fake reality in the mind of Israeli Jews.

On Monday morning Yossi Dagan, chairman of the Samaria Regional Council, already knew that the people who murdered Esther Horgen from the settlement of Tal Menashe were “the barbarians of the Palestinian Authority.” The Israeli ear is accustomed to generalizations in which an individual’s terrible act or negative characteristic is identified with an entire community – as long as it’s not about Jews (because then it would be antisemitism). Therefore, in an interview on Kan public radio, Dagan repeated this generalization uninterruptedly.

Dec 23 09:28

Israel settlers launch systematic attacks on Palestinian properties

Ongoing attacks by Israeli settlers on Palestinians are part of a large campaign aimed at seizing more Palestinian lands and imposing new realities on the ground, B'Tselem warned yesterday.

"These attacks are being carried out with full support from the Israeli army and government," Kareem Jubran, director of the field research department at B'Tselem, said, stressing that the Israeli army and government support the extremist stances of the Israeli Jewish settlers.

Speaking to Palestine Voice Radio, Jubran said that the Israeli settlers have recently increased their attacks in many Palestinian towns and villages across the occupied West Bank. The settlers' attacks, he said, are protected by the occupation army and police.

Meanwhile, Director of Anti-Wall and Settlements Committee, Murad Ishtiwi, said: "There is another campaign carried out by the Israeli occupation army and police targeting Palestinian shops, homes and vehicles."

Dec 23 09:27

Israel forces Jerusalemite woman to demolish her home

The Israeli municipality in occupied Jerusalem yesterday forced a Palestinian woman from the village of Silwan to demolish her house over claims that it lacked building licenses, Safa news agency reported.

Shahira Gheith said that she had been able to put off the demolition order but she was surprised when Israeli occupation police surrounded her house and told her that the court rejected the postponement.

She said that the Israeli police told her she must demolish her house by herself; otherwise, she would have to pay high for the municipality's bulldozers to carry out the demolition at a cost of 70,000 ($21,704).

Shahira and her children have now become homeless.

Dec 22 13:39

O Little Town of Bethlehem… What would Christ say about His birthplace today?

O Little Town of Bethlehem… What would Christ say about His birthplace today? Stuart Littlewood voices the hope that the lockdown in force in the UK would prompt Britons to think about the people of Bethlehem "smouldering under the brutal lifetime-long lockdown imposed by Israel’s military? And from which there’s no escape, no respite?">>

Dec 22 08:19

Israeli normalisation prompts Sudan to revoke citizenship of Palestinians

In a surprise move, the ruling military regime in Sudan announced its intention ten days ago to revoke the Sudanese citizenship of more than 3,500 people, of whom the majority are Palestinians. The former head of the Hamas Political Bureau, Khaled Meshaal, and the speaker of the Tunisian parliament, Rached Ghannouchi, the leader of the Islamic Ennahda Movement, are among those losing their Sudanese citizenship.

Dec 22 07:26

Palestinians outraged as Israel bulldozes historic Jerusalem cemetery

Israeli authorities on Sunday carried on with bulldozing works in the Shuhada (Martyrs) Cemetery in the Old City of Jerusalem.

Mustafa Abu Zahra, the head of the Islamic Cemeteries Committee, said in a statement to the media that Israel's Jerusalem Municipality was continuing to dig and bulldoze in the Shuhada Cemetery, which is part of the larger Yousufiya Cemetery.

He has previously described the works as a "flagrant violation of the sanctity of the site".

The remains of Iraqi and Jordanian soldiers who fought in past Arab-Israeli wars are buried in the cemetery.

Dec 18 08:08

Israeli Forces Fire Teargas Grenades inside West Bank School Suffocating Students, Teachers

Dozens of Palestinian students and teachers today suffocated from teargas fired by the Israeli military inside their school in the village of Anin, west of the northern West Bank city of Jenin, according to the Palestinian news agency WAFA.

Local sources told WAFA that the Israeli army attack on the school caused injury and panic, and disrupted classes as teachers rushed to help the students chocked from the teargas.

