Pressure mounts over US embassy move; Protests in West Bank over prisoners’ strike

What We’re Reading

US-Israeli/Palestinian relations

Ahead of Trump visit, Jordan and Egypt declare east Jerusalem 'capital of Palestine',

Jordanian Foreign Minister Ayman Safadi, Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry and Secretary of the PLO’s Executive Committee Saeb Erekat, met in Amman and expressed opposition to “unilateral steps in Jerusalem.”

US Consulate’s political counselor named as official who told Israelis: Western Wall is not yours,

The American official who sniped at his Israeli counterparts that the Western Wall, the holiest place for Jews to pray, is not part of Israel and not Israel’s responsibility was named Tuesday in a TV report as David Berns, the political counselor at the US Consulate in Jerusalem.

Israel wants US to explain official's Western Wall comment,

Israel wants the White House to explain why a US diplomat preparing President Donald Trump’s visit to Jerusalem said Judaism’s Holy Western Wall in the east side of the city is part of the occupied West Bank, an Israeli official said on Monday.

Palestinians Shift Strategy, Playing National Security Card With Trump,

Palestinian officials are promoting the indispensability of the PA’s strategic partnership with the U.S. and suggesting that if the Authority loses control and the two-state solution disappears from the diplomatic lexicon, the consequences for the region would be grave.

Palestinian prisoners

Activists block roads for 2nd day, calling for increased support of hunger strikers,

A group of Palestinian activists blocked off commuter roads leading to Ramallah in the central occupied West Bank for the second consecutive day on Monday morning, in an act of protest demanding more solidarity actions to support hunger-striking prisoners at both official and popular levels.

Barghouthi to stop drinking water as Israel fails to respond to hunger strike's demands,

As the mass “Freedom and Dignity” hunger strike in Israeli prisons entered its 30th day on Tuesday, the Palestinian Committee of Prisoners’ Affairs announced that leader of the strike Marwan Barghouthi will stop drinking water in response to Israel’s continued refusal to respond to the hunger strikers’ demands.

Occupation/Human rights

Israel-Palestine: the real reason there’s still no peace,

“The possibility of a lasting deal seems as far away as ever – and the history of failed negotiations suggests it’s largely because Israel prefers the status quo,” writes Nathan Thrall.

Gulf States Offer Unprecedented Steps to Normalize Israel Ties in Exchange for Partial Settlement Freeze,

Various Sunni Arab countries offer to establish direct telecom lines with Israel, among other steps, if Israel makes gestures toward Palestinians, according to a Wall Street Journal report.

For Palestinians in East Jerusalem, Israeli Bureaucracy Goes From Bad to Intolerable,

Unfortunately for Dr. Samir Masri, a resident of East Jerusalem, his son Omar was born prematurely during a family trip to the United States. Because his wife is a native of the West Bank who is in the midst of the “family unification” procedure, their baby had no legal status in Israel when they returned.

Border Police volunteer gets 7 months in death of Palestinian,

The 43-year-old Border Police volunteer agrees to a plea bargain in the shooting death of an illegal Palestinian worker who had been shot to death after running from security forces during his arrest.

Israel aims new Nakba-style weapon at Arab citizens,

A new law paves the way for a fresh wave of home demolitions in Palestinian towns and villages throughout Israel. Its passing is proof that the land grab begun by Israel in 1948 never ended.

Unsportsmanlike Conduct: Fifa Ignores Its Rules In Israeli-Palestinian Soccer Dispute,

FIFA’s statues are very clear. No team from any federation is allowed to play in a pitch located in another federation without the approval of that federation. The dispute, however, arose as to the jurisdiction of the Palestinian federation in which the settlement clubs are based.

Israeli politics

Bennett: Bayit Yehudi could quit coalition over PM's probes,

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s government could fall over his three criminal investigations, Bayit Yehudi leader Naftali Bennett indicated in an interview Monday night with the new public broadcasting corporation Kan.

Netanyahu trapped between Trump, Israeli right wing,

US President Donald Trump would like Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s assistance in tabling the issue of moving the US Embassy to Jerusalem, but Netanyahu fears the reaction of his right-wing coalition partners.

Palestinian politics

The Palestinian Authority Security Forces: Whose Security?,

“From the outset, the Palestinian Authority (PA) security establishment has failed to protect Palestinians from the main source of their insecurity: The Israeli military occupation,” writes Alaa Tartir.

Top Palestinian Blames Washington Institute for Failed Peace Process,

Speaking before a packed crowd on Monday afternoon at the National Press Club, Husam Zomlot, the PLO’s Chief Representative to the U.S., called out the Washington Institute for Near East Policy (WINEP) and blamed them for the stalled peace process.

What's behind Abbas' recent threats to Hamas?,

Following his first meeting with US President Donald Trump at the White House, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas announced his intention to take unprecedented measures against Hamas, raising questions about the timing of such threats.

Hamas policy shift deepens internal rift,

Senior Hamas official Mahmoud al-Zahar’s objection to recognizing Israel’s 1967 borders as the basis for the creation of a future Palestinian state puts him at odds with the movement’s new leadership.