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The world is a dangerous place to live; not because of the people who are evil,    but because of the people who don't do anything about it    
Life under occupation

Hundreds of “investigations” in a decade, whitewashing and absurd punishmentEyal Sagiv - B`Tselem - On 30 May 2020, Israeli Border Police officers fatally shot 31-year-old Iyad al-Halaq, a Palestinian from Wadi al-Joz in East Jerusalem. The young man, who was on the autistic spectrum, was on his way to the Elwyn Al Quds Center for individuals with disabilities, which he frequented daily.This killing may be special, but it is far from the only one. The only exceptional thing is that since al-Halaq had special needs, he was not posthumously “convicted” of “terrorism”. This charge, which is automatically levelled at almost any Palestinian killed by Israeli security forces, is used to retroactively justify the shooting – even if the individual did not pose a threat that required deadly force. [ak]9/7/2020
Expulsion of the Sumarin Family - Jerusalem Offers a Grim Model for a Post-Annexation Future New York Times / Associated Press - The Sumarin family has been locked in a 30-year legal battle to prove ownership of their home in Silwan, an east Jerusalem neighborhood coveted by Jewish settlers because of its proximity to holy sites. When the original owner died in the 1980s, the property was deemed to have "an absentee landlord" because his four children lived in Jordan. The Israeli branch of the Jewish National Fund then purchased the property from the state in 1991. Last week, a court ordered the family to vacate the property by mid-August and to pay around $5,800 in court fees. Family members say the original owner left it to his nephew, who was born and raised there, and from whom they are descended. The extended family living in the home, which now includes 15 men, women and children, says it will appeal the decision. “Who’s absent? We’re right here. I’ve been here for 40 years," said Amal Sumarin, the wife of the nephew`s son. “Where are the families with their children supposed to go? Every house built in Silwan is under threat.” [ak] 9/7/2020
PM rejects Likud ally’s dismissal of claim some Israelis can’t afford foodTOI STAFF - Times of Israel - Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Saturday distanced himself from comments made by his Likud party ally Minister Tzachi Hanegbi, who dismissed claims that some Israelis don’t have enough money for food amid the economic crisis as “bullshit. ”The coronavirus crisis sent unemployment skyrocketing in Israel and Netanyahu has come under increasing fire for his handling of the ongoing economic woes. (rh)7/7/2020
‘Opposing apartheid is the only way this struggle can go’Meron Rapoport - +972 - Tareq Baconi, a Palestinian political analyst, sees few reasons for optimism about the outcome of the annexation debacle — whether it comes to pass or not. Like many other experts, Baconi doubts the Palestinian Authority’s ability to stop annexation, and worries that even if de jure annexation does not take place, the European Union will heave a sigh of relief and go back to ignoring Israel’s “creeping annexation” of the West Bank. The only good thing that can come out of the current state of affairs, says Baconi, is the transition from a Palestinian struggle for independence and a state of their own, to an anti-colonial struggle. (rh)7/7/2020
‘Gaza is a one-way ticket’: How Israel’s relocation policy is separating Palestinian communitiesHenriette Chacar - +972 - On March 4, Samar Saoud finally got the call she had been waiting for. She was told to show up with her three children at the Erez crossing that coming Sunday, and the family would leave the Gaza Strip and move to the West Bank city of Nablus, where Saoud’s parents live. But at Erez, Saoud was told to go back home. Pleading with the Israeli army officers did not help. The crossing, which separates Israel from the Gaza Strip, was closed for the day, likely for the Jewish holiday of Purim. Only exits for exceptional “humanitarian cases” — such as urgent medical care — would be permitted. (rh) 7/7/2020
The mechanics of Israel’s annexation in the West BankJONATHAN KUTTAB - Mondoweiss - At a minimum, annexation—or extending Israeli law and administration to parts of the Jordan Valley—will require that Israel update, change, adapt, or reaffirm decrees, laws, and military orders that, since the 1967 occupation of the West Bank, have governed how the occupying power administers the territory and its inhabitants. Such laws, decrees, and military orders address relations with the Palestinians––especially as pertaining to the post-Oslo Accords and Areas A, B, and C––as well as Israeli settlers in illegal settlements, the status of these settlements in Israel’s military doctrine, and economic and social affairs, among other things. But whatever the new regulations may be, annexation is bringing new conditions that are likely to sow the seeds for extended conflict in the future, especially that the Israeli army itself has apparently been kept in the dark as to the particulars of the annexation.(rh) 7/7/2020