Dec 18 08:06

Indonesian president: No normalization with Israel until Palestinians have state

Indonesian President Joko Widodo assured Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas Thursday that Jakarta would not join the trend of Arab and Muslim countries normalizing with Israel until after a Palestinian state has been established.

“Despite the rapid changes in the Middle East, Indonesia will not take any steps to normalize with Israel until a permanent and comprehensive peace is achieved between the Palestinians and the Israelis,” Widodo told Abbas in a phone call, according to a readout published by the PA’s official Wafa news agency.

Dec 17 13:18

Israel: Shopping for Friends in the Middle East

The assassination of Iranian nuclear scientist, Mohsen Fakhrizadeh, was in the words of former CIA director, John Brennan, an "act of state-sponsored terrorism and a flagrant violation of international law." This is one of many such acts carried out by Mossad, Israel’s national intelligence agency. It is yet another example of Israel’s malign behavior in the Middle East since its establishment in Palestine in the early 1900s.

Israel’s acts of terrorism against the Palestinians during their 53-year long illegal occupation of the West Bank and blockade of the Gaza Strip have received immunity in Washington and little scrutiny in the mainstream media.

From its earliest days, Zionist leaders grappled with how they would create a Jewish state on land where Palestinian Arabs were the majority population.

Dec 17 13:15

Israel destroys and steals $2 million worth of EU aid

Imagine that you had neighbors who were constantly stealing your belongings or damaging your property.

How would you respond? By inviting those neighbors to a party? By celebrating how they have the same “values” as you?

Israel is an abusive neighbor for the European Union.

Through a freedom of information request, I learned that Israel has caused destruction worth more than $2 million to EU aid projects in the occupied West Bank over the past five years.

Yet rather than taking any action against Israel, EU representatives regularly sip champagne with and shower gifts on their abusive neighbor.

Dec 17 13:15

Covid-19: Ten Palestinians die in 24 hours as Gaza reaches 'dangerous stage' in pandemic

Ten Palestinians in the besieged Gaza Strip have died of Covid-19 in the past 24 hours, the Ministry of Health in the enclave reported on Wednesday.

Rising cases of coronavirus infections have strained the medical system in the Gaza Strip, home to two million Palestinians who have been living under an Israel-led air, sea and land siege since 2007.

The Ministry of Health in Gaza issued an up-to-date map showing that the majority of Covid-19 infections were in the Gaza City district, with 13,809 total cases, followed by the North Gaza district with 6,962 cases recorded since the beginning of the pandemic.

Dec 17 12:05

It is time for the one state solution to go mainstream

The “Palestinian-Israeli conflict” has often been presented as one of the most intractable in modern world history.

But one reason for this is precisely that it has been wrongly analyzed as a conflict and thus the “solutions” offered and the “peace processes” for getting there fail.

This is not a conflict. There are not two sides fighting over some issue that can be resolved through technical negotiations and compromise. Rather, Zionism was – and is – a settler-colonial project.

Jewish settlers arrived in Palestine from Europe with the intention of taking over the country and making it their own. Like all settler movements they came equipped with a narrative of why the country actually belonged to them, and they pursued their claim to entitlement unilaterally. The indigenous Palestinian population (which included Sephardi, Mizrahi and ultra-Orthodox Jews) had no voice in the process; they were not a “side,” but simply a population to be disposed of.

Dec 15 11:08

International law vs eternal recurrence: The US and Israel

Lawrence Davidson: "If Biden wants to promote a safer, more humane world under the rule of law, he should turn his attention to the assassin and not the assassinated; to the saboteur and not those sabotaged; to Israel, and… his own nation’s Middle East foreign policy…">>

Dec 15 07:11

Israeli Tank Accidentally Shelled Gaza Strip During Drills

An Israeli tank accidentally shelled the Gaza Strip during military exercises, the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) said in a statement.

"During military drills, a tank unintentionally shelled the territory of the Gaza Strip," the IDF said.

