Category: Israeli-Palestinian Conflict

In depth coverage and daily reports from inside the occupied territories.

Palestinian Parliament to Hold First Session Since 2006

The Palestinian Legislative Council (PLC) will hold its first session since 2006 after a quarter of lawmakers demanded to convene an emergency session without delay, according to media reports.

According to Palestinian legislation, the PLC is to hold a session if one-fourth of its members demands it. Khuraishah said that this time at least 16 members of the Fatah movement and all Hamas lawmakers requested to hold an emergency session.

Time for Action Is Not Now: UN Vote on Israeli Settlements Postponed

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The United Nations Security Council was scheduled to vote the evening of December 20 on a resolution demanding Israel halt its settlement expansion policies in all Palestinian territories it occupies. However, according to a UN diplomatic source the vote has been postponed and the new date “is yet unkown.”

The resolution, drafted by Egypt, demands “Israel immediately and completely cease all settlement expansion activities in occupied Palestinian territory, including al-Quds.”

It states such activity is “dangerously imperilling” a two-state solution, and calls for the UN to take “affirmative steps” to reverse this conduct “on the ground.”

UK Gov’t to Continue Funding Palestinian Authority With Health, Education Aid

The British Department for International Development (DFID) has announced it will continue to provide funding to aid the Palestinian Authority (PA), but a series of “critical changes” will be made in order to ensure value for money.

The money will be funded by the taxpayer and its objective is to help “maintain stability, provide vital services and build and strengthen the institutions needed for a viable two-state solution.”

Tackling antisemitism doesn’t mean clamping down on criticism of Israel

The government has formalised a flawed definition of antisemitism that includes ‘exceptional criticism’ of Israel.

It is summer 2013, the height of the most recent Gaza war. With around twenty fellow members ‘Jewdas’ – a group of self-proclaimed leftwing Jewish anti-zionists, are assembled opposite Brighton Pavilion. I’m there to picket a demonstration by ‘Sussex Friends of Israel’. We read out the names of the Palestinian dead – a figure that by that point was already in the hundreds – only to be half drowned-out by the boos of the larger of demonstration.

From between two bulks of policemen, we were faced down by a gaggle of young men around the age to be fresh of the grand tour of Israel . who yelled at us that we were antisemites. Someone pointed out, as politely as possible whilst still being heard over the chanting, the cheers, the sirens, that we were in fact all Jews, or at least, Jew-ish. He replied that real Jews support Israel. Another Jewdas member shouted that antisemitism was not the same as anti-zionism, whilst someone else waded in to the effect that Jewish identity is complicated. From somewhere in the crowd someone lobbed a “self-haters!” at the picketers. This unlikely identitarian dispute was quickly broken up when an unprepossessing auntie-type (complete with cardigan and pearls) punched me in the arm and ripped up my “Zionism, Schmionism” sign.

Free Mohamed Abu Sakha

Members of the Circus school in Palestine, representatives of the embassies of Italy, Spain and Switzerland, amnesty international and ISM was in the Israeli supreme court today to witness the hearing of the appealfor release for the Palestinian circus trainer Mohamed Abu Sakha, who have been on administered detention for almost one year. Administrative detention means that he is locked up in prison without having the right to a trail.

Mohamed Abu Sakha got his feedom taken away from him on the 14th of December 2015, when he first got detained at Zaatara military cheekpoint, south of Nablus, when going to his work at the circul school in Bir Zeit. He reseaved the first administrative detetntion for 6 months on the 25th of December 2015, and it got renewed again 13th of June 2016.

Israel Wants to Pass Bill to Retroactively Legalize Criminal Settlements

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The global community has been outraged over the past week as Israeli legislators try to pass a law to retroactively make their criminal settlements in the West Bank legal.

The settlement bill, on the verge of passing through the Israeli parliament, is being considered by many outside observers (as well as right wing Israeli proponents) as what essentially amounts to annexation of a large portion of Palestinian land. The bill would legalize over 4,000 settlement homes already built on stolen Palestinian land.

Palestinian Activists Mount Int’l Campaign to End Gaza Siege

Palestinian activists launched an international campaign to break Israel’s blockade of the Gaza Strip, which has denied two million Palestinians their fundamental rights.