Despite coronavirus outbreak: Israel ramps up demolition of West Bank Palestinian homes in JuneB`Tselem - In April, Israel pledged before the UN not to demolish homes as long as the health crisis was underway and isolation guidelines were in place... [bz]7/7/2020
A Family to be Evicted from their HomeIr Amim - The Sumarin family`s home was built by Musa Sumarin during the time of Jordanian rule over East Jerusalem and he lived there until his death in 1984. (...) In the late 1980`s, an affidavit was filed with the Custodian of Absentee Property, an authority within the Ministry of Finance, attesting that Musa Sumarin was an "absentee" landowner (...) and his property [inhabited by his family] was transferred to the Keren Kayemet L`Yisrael-Jewish National Fund (KKL-JNF) who demanded the property empty - the beginning of a 30-year legal debate. [bz]7/7/2020
Annexation’s irony: Bringing Israeli politics closer to Palestinian statehoodHAVIV RETTIG GUR - Times of Israel - In a little noticed video this week, the founder of the most important Israeli settlement advocacy group acknowledged that the movement he helped found had long “denied the reality” of the Palestinian presence in the West Bank — and suggested it could do so no longer. Israel Harel, 82, was among the Israeli troops who liberated Jerusalem’s Old City in 1967 before going on to help found the Ofra settlement and becoming the founding chairman of the Yesha Council. On Tuesday he joined Rabbi Benny Lau for a conversation broadcast online as part of Lau’s 929 Bible study initiative. (rh)30/6/2020
Surviving on, and maybe losing, a contested landKobi Wolf (photographies) - Washington Post - Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu says Israel may take control of 30 percent of the West Bank this week- the parts were Israeli have settled since 1967, allegedly in violation of International Law. (rh)30/6/2020
Biden’s toothless position on Israeli annexation: another Middle East mistake?Henry Siegman - Responsible Statecraft - Chemi Shalev, who has been regaling his readership in Haaretz with his excellent reporting on Israel’s and America’s political realities, recently warned Israelis that presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden just fired “an annexation warning shot across Bibi’s bow.” It was “a bolt from the blue,” Shalev wrote, that may herald a new American determination to preserve the two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Shalev was referring to Biden’s criticism, in a speech he made to a group of Jewish Democratic donors, of Netanyahu’s determination to annex not only the illegal Jewish settlements, but larger parts of the West Bank that would deny Palestinians statehood and national self-determination. Unfortunately, Shalev could not have been more mistaken. Biden’s statement that elicited Shalev’s optimism was anything but a “warning shot.” It was his assurance to his contributors that nothing will change. For Biden explicitly ruled out denying Israel’s government the vast financial aid it receives from the United States, not only for its security needs but also for securing its occupation and disenfranchisement of the Palestinians. (rh) 30/6/2020
Jerusalem 1967-2020: The Truth About Annexation Ir Amim - Arab Media Internet Network - In June of 1967, Israel conquered East Jerusalem and the West Bank (in addition to the Golan Heights, the Sinai Peninsula, and the Gaza Strip). Later that month, Israel unilaterally - and in contravention of international law - in practice annexed the seven square kilometers of East Jerusalem, and over 60 square kilometers of the West Bank that surrounds it. These areas were incorporated together into one unit named ‘East Jerusalem,’ subject to the Jerusalem municipality and to Israeli law. Since 1967 until the present, this is the only area of the West Bank that has actually been annexed to the State of Israel. Therefore, in order to understand the consequences of annexation on both Israelis and Palestinians, it is pertinent to learn from the case of East Jerusalem. (rh)30/6/2020