"The incident is being investigated," it said.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

"It was an accident. Just an accident! And if you think otherwise then you are a filthy jew-hating anti-semite who wants Hitler to come back and gas Jewish babies in the ovens!!!!!!" -- Nodding Yahoo

Dec 15 06:46

Israeli interrogators physically, psychologically tortured Palestinian woman

A young Palestinian woman has shared the horrific story of how she endured excruciating physical and psychological torture in an Israeli jail, saying that there are many Palestinian women with a similar condition behind bars.

In a two-minute video posted on Twitter by a human rights advocacy group, 22-year-old Mays Abu Ghosh, a university student, said after being 15 months behind bars that the prison authorities had told her, upon detention, that she would not be the same when she left the jail.

‘You’ll either leave while paralyzed, or you’ll end up at a psychiatric hospital.’

Dec 14 11:42

Anti-Semitism claims mask a reign of political and cultural terror across Europe

Jonathan Cook says Zionists and their supporters in the West are weaponising "anti-Semitism" to damage the reputation of Israel’s critics and deprive Muslims of the right to take offence at gratuitous insults of Islam while giving Jews every right to take offence at criticism of Israel.>>

Dec 14 08:31

Israel lobby intimidates Rashida Tlaib

When Democratic Majority for Israel, a lobby group, is upset by a slogan supporting freedom and equal rights for Palestinians and Jews, they now have reason to hope US Congresswoman Rashida Tlaib will cave to their pressure.

Tlaib had retweeted Democratic Party activist Rasha Mubarak’s 29 November call that “From the river to the sea, Palestine will be free.”

Mubarak’s tweet, accompanied by emojis of a Palestinian flag and a dove with an olive branch, marked the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People.

Dec 14 08:31

Palestinian Right of Return: UN Resolution 194

The United Nations General Assembly adopted Resolution 194 on 11 December 1948 calling for the right of Palestinian refugees to return to their homes from which they were forced out in 1948

Dec 14 08:29

Palestinians can now see their stolen property in the database we've made public

If US President Donald Trump’s foreign policy worked heavily against multilateralism and the basic principles of a rules-based world order, when it came to Israel-Palestine, the focus was even more vicious.

Rather than just pushing pro-Israel positions, Trump fully endorsed an extremist pro-annexation narrative, presenting a plan that perpetuated Israel’s denial of Palestinian national rights. It not only encouraged illegal colonial settlements, but also negated Palestinian refugee rights. The US aimed to pre-empt several final status issues, including Jerusalem, settlements and refugees, by going beyond even Israel’s stated positions.

Dec 14 07:59

Palestinian Authority expects 4 million doses of Russian vaccine in coming weeks

Palestinian Authority senior health official Osama al-Najjar announced on Saturday that four million doses of the Russian coronavirus vaccine would be delivered in the coming weeks, as Palestinians witnessed the highest daily death toll as a result of COVID-19 since the start of the pandemic.

“Four million doses of the Russian coronavirus vaccine are expected to arrive soon…by the end of the year or the start of 2021, we will begin to inoculate those most at risk [for the coronavirus],” al-Najjar said in an interview with Voice of Palestine Radio on Saturday morning.

Dec 14 07:58

Jewish Settlers Set fire to Olive Trees near Hebron

Jewish settlers set fire to large tracts of olive fields, burning hundreds of fully grown trees belonging to a local Palestinian family in Khallet Ad-Dabi‘ area to the east of Yatta town in the southern occupied West Bank district of Hebron (Al-Khalil), according to the Palestinian news agency WAFA.

Dec 14 06:53

Palestinians: Victims of ‘cancel culture’

In the very month in which I read articles condemning the “cancel culture” – which some apply exclusively to the “left’s efforts to silence or shame views with which they disagree” –? several disturbing incidents caught my attention.

Dec 10 11:02

Why is the EU helping Israel treat its waste in the West Bank?

Three European firms are bidding for a role in a new more environmentally-friendly waste-to-energy plant in the Israeli settlement of Maaleh Adumim.

The location of the plant – in occupied territory, and therefore illegal under international law – has also not deterred the European Union, which supports the implementation of a 2030 Israeli strategic waste management plan that includes the Maaleh Adumim plant with $1.8 million.

The plant is slated to be built at the “Good Samaritan” recycling park east (and deep into occupied territory) of Maaleh Adumim and only a few hundred meters away from small Palestinian shepherd communities.

Neither the EU, nor European companies, can claim ignorance about this. The tender for the project was issued in October last year, leaving plenty of time for due diligence.

Dec 09 08:40

Loeffler attacks Palestinian rights, Warnock silent

The Georgia runoff election between Democrat Raphael Warnock and Republican Senator Kelly Loeffler, along with the one between Democrat Jon Ossoff and Republican Senator David Perdue, will determine whether Democrats control not just the executive but the legislative branch as well.

Republicans will retain control of the Senate if either Loeffler or Perdue is victorious in Georgia on 5 January.

Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, the man who once called Palestinians an “invented people,” is now saying “Republicans simply have to turn out more votes than Stacey Abrams can steal.”

Dec 08 08:10

PA’s gift to Biden is return to failed strategy

The news that the Palestinian Authority has decided to restart coordination with Israel after suspending it for six months does not come as much of a surprise.

It amounts to a welcome gift to Joe Biden, the American president-elect, while also showing the paucity of thinking within the PA leadership.

The decision to end coordination in May came in face of the threat of formal Israeli annexation of some 30 percent of the occupied West Bank.

But right from the start, Palestinian officials let it be known this would be a largely symbolic protest.

Formally, coordination between Palestinian security forces and the Israeli military would end. But Palestinian security forces would act as if coordination was still in force.

Dec 08 08:10

Israel kills child and then lies

What crime did 15-year-old Ali Ayman Saleh Nasser commit to be killed by occupation soldiers?

Observing a protest, apparently.

Israeli forces fatally shot Nasser in the stomach in the central West Bank village of al-Mughayyir on Friday during a protest against Israeli land theft in the area.

Nasser was reportedly not participating in demonstrations when he was killed.

All he did was watch, according to field investigations by Defense for Children International Palestine (DCIP).

Dec 08 08:09

Palestinian teenage detainee hospitalised with broken jaw after beating in Israeli prison

A Palestinian teenager underwent surgery on Thursday after being beaten at the hands of Israeli prison officials last week.

Mohammad Muqbel, 16, was beaten severely on Saturday after he was detained on his way to school, according to his father Munir.

Muqbel, from the al-Arroub refugee camp in Hebron, had platinum implanted in his left lower jawbone after his jaw was broken after he was forcibly taken away from his home with no charge or trial.

An Israeli military court extended Muqbel's detention until Sunday, December 6, despite being severely hurt. He is currently being treated in an Israeli hospital and handcuffed to his bed. His father says he is in excruciating pain and is being denied contact with his son.

Dec 08 07:05

No justice for blinded Palestinian kid: Israeli perpetrators cleared

Israel has cleared its police of any wrongdoing in the shooting of a Palestinian child, who lost an eye in an attack earlier this year.

The Israeli soldiers shot a nine-year-old boy, identified as Malik Eissa, in February, when he had just gotten off a school bus in the Palestinian neighborhood of Issawiya in the occupied East Jerusalem al-Quds.

The Israeli forces claimed, back then, that they had used non-lethal weapons in response to anti-Israeli protests.

The Israeli justice ministry said it had investigated the “sad” incident, but that there were insufficient grounds for prosecution after interviewing witnesses and reviewing video footage and other evidence.

The boy, who has lost vision in his left eye, has not returned to school as a result of serious physical and psychological problems, according to his family.

Dec 08 06:20

Eight Palestinians injured, 21 detained as Israel storms West Bank refugee camps

Eight Palestinians were injured by Israeli fire following clashes in the Qalandiya refugee camp, north of Jerusalem, and the Dahisha refugee camp near Bethlehem. Three of the injuries were described as critical.