Dubbed “Hand in Hand to Break Gaza Siege”, the international campaign officially started its activity on Monday by holding a press conference in the besieged enclave, according to Tasnim dispatches.

PayPal Serves Illegal Israeli Settlers But Won’t Let Palestinians Open Accounts

‘Without access to PayPal, Palestinian entrepreneurs, nonprofits, and others face routine difficulties in receiving payments for business and charitable purposes,’ an open letter from a coalition of American activists reads.

PayPal is one of the world’s most popular ways to send or receive money online, but Palestinians are cut out of the action.

Time magazine reported in January that PayPal has 179 million active accounts in dozens of countries, and PayPal payments are widely accepted in online marketplaces from eBay to Etsy.

London Concerned Over Israel Plans to Build 500 Housing Units in E Jerusalem

The United Kingdom is deeply concerned over reports of Jerusalem receiving plans for some 500 new “illegal” housing units in a settlement in East Jerusalem, UK Minister for the Middle East Tobias Ellwood said Monday.

Last week, media reports emerged claiming that Jerusalem’s municipality had proposed construction of 500 housing units in Ramat Shlomo, an area annexed by Israel.

“We are deeply concerned by reports that the Jerusalem Municipality has revived a plan for constructing 500 new units in the illegal settlement of Ramat Shlomo in East Jerusalem,” Ellwood said in a statement.

1000s Evacuated as Fire Spreads in Haifa

The Israeli regime has ordered the evacuation of thousands of people and called up hundreds of military reservists to battle a spreading fire in the city of Haifa.

Police said at least eight neighborhoods had been evacuated by early afternoon, as smoke spread over the city. At least 17 people were hospitalized for smoke inhalation, AP reported on Thursday.

Israel/Palestine: Bedouins Face Imminent Displacement

Israeli authorities should revoke plans to forcibly displace Bedouin Arab residents from the village of Umm al-Hiran in Israel’s southern Negev desert to build a new Jewish community there, Human Rights Watch said today.

Israel’s Execution and Collection Authority on November 20, 2016, approved a request by the Israel Land Authority to forcibly demolish two homes and approximately eight surrounding structures at the entrance of Umm al-Hiran between November 15 and November 30. The demolitions would displace about 20 people. The approval follows a January Supreme Court decision not to reconsider the court’s May 2015 dismissal of a legal challenge to the demolition of the village by Umm al-Hiran residents. The residents fear this is the first step toward the displacement of all the villagers.

“The forcible eviction of Bedouin residents to make way for a new Jewish town would be a blatant and ugly episode of discrimination mirroring Israel’s unlawful settlements,” said Sarah Leah Whitson, Middle East director at Human Rights Watch.“Long after most of the rest of the world has such rejected racist policies, the Israeli government keeps building and razing communities on the basis of religion and ethnicity.”

Palestinians Protest against Israel’s ‘Quiet Mosques’ Bill

Hundreds of Palestinians within Israel and the Gaza Strip demonstrated on Friday against a bill to limit the volume of calls to prayer at mosques.

In the southern city of Rahat, 100 Palestinians held a rally against the bill, while more than 500 people took part in various demonstrations in the north, police said.

In the northern city of Jisr al-Zarqa, lawmaker Ahmed Tibi of the Arab Joint List called the legislation “a provocation and act of coercion in the place of dialogue and tolerance”, a party spokesperson said.

Sweden Concerned over Israel’s Settlement Bill

Sweden’s Foreign Ministry said the country is “deeply concerned” about a planned Israeli bill to allow expanded construction in major West Bank settlements.

The ministry said Friday such settlements are contrary to “Israeli and international law,” and “greatly undermine” the possibility of peace.

Israel’s parliament this week gave preliminary approval to a contentious bill that would retroactively legalize hundreds of homes in West Bank settlements that sit on private Palestinian land, according to AP.

Nothing is simple in Palestine

Almost nothing in Palestine is what you expect for the most part. And, this is so true of the negative things you see. No matter how bad you think things are or expect them to be, you are almost always guaranteed that they will be worse (usually much worse) when you actually see them. And if you tell people the truth you may be thought to be making things up. But, this is Palestine and things are this unbelievable and this bad. This was true today for me (to put it mildly). Part of our team was invited by an “inspector” from the United Nations office based here in Al Khalil to go to a Bedouin village in the South Hebron Hills where a demolition took place yesterda