The Israeli police-murder of Ahmad Erekat is latest to show that Palestinian lives don’t matterJONATHAN OFIR - Mondoweiss - On Tuesday, Ahmad Erekat, 27, was murdered by Israeli Border Police officers, at a checkpoint outside Bethlehem. That is the first thing that needs to be understood. Not how and why he drove into a checkpoint booth having accelerated one second before, lightly injuring a Border policewoman; not that he was preparing for his sister’s wedding. All that is detail. The singularly important point is that Ahmad Erekat was murdered. He was shot by Israeli Border Police at close range as he got out of his car, unarmed and moving away from them; he was left to bleed and denied medical attention for over an hour. (rh)30/6/2020
Black Lives Matter and lessons from PalestineYoav Litvin - Aljazeera - On May 25, 2020, George Floyd, a Black man, was murdered by Derek Chauvin, a white policeman in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Floyd`s murder was the latest in a normalised history of police abuse of Black, brown, Native American, immigrant and other marginalised communities, carried out with impunity and encouraged by the racist incitement of United States President Donald Trump and his white supremacist administration. In response to the murder, people took to the streets against endemic police brutality, which enforces the systemic white supremacist subjugation of Black Americans. Solidarity protests were held across the world, including in the United Kingdom, Denmark, Brazil, New Zealand, Australia, Palestine, Greece, Germany and elsewhere. As these spontaneous, grassroots protests were met with savage, occupation-style crackdowns by police - and as military forces and the mainstream media and political elites tried to smear protesters as "looters" and "thugs", it was difficult not to draw parallels between this fight against anti-Black racism and the Palestinian struggle. (rh) 30/6/2020
US Jews will ‘pay a special price’ for annexation as ‘we are held responsible for Israeli policies’ — GreenblattPHILIP WEISS - Mondoweiss - American Jews will “pay a special price” for Israeli annexation of occupied lands because we “are held responsible” for Israel’s actions, Jonathan Greenblatt of the Anti- Defamation League, warned on Tuesday. Greenblatt spoke in a forum opposing annexation because it forecloses negotiations for a Palestinian state. He said that annexation “will absolutely create challenges and tensions as it relates to the different segments of the Jewish population here in the United States and I think across the diaspora." (rh)30/6/2020
PA Calls on Gantz to Halt Annexation of West Bank@palestinechron - The Palestinian Authority (PA) has called on alternate Prime Minister Benny Gantz to end the occupation of Palestinian lands and halt the annexation of the occupied West Bank before demanding negotiations, Anadolu Agency reports. “Gantz must think of ending the occupation instead of mobilizing his army to annex [the West Bank] and consolidate the occupation,” Hussein Al- Sheikh, the head of the PA General Authority of Civil Affairs, said on Twitter. Speaking to reporters on Wednesday, Gantz expressed his intention to directly negotiate with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas.(rh) 30/6/2020
UN: 90 Palestinians homeless as Israel demolishes 70 buildings in 2 weeksMEMO - “This represents a 250 per cent increase compared with the weekly average of structures targeted since the beginning of the year,” the report said, noting that “61 of the affected structures were located in Area C, including nine previously provided as humanitarian assistance.” UNOCHA said that “the increase in demolitions and displacement amidst the ongoing covid-19 pandemic raises serious concern.” [bz]23/6/2020
Palestinian Shot Dead by Israeli Police in East Jerusalem Checkpoint After Suspected AttackHagar Shezaf, Jack Khoury - Ahmed Mustafa Erekat, 27, from Abu Dis, was shot several times by police and pronounced dead. The incident took place at the "container" checkpoint in the neighborhood of Abu Dis, north of Bethlehem. According to the police statement, the shooting took place after Erekat accelerated his car and tried running over a female officer, who was injured lightly and evacuated to a Jerusalem hospital. His family said they did not believe he had deliberately tried to attack soldiers, since that was the night of his sister`s wedding and he was on his way to pick up his sister and mother. [However, in such cases the Isralei authorities haabitually take the shooting soldiers` version without any real investigation. ak]23/6/2020
Israeli military detention disrupts Palestinian students’ secondary school final examsDefence children International Palestine - Israeli forces arrested three Palestinian students in early June disrupting completion of their high school degrees. Israeli forces detained Amin Al-Sulaibi, 17, around dawn on June 1 from his home in the occupied West Bank city of Hebron. Saifuddin Najajreh, 17, and Khalaf Shakarneh, 17, were detained from their homes by Israeli forces in separate pre-dawn raids on June 9 in the occupied West Bank city of Bethlehem, according to information gathered by Defense for Children International-Palestine (DCIP). (rh)23/6/2020
Qalandiya - the army destroyed again the fruit standTamar Fleishman - Machsomwatch - One week after the Israeli army destroyed yet again Abdallah Tamimi’s fruit stand, I came to him as one paying a condolence visit. I came to Abdallah to tell him, wordlessly, how sorry I am about what had happened. I came to Abdallah to hear him, not to ask questions. Abdallah said it was on a Thursday that they (the soldiers) came to the stand and handed his father a paper that said that in one week’s time they would destroy the stand. Why? Because it disturbs traffic. And they (the soldiers) did come, but not in a week’s time. They 3 days later and destroyed.The financial damage is estimated at 6000-7000 NIS. (rh)23/6/2020
The Jewish left is recognizing that apartheid is here : Israel`s Jewish left is abandoning the term `occupation` and adopting the word `apartheid` to describe the reality on the ground.Meron Rapoport - +972 - The Israeli right is concerned. Ever since Saturday night’s mass demonstration against the Israeli government’s plans to annex large areas of the West Bank, the right has expressed its worry over the fate of its rivals in the left-wing camp. Following the protest, prominent right-wing journalist Amit Segal published an article in which he claimed that should annexation take place, it will not be due to President Trump or Prime Minister Netanyahu, but rather because Saturday’s demonstrators waved Palestinian flags in Rabin Square. Rabin, wrote Segal, would have been deeply ashamed of such a sight. (rh)23/6/2020
A Victory Against the Occupation – and the Fight AheadDaniel Sokatch - New Israel Fund - This week, when the law was struck down, ACRI’s Executive Director Sharon Abraham-Weiss celebrated the victory, saying that the law’s “entire aim was to legalize serious violations of stealing land.” According to attorneys from Adalah: The Legal Center for Arab Minority Rights in Israel the Jerusalem Center for Human Rights, the law left Palestinian subjects in the West Bank “legally unprotected because it allows them to be dispossessed of their private property by Israeli West Bank settlers on the basis of their ethnic-ideological outlook.” Let’s be clear. This court ruling is a victory for justice – but it is by no means the end of the road.,This law was part of a broader and ongoing strategy by the Israeli government to retroactively legalize illegal settlements – and ultimately steal the land. As we’ve seen in recent weeks, the plan is now to annex large swaths of the West Bank, either wholesale or piecemeal, entirely outside the context of negotiations with the Palestinians. (rh)23/6/2020
Israeli security chiefs warn that annexation could ignite the West Bank Read more: Caspit - Al-Monitor - Just a week away from the July 1 target date for the start of official action on possible Israeli annexation of 30% of the West Bank, Israel’s military and security chiefs have no earthly idea what is going to happen — how, when and if at all. The chief of staff of the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) and the heads of the Shin Bet security agency and of the Mossad are trying to read the minds of the decision-makers, meanwhile preparing for every imaginable scenario. The IDF and Shin Bet have been conducting discussions in recent weeks about the possible annexation and its implications, and have drawn up a precise threat map. The Mossad is conducting a similarly deep assessment. The heads of the security agencies are awaiting a directive from the political echelons. Before that happens, an in-depth discussion is planned to allow the defense and security chiefs to present decision-makers with their views on the annexation move. (rh) 23/6/2020
Eight Palestinians Injured by Israeli Forces in Jordan Valley ProtestIMEMCnews- Israeli military forces shot and injured 8 Palestinian civilians, Monday evening, in Jericho in the occupied Jordan Valley, Palestinian Information Center reported. Thousands of Palestinians turned out to the protest against the impending annexation of much of the Jordan Valley, however, Israeli forces closed entrances to Jericho city, leading to confrontations between demonstrators and the Israeli army.(rh)23/6/2020
