Top News & Analysis from Israel & Palestine: October 9-14, 2022

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Apartheid/Occupation/Human Rights

Palestine: Hundreds of Palestinians confront Israeli forces in East Jerusalem,

“Hundreds of Palestinians confronted Israeli security forces across occupied East Jerusalem overnight as Israeli soldiers, using tear gas and stun grenades, made several arrests. Residents were reported to have taken to the streets in Isawiyah, Silwan, A-Tur, Ras al-Amud, Shuafat, Jabel Mukaber, Sur Baher and Beit Hanina…Many Palestinians had observed a day of civil disobedience earlier on Wednesday in solidarity with residents of the Shuafat camp in East Jerusalem which has been under Israeli lockdown for five days.” See also Palestine: Jerusalem refugee camp under siege as Israel hunts shooter (Middle East Eye); Palestinians strike against Israeli siege on Jerusalem camp (Al Jazeera); PHOTOS: A day of civil disobedience in Shuafat Refugee Camp (+972)

'Siege on Shoafat' Has United East Jerusalem in Protest,

“Residents seemed happy that the clashes had spread throughout East Jerusalem. In their view, the siege on Shoafat had united the Arab part of the city. They also said their strike had brought partial success, in that two routes to leave the camp by car were opened….“What happens in Shoafat happens in Silwan and Sheikh Jarrah,” declared Mohammed Khattib, a resident of East Jerusalem’s Silwan neighborhood. “We aren’t neighborhoods, we’re one unit whose sole goal is to defend ourselves.” He accused police of “trying to divide us into towns and neighborhoods, but what happens here due to police oppression befalls each and every one of us.”” 

See also this tweet from Dr. Yara Hawari of Al Shabaka: “Israeli regime forces rained down tear gas on the Palestinian village of Issawiyeh in Jerusalem yesterday. In a neighbourhood nearby, a Palestinian baby girl died from tear gas inhalation. Tear gas is a chemical weapon.”

Also see the footage in this tweet from Edo Konrad of +972: “Far-right MK Itamar Ben-Gvir pulled out a gun in the Palestinian neighborhood of Sheikh Jarrah tonight, telling the settlers with him that “If [Palestinians] throw stones, shoot them.” Ben-Gvir is one of the most popular politicians in Israel today.”

Palestine: Israeli crackdown on Shuafat sparks violence across Jerusalem and West Bank,

“Flare-ups were also reported across the occupied West Bank, with confrontations between Palestinians and Israeli troops accompanied by attacks by Jewish settlers. In the Shuafat camp, which Israeli troops have locked down for five days following a deadly shooting at a nearby checkpoint, violence continued until around 3am. The confrontations were sparked by Israeli troops storming homes belonging to the Tamimi family, a member of which is suspected by Israel of killing an Israeli soldier at the checkpoint on Saturday night. Three Tamimis were arrested. Israeli forces fired tear gas inside the homes, with several people inside suffering injuries from choking…Despite the partial reopening of the camp’s entrances and exits, residents of Shuafat said their civil obedience action and protests will continue until Israeli forces end all restrictive measures against them. “The occupation army is imposing a policy of collective revenge against the camp’s residents, and this has cost us a lot financially and psychologically, ” Samrin told MEE…Meanwhile, settler attacks escalated on Palestinian villages located near Israeli settlements across the West Bank. In the village of Qasra, south of Nablus, settlers attacked poultry farms and torched three of them, which led to the deaths of 30,000 birds. The settlers also destroyed olive trees in the area, leading to confrontations with residents…On Thursday morning, settlers flanked by soldiers attacked Palestinian houses in Huwarra town south of Nablus. Elsewhere in Nablus, gunfights erupted overnight in the vicinity of Joseph’s Tomb after settlers stormed the site under heavy army protection.” See also Doctor among two Palestinians killed by Israeli forces in Jenin (Al Jazeera); Palestinians: Israeli troops kill teen in West Bank clashes (AP); UPDATE: Israeli settlers attack Palestinians on main Huwwara street to the south of Nablus, injuries reported (WAFA); Israeli soldiers, settlers storm Nablus following siege (The New Arab); Palestinian security forces become more involved in resistance in West Bank (Al Monitor); Israeli Army Puts Nablus Under Lockdown Following Deadly Shooting Attacks (Haaretz)

See also this footage of Israeli settlers in a Palestinian village in the West Bank: “Today: Israeli settