Nakba Day; Palestinians vote; Plans progress for Trump visit to Israel

What We’re Reading

Palestinian refugees

For Palestinians in Lebanon, 69 years of despair,

On Monday, Palestinians mark 69 years since hundreds of thousands of them were forced from their homes during the 1948 war that led to the creation of Israel. Many settled in the neighboring West Bank, Gaza, Jordan, Syria and Lebanon.

Focus On: Palestinian Refugees,

A collection of some of the most compelling pieces Al-Shabaka has published contextualizes and discusses the unique difficulties of Palestinian refugees displaced across the Middle East.

US-Israel relations

Trump set to become first sitting US president to visit Western Wall,

The White House has yet to publish the itinerary for Trump’s May 22-23 visit to Israel — the 11th presidential trip to the country since Richard Nixon came in 1974 — but according to sources involved in planning the trip, he is set to visit the Western Wall.

Tillerson: Trump weighing whether embassy move will help or hurt peace,

US President Donald Trump is assessing whether moving the US Embassy in Israel to Jerusalem would help or hurt prospects for clinching an Israeli-Palestinian peace deal, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said, revealing Trump’s criteria for a decision that could reverberate throughout the volatile Middle East.

Israel dismisses US concern over Jerusalem embassy move,

Netanyahu says embassy move to Jerusalem would be positive for peace process with the Palestinians.

Palestinian politics

West Bank votes in polls underlining Palestinian split,

Palestinians in the occupied West Bank voted on Saturday in municipal elections that underscored deep rifts between President Mahmoud Abbas’s Fatah party and Islamist rival Hamas, which runs the Gaza Strip.

'If this hunger strike succeeds, it could mean revolution',

For the last decade, Ramzi Fayyad, who has been working to promote dialogue between representatives of released prisoners, views the the current hunger strikes as an opportunity.

PA forces assault activists at demonstration in support of prisoner hunger strike,

After local activists in Anabta in the northern occupied West Bank district of Tulkarem blockaded the main street of the village on Monday, activists clashed with Palestinian forces who arrived several minutes later to reopen the road, leaving a number of the activists bruised and suffering from tear gas inhalation.

Journalists in Gaza face intensifying crackdown,

Several journalists from the Gaza Strip have recently been kidnapped by the Hamas-run security services, beaten and tortured, to finally be released after being instructed not to criticize the movement.

Religion out, nationalism in: Will Hamas' charter divide the movement?,

Hamas’s new ‘Document of Principles’ ditches Islamism for frank positions on borders, international law, and human rights. But can the movement maintain unity as it inches closer to the ideas held by its rivals in the PLO?


Plan to Build New Homes in Israeli Settlement in West Bank Put Into Motion,

A regional council in the West Bank has begun soliciting bids to build over 200 apartments in a Jewish settlement under its authority. The news comes a week ahead of U.S. President Donald Trump’s visit to Israel and the Palestinian Authority.

Disguised as Charity, Israeli Firm Enlists Lawmakers' Support for Establishment of New Settlement,

The United Jerusalem Fund is selling plots in the future settlement of Mitzpeh Yehuda, but there aren’t any government plans for its construction.

Occupation/Human rights

Pillaging Palestine's gas? EU in danger of complicity in resource grab,

A new report questions whether an energy company developing Israeli gas reserves may also have been illegally extracting Palestinian resources.

Hebrew U. cancels conference on Palestinian prisoners, following pressure,

Hebrew University canceled the conference after a student group associated with Naftali Bennett’s Jewish Home party penned an open letter to the university president. ‘The very existence of this conference lends legitimacy to terror.’

Hebron: the conflict in a nutshell,

Ever since the Six Day War enabled the return of Jews to this legendary city, it has become one of the most prominent symbols of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

Israeli politics

Netanyahu fast-tracks Jewish nation-state bill,

PM responds to critics who said bill gives primacy to Jewish citizens, saying that “there is no contradiction at all between this bill and equal rights for all citizens of Israel.”