Bowman draws parallel between US policing and Israeli occupationMICHAEL ARRIA = Mondoweiss - Bowman has responded to Weiss with a letter of his own, clarifying some of his views. In his response, Bowman makes a direct connection between the protests currently gripping the United States and the situation in Palestine: The uprising we’re witnessing across the country against police violence also makes me empathize with the everyday experience and fear that comes with living under occupation. Just as the police force is a violent intimidating force in so many black communities, I can connect to what it feels like for Palestinians to feel the presence of the military in their daily lives in the West Bank.On the topic of BDS, Bowman reiterated that he’s not a supporter, but also seemed to imply that he would have voted against last summer’s House resolution condemning the boycott movement, which Weiss asked about specifically. “I personally oppose the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement. But, like civil rights leader U.S. Rep. John Lewis, I also will defend the rights of all people to express their First Amendment right to peacefully organize for political change,” wrote Bowman.(rh)23/6/2020
Clashes reported as 2,500 Israelis pray at Nablus holy site ahead of annexationTOI STAFF - A settler group said Tuesday morning that some 2,500 Israelis visited Joseph’s Tomb, a holy site located inside an area of the West Bank under full Palestinian control, the night before. According to Palestinian reports, an unspecified number of Palestinians were injured in clashes with Israel Defense Forces troops at the time of the visit. (rh)23/6/2020
Israel builds new settler-only road near Bethlehem to link settlementsMiddle East Monitor (MEMO) - The new road will link the two illegal Jewish settlements: Beitar Illit and Modi’in Illit, situated west of Bethlehem and east of Lod (Lydda) respectively. Deputy-Mayor of Nahalin village, Hani Fanoun, told Wafa that Israeli army bulldozers and equipment began expanding the bypass road by a width of ten metres and a length of two kilometres, thus grabbing Palestinian lands in the Ein Fares area. [bz]23/6/2020
Chokehold on diplomat exposes Israel’s special type of apartheidJonathan Cook - Countercurrents - An Israeli diplomat filed a complaint last week with police after he was pulled to the ground in Jerusalem by four security guards, who knelt on his neck for five minutes as he cried out: “I can’t breathe.” There are obvious echoes of the treatment of George Floyd, an African-American killed by police in Minneapolis last month. His death triggered mass protests against police brutality and reinvigorated the Black Lives Matter movement. The incident in Jerusalem, by contrast, attracted only minor attention – even in Israel.xcAn assault by Israeli security officials on a diplomat sounds like an aberration – a peculiar case of mistaken identity – quite unlike an established pattern of police violence against poor black communities in the US. But that impression would be wrong. (rh)23/6/2020
Israeli Forces Arrest Fourteen Palestinians, Including Two ChildrenAli Salam - IMEMCnews - "The Palestinian Prisoners’ Society (PPS), reported that Israeli forces detained fourteen Palestinians across the West Bank, on Saturday night and Sunday morning, nine of whom were abducted by Israeli police from Al-‘Isawiya town in East Jerusalem" [ry] 22/6/2020
Palestine Bleeds: Execution of Autistic Man is Not an Exception but the NormRamzy Baroud - The Palestine Chronicle - A 32-year-old man with the mental age of an 8-year-old child was executed by Israeli soldiers on May 30, while crouching behind his teacher near his special needs school in the Old City of Jerusalem. The cold-blooded murder of Iyad Hallaq might not have received much attention if it were not for the fact that it took place five days following the similarly heartbreaking murder of a 46-year-old black man, George Floyd, in Minneapolis, at the hands of American police. The two crimes converge, not only in their repugnancy and the moral decadence of their perpetrators but also because countless American police officers have been trained in Israel, by the very Israeli ‘security forces’ that killed Hallaq. The practice of killing civilians, with efficiency and callousness, is now a burgeoning market. Israel is the biggest contributor to this market; the US is the world’s largest client. (rh)16/6/2020
IDF covered settler aggression in Susiya and Tawane and the ethnic cleansing of the Palestinian Jordan Valley escalatesTa`ayush - Week report June 7-13, and a call to join as accompaniment of Palestinian shepherds to grazing grounds involves a great number of activists, and many more are needed during the next few weeks. To join contact 0532363884 and/or 050-5607034 [bz] 16/6/2020
US Ambassador Friedman and Israeli Leaders Fail to Reach Annexation AgreementRamzy Baroud - The Palestine Chronicle - The US Ambassador to Israel, David M Friedman, and Israeli leaders failed to reach an agreement on the annexation plan at a meeting yesterday, local media have reported. Friedman is known to support illegal Jewish settlements built on Palestinian land. He has said in the past that Israel has the “right” to annex the settlement blocs, and “does not have to wait” to do so.(rh)16/6/2020
Israel greenlights illegal `Trump` settlement in Golan Heights : sraeli official says `Trump Heights` in the occupied Golan Heights will house 300 Jewish families.Aljazeera - An Israeli cabinet minister on Sunday said the government has approved plans to build a new illegal settlement in the Israeli- occupied Golan Heights named after US President Donald Trump. Settlements Minister Tzipi Hotovely wrote on Facebook that her ministry will start preparations for Ramat Trump - Hebrew for "Trump Heights" - to house 300 families. The Jewish settlement is currently known as Bruchim and is more than 30 years old and has a population of 10 people. (rh)16/6/2020
From insects to boredom, patients and doctors detail life inside Gaza’s COVID-19 quarantine centersSARAH ALGHERBAWI - Mondoweiss - Intense heat, insect infestations and boredom are some of the descriptions of government-run isolation centers in the Gaza Strip, according to Palestinians who were recently released from and are still under quarantine. Many praised the healthcare teams who treated them, spending around a month holed up in hospitals, schools, and hotel rooms. Most had access to the internet and could make phone calls to relatives, although some did not. Mohammed al-Madhoun, a returning medical student who is in isolation at a school, told me over the phone, “We mix with other people inside the quarantine center and if it turned out that one of us is infected that would mean infecting many others.” “Schools are not equipped well enough to provide for people for 21 days. We don’t even have a good internet connection, I can’t follow-up with my university or submit my assignments,” he said. (rh)16/6/2020
Israel’s top court strikes settlement Regulation LawRina Bassist - Al-Monitor - Israel’s High Court ordered June 9 the state to cancel the controversial Regulation Law, with eight justices to one ruling that the legislation was unconstitutional. The eight justices said that the law “violates the property rights and equality of Palestinians, and gives clear priority to the interests of Israeli settlers over Palestinian residents of the West Bank." The justices argued that while preventing the demolition of [settlement] homes might be understandable, this “does not justify such significant violation of property rights and the rights to dignity and equality that the Palestinian population [deserves].”(rh) 16/6/2020
Netanyahu’s annexation plan now in Gantz, Ashkenazi’s hands Ben Caspit - Al-Monitor - Two former military chiefs, Defense Minister Benny Gantz and Foreign Minister Gabi Ashkenazi, hold the key to Israeli annexation of West Bank lands. The two have managed to position themselves in Washington as crucial to any decision on the annexation plan. Taking advantage of the leadership`s preoccupation with the novel coronavirus and police brutality crises, they have managed to reach an understanding with the Donald Trump administration according to which President Donald Trump will support any Israeli decision on annexation as long as it enjoys the full backing of both government parties — Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s Likud and Gantz and Ashkenazi’s Blue and White.(rh) 16/6/2020
PA to stop getting IDs authorized by Israel, in move that could strand thousandsAFP - The Times of Israel - Measure is part of steps taken by Palestinians to cut cooperation with Israel, in protest at planned annexation of West Bank settlements and Jordan Valley [ry] 15/6/2020
Palestinian Child Sentenced to Ten Years by Israeli AuthoritiesAli Salam - IMEMCnews - "The Israeli administration, on Sunday, sentenced Palestinian child, Hammoudeh Khader Sheikh, to 10 years in prison, Quds News Network reported" [ry] 15/6/2020
Israel’s One-state Reality is Facilitated by the International CommunityRamona Wadi - Palestine Chronicle - For several years, the call for a one-state solution has been part of the alternatives to the two-state paradigm which forms the backdrop to international diplomacy on Palestine. “One state” is generally described as a state with equal rights for all Palestinian Arabs and Israeli Jews, yet the power imbalance supporting the colonial process makes its implementation impossible. If it were to come into being, the danger of compromise when it comes to the rights of the colonized Palestinian population would still exist, given the international community’s dedication to generating impunity and power for Israel. If the one-state concept is applied, there must be a complete overhaul of international diplomacy when it comes to Palestine, which is unlikely to happen even as Israel embarks upon the annexation of even more Palestinian land.(rh)9/6/2020