Twenty one Palestinians, most of whom had previously served time in Israeli jails, were also arrested, according to a statement by the Palestinian Prisoners' Club.

The Palestinian Authority's (PA) health ministry said that four injured Palestinians were taken to the Palestine Medical Compound in Ramallah from Qalandiya.

The ministry said that one of the injured was shot in the chest, another in the stomach, and a third in the thigh. All of them were being operated on. A fourth casualty had suffered a relatively light wound to the leg.

Dec 05 08:27

A harvest of heartbreak

Yousif Shaheen went to harvest his eggplant crops early on 13 October. His farm – near the city of Khan Younis – is located a few hundred meters from the fence separating Gaza and Israel.

Suddenly, the farmers noticed that Israeli soldiers were driving three bulldozers toward them.

“We shouted at the bulldozers,” Shaheen said. “But they did not stop.”

The Israeli troops bulldozed about 2.5 acres of Shaheen’s land. His entire crop of eggplants and his irrigation systems were destroyed.

Shaheen believes that the Israeli troops planned the attack so that it would cause major harm to farmers’ livelihoods.

Dec 05 08:23

Normalisation with Israel requires Palestinian state: Saudi FM

Saudi Arabia’s foreign minister has said Saudi Arabia would only normalise ties with Israel within a plan that would deliver a sovereign state to Palestinians, quashing speculation that the kingdom may soon become the latest Arab country to establish full diplomatic relations with Israel.

“What we need to make [normalisation of ties with Israel] happen is a peace deal that delivers a Palestinian state with dignity and with a workable sovereignty that Palestinians can accept,” Prince Faisal bin Farhan Al Saud said on Friday.

Dec 05 07:51

Isolated and Alone. Palestinian Children Held in Solitary Confinement by Israeli Authorities for Interrogation

Between January 1, 2016 and December 31, 2019, Defense for Children International – Palestine (DCIP) documented 108 cases in which Palestinian children arrested by the Israeli military were held in isolation for two or more days during the interrogation period.

The average duration of isolation in this data set was 14.3 days. Nearly 40 percent, 43 children, endured a prolonged period of isolation of 16 or more days. While mainly studying adult prisoner populations, numerous scientific sources indicate that after 15 days “some of the harmful psychological effects of isolation can become irreversible.”1

Dec 04 09:58

Trump’s aid cuts mean harsh winter for Palestine’s refugees

On 23 November, UNRWA – the UN agency for Palestine refugees – held an extraordinary meeting of its advisory committee.

There, Philippe Lazzarini, UNRWA’s commissioner-general, informed the committee that it faced an unprecedented situation. With a budget deficit of $115 million, Lazzarini said, UNRWA would be unable to pay the full salaries of its 28,000 employees in the fourth quarter of 2020.

Thus, and just as a second wave of COVID-19 sweeps across the globe, UNRWA and the Palestinian refugees it serves face an uncertain future.

The meeting came less than three weeks after Joe Biden was elected US president. Although UNRWA’s financial crisis is mainly caused by US aid cuts, there is no guarantee that a Biden administration will reverse the policies of the last two years or the even longer period of budget cuts and reduced services that UNRWA has endured.

Dec 04 07:54

Palestinians hold wheelchair marathon to mark intl. day of disabled persons

Gazans marked the International Day of Persons with Disabilities by holding a marathon in the middle of the Gaza Strip. The marathon was aimed at drawing global attention to the difficult living conditions in the besieged strip especially amid the Israeli blockade.

According to the latest statistics, out of the two million residents in the populated Gaza Strip, 5.7 % are people with disabilities. The number is increasing due to the Israeli violations imposed on the enclave, especially the Great March of Return and the devastating war of 2014.

The daily life of dozens of Palestinian people with disability is impacted negatively due to the Israeli restrictions on movement and the shortage of assistive devices, wheelchairs and health care required to practice their life.

Dec 03 08:53

German vaccine pledge appears to discriminate against Palestinians

The UK government has become the first in the world to approve general use of the COVID-19 vaccine developed by Pfizer and the German company BioNTech.

Other countries can be expected to follow quickly, marking a new phase in the fight against the deadly pandemic.

Israel may be among the first in line to receive the vaccine. According to Israeli media, Germany is planning to give Israel special access to vaccine stocks.

“A report by the Ynet website claimed Germany used its influence in the EU to bend the rule that a European-produced vaccination would be given first to European countries,” the JTA news agency reported in October. “Germany justified the decision in part through its historical commitment to supporting Israel.”

Dec 02 08:43

Israeli forces filmed 'laughing' while shooting Palestinian protesters

Israeli soldiers were seen gleefully celebrating the shooting of Palestinian protesters on Friday, a reporter for Turkish state news agency Anadolu said.

The soldiers were filmed firing tear gas and both rubber and live ammunition at demonstrators in the West Bank town of Kafr Malik, where local Palestinians were protesting the construction of Israeli settlements considered illegal under international law.

Anadolu cameraman Hisham Abu Shaqrah said Israeli forces were engaging in "bloody entertainment" as they reportedly targeted demonstrators.

Dec 02 08:31

Israel High Court authorises takeover of Palestinian land near Jerusalem

Israel’s High Court authorised on Tuesday the seizure of Palestinian land lying between occupied East Jerusalem and Ramallah in the occupied West Bank, declaring it “state land” and the property of Israel.

Palestinians had petitioned the High Court over the installation of the Israeli settlement outpost of Kokhav Yaakov on 224 dunams (55 acres) of land belonging to the Palestinian village of Kafr Aqab. Israel declared the area to be “state land” in 2013.

The petitioners said that they had been cultivating their lands during the Jordanian rule of the West Bank, which ended when Israel occupied the area following the 1967 war. According to an Ottoman law still implemented under Jordanian rule, they had acquired ownership of the land after cultivating it regularly for a continuous decade.

Dec 02 08:04

Israeli intelligence agencies are preparing to confront Hamas in a technology war

As tension escalates on numerous fronts, Israeli intelligence agencies continue to develop their capabilities, and now have databases and integrated artificial intelligence, allowing them to analyse massive amounts of information. According to senior officers, agents are now able to identify militants heading for Israeli targets, which was almost impossible in the past, and certainly not with today's accuracy.

During the Second — Al-Aqsa — Intifada (September 2000 – February 2005) it was possible to obtain information about an assailant preparing to carry out an attack and thus close checkpoints in good time, but eliminating him in advance of the offence was a dream. That has all changed, with technology changing the future of guerrilla and urban warfare. Intelligence is collected and analysed within minutes instead of hours, and so responses can be launched very rapidly too. Israel is already using such methods in Syria as well as against the Palestinians.

Dec 02 07:30

Court uses Jewish Nation-State law to block funding for Arab students

The Kiryot Magistrate’s Court in the North has reignited a debate about how the Jewish Nation-State Law may negatively impact the country’s minorities, especially its sizable Arab sector.

With the recent ruling that the Jewish Nation-State Law required blocking state funding for transportation for Arab schoolchildren to nearby Arabic-language schools, criticism of racism erupted from human rights groups.

Dec 02 07:01

Moving Past Apartheid: One-State Is Not Ideal Justice, but It Is Just and Possible

Once again, Europe’s top diplomats expressed their "deep concern" regarding Israel’s ongoing illegal settlement expansion, again evoking the maxim that Israeli actions "threaten the viability of the two-state solution".

This position was communicated by EU Foreign Affairs Chief, Josep Borrell, on November 19, during a video-conference with Palestinian Authority Foreign Minister, Riyad al-Maliki.

All Israeli settlements are illegal under international law and should be rejected in words and action, regardless of whether they pose a threat to the defunct two-state solution or not.

Aside from the fact that Europe’s "deep concern" is almost never followed with any substantive action, articulating a legal and moral stance in the context of imaginary solutions is particularly meaningless.