Israel says US OK’ed settlement construction; Ha’aretz counts West Bank settlers

What We’re Reading

US-Israeli/Palestinian relations

Liberman at ToI event: Israel is coordinating settlement building with the US,

Israel is coordinating its settlement construction with the White House, including the approval for building the largest number of homes in the West Bank since 1992, Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman told the crowd at a Times of Israel event in northern Tel Aviv on Thursday night.

Opinion: Could Mideast Peace Be a Key Battleground for Macron vs Trump?,

“France’s president has a chance to push a distinctive new voice on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict while strengthening Europe’s fightback against Trump’s threat to international norms and stability,” write Manual Rapnouil and Hugh Lovatt.


What Israel fears about Hamas and the Qatar crisis,

Israeli academics, analysts and intelligence sources suggest it has more to lose than gain from the crisis.

A Dance in Riyadh, a Blackout in Gaza,

“Trump’s unreserved support for his Saudi sycophants could make life even more miserable in the Hamas-ruled enclave on the sea,” writes Gershom Gorenberg.

One question left in Gaza: Death by massacre or lack of electricity?`,

With intensified electricity cuts, its biggest aid donor under pressure and many saying another Israeli offensive is imminent, the siege in Gaza has never been worse.

I left Gaza, but it failed to leave me,

“I feel guilty for living in a safe country while my family does not. But I want a future, and to start a family with children who don’t know what an F-16 is,” writes Abeer Ayyoub.

Gaza power cuts: 'This is the worst it's ever been',

Al Jazeera spoke to Palestinians in Gaza about the latest electricity crisis, after supply reduced to three hours a day.

Occupation/Human rights

How Many Settlers Really Live in the West Bank? Haaretz Investigation Reveals,

The Jewish population in the West Bank has increased by more than 330,000 people and eight settlements have been built in the West Bank over the past three decades. More than 380,000 settlers currently live in the West Bank, over 40 percent of them outside the settlement blocs, Haaretz has found.

Switzerland vows to tighten oversight of funding to Palestinian groups,

Lawmakers passed legislation blocking funding to groups involved in anti-Semitic incitement or supporting a boycott of Israel.

Israel-Palestine From Both Sides of the Mirror,

Roger Cohen asks two Israelis and two Palestinians to write briefly of their feelings on the anniversary of the Six Day War.

Israeli Author’s Translator Gives Prize Money To Group Critical Of IDF,

The translator of David Grossman’s 2017 Man Booker International Prize-winning novel, “A Horse Walks into a Bar,” donated half her winnings to B’Tselem.

Palestinian politics

Palestinian Authority blocks eleven news websites,

The websites have been blocked in the Israeli-occupied West Bank following a directive by the PA public prosecutor.

Thoughtcrime in Palestine: Where opinions land you in jail,

Rights groups and lawyers say Palestinian Authority is rounding up youths and journalists for expressing dissent on social media.

Israeli politics

Cabinet ministers threaten rebellion over Palestinian building plans,

The IDF’s plans to expand the municipal boundaries of the Palestinian city Kalkilya and build 14,000 new homes for Palestinians in Area C of the West Bank, will lead to a rebellion among the Likud’s ministers in the cabinet, the ministers warned Thursday.

Opinion: Netanyahu spearheads populist 'madness',

“Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s decision to task Tourism Minister Yariv Levin with formulating a stricter new version of the “NGO law” simply shows how serious he is about it,” writes Mazal Mualem.

Arab-Free Theocracy: Veteran Settler Offers Rare Glimpse Into Religious-Zionist Vision for Israel,

Daniella Weiss opens up to the Haaretz writer who called her movement more dangerous than Hezbollah.