Palestinian PM: If Israel carries out the annexation, we will declare independence in the 1967 bordersElior Levy - Y-net - Palestinian Prime Minister Mohammed Shtayyeh said that If Israel annexes part of the West Bank, the Palestinians will unilaterally declare a state based on the pre-1967 lines. "if Israel moves ahead with annexation, which is an existential threat to the Palestinians, it will be a serious violation of all agreements". For his part Hussein al-Sheikh, the senior aide to Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas told the New York Times: “We are not nihilists or fools, and we don’t want chaos.We are pragmatic. We don’t want things to reach a point of no return. But annexation means no return in the relationship with Israel.” [ak]9/6/2020
Stop Calling Israel a Jewish DemocracyShibley Telhami -Foreign Policy - As Israel contemplates annexing large parts of the West Bank, in harmony with U.S. President Donald Trump’s so-called peace plan, some troubling interpretations of Israel’s identity as a Jewish state, and its relationship to democracy, have come to the fore. These views of Israel’s Jewish identity do not only concern Palestinians in the occupied West Bank, but also the approximately 20 percent of Israeli citizens who identify as Arab or Palestinian. Now there is a U.S. plan proposing not only annexing occupied territories, but also carving out towns in Israel to hand over to the Palestinian Authority, just because their Israeli inhabitants aren’t Jewish. (rh9/6/2020
Netanyahu’s dilemma over his annexation planBen Caspit - Al-Monitor - Jun 5, 2020 Less than a month before the July 1 target date allowing Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to bring up to vote annexation of a significant part of the West Bank, no one has any idea where the country is heading. Netanyahu’s intentions are unclear. He continues to trumpet the historic opportunity afforded by the green light for annexation that President Donald Trump gave Israel in January, but no one knows what Netanyahu really means to do. Will he take advantage of the opportunity offered by the Americans to declare Israeli sovereignty over 30% of the West Bank on July 1? Will he annex a smaller portion of land? Will he delay the move? Will he forgo the whole idea at this time? (rh) 9/6/2020
‘Palestine is Gone!’: On the Nakba, Naksa, and Black Lives MatterRima Najjar - Palestine Chronicle - How could I, born in exile just after the Nakba, in the arid town of Zarka in Jordan, have any sense of what she had lost, the beauty and richness of what she was holding onto in her heart, her village of Lifta? Even as she went around muttering at the poor soil of her Zarka garden and how it yielded something only with extreme difficulty, I still could not fathom her deprivation and the enormity of her loss. She was fellaha (farmer) for whom land and growing things were part of her soul. And now, on the eve of Israel’s annexation of parts of the West Bank, I feel the urge to lament to my children and grandchildren about it, just as she did to me, but I don’t know how much of the pain they would understand or absorb.(rh)9/6/2020
A radical settler wages war against annexation — but he is far from aloneSHALOM YERUSHALMI - Times of Israel - “When you’re giving away the Land of Israel to our worst enemy, that’s the greatest of sins. But when you’re also severing the connection between the settlements, that’s no less of a crime. Have we learned nothing? Did we not see what happened when we left Gush Katif [the Jewish settlements in the Gaza strip]? Now they’re coming after our land here, in Judea and Samaria.” Rappaport, 75, has been a radical activist among settlers in the West Bank for decades — and was a member of the infamous Jewish Underground terrorist cell, which operated in the 1980s.(rh)9/6/2020
Excluded from Netanyahu’s annexation plans, military must somehow prepare anywayJUDAH ARI GROSS - Times of Israel - With less than a month to go before Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said he intends to annex portions of the West Bank — a move with potentially immense security and geopolitical ramifications — the country’s security forces remain overwhelmingly in the dark about what exactly the government plans to do. A verbal statement that does not actually apply Israeli civil law over the territory and thus does not have any real-world implications may result in only limited reactions by Palestinians, but full annexation of all Israeli settlements and the Jordan Valley — which Netanyahu has indicated he is considering — would likely result in a far more violent and widespread immediate response. The annexation of only the Maale Adumim settlement or Etzion bloc — both of which are almost guaranteed to remain in Israeli control under any political resolution with the Palestinians — could also result in a potentially more muted response by both Palestinians and the rest of the world. (rh)9/6/2020
Israel to demolish 200 Palestinian buildings and structures in East JerusalemMiddle East Monitor - The chairman of East Jerusalem’s Arab Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Kamal Obeidat, told Wafa that the order was made by recommendation of the Israeli Planning and Zoning Committee and will demolish up to 200 structures including car repair shops, restaurants and other facilities. [bz]2/6/2020
Slapping Israeli Apartheid — the sentencing of Yifat DoronJONATHAN OFIR - Mondoweiss - More than two years ago, the young Palestinian resistance icon Ahed Tamimi shook the world with a slap to an Israeli occupation soldier in Nabi Saleh. During Ahed’s sentencing hearing, Israeli peace activist Yifat Doron slapped the chief military prosecutor. It came out of her as a spontaneous reaction to oppression: “The way I see it, this was in reaction to seeing my friend in distress,” Doron said in an interview with +972. On Wednesday, Doron was sentenced to eight months prison, plus a fine of 3,000 Shekels and probation entailing a potential 4 months to 3 years prison if she would be convicted of additional ‘violent offenses’. The case was of course held at a civilian court – the Jerusalem Magistrates Court – not the military court in which Palestinians are tried.(rh)2/6/2020
Israel put itself in a cornerSam Bahour -Responsible Statekraft - Anyone following the Israeli- Palestinian conflict is sitting on the edge of their seat waiting to see if the new Israeli coalition government currently being formed will act on the green light the Trump administration has given it for additional acts of annexation of parts of the West Bank. Another act of annexation or not, Israel has already lost. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s 16-hour trip to Israel last week raised red flags for some. Could it be that the Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu, drunk on power and impunity, was taking Trump’s “Deal of the Century” and implementing it faster than the U.S. administration desires? Clearly, the world did not buy any part of Trump’s “Peace to Prosperity” fiasco — not the Palestinians, not the Arab states, not the EU, and not many Israelis and devoted supporters of Israel as well. (rh)2/6/2020
This is Jerusalem: Violence and Dispossession in al-‘EsawiyahB`Tselem - Since April 2019, the Israel Police has been engaged in a campaign of abuse and collective punishment against the neighborhood of al-‘Esawiyah in East Jerusalem. The operation continues, despite social distancing restrictions announced by the government, putting local residents in danger. One of the poorest neighborhoods in Jerusalem, al-‘Esawiyah lies on the eastern slopes of the Mount Scopus ridge, hemmed in by an array of Israeli institutions, Jewish neighborhoods, military bases and roads built on its land. The neighborhood is estimated to have 22,000 residents, and its population density is 3.5 times the average population density in Jerusalem. (rh)2/6/2020
West Bank annexation could be delayed for days or weeks, Likud minister saysTOI STAFF - Times of Israel - Just days after Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told ministers that he had set a July date for the annexation of parts of the West Bank and had no intention of changing it, a minister in his Likud party said Sunday that the timing could be delayed by days or weeks. Ze’ev Elkin, a member of the top-level security cabinet, told Army Radio that the July 1 date cited in the coalition deal signed with Benny Gantz’s Blue and White party wasn’t set in stone.(rh)2/6/2020
Netanyahu urges doubtful settler chiefs to get behind ‘historic’ West Bank planJACOB MAGID - Times of Israel - Settler leaders have lamented being left out of the loop of the committee’s meetings, asserting that the conceptual map presented by the Trump administration at the plan’s January unveiling results in 15 Israeli settlements becoming isolated enclaves encircled by a future Palestinian state — an entity whose establishment they fundamentally oppose.(rh)2/6/2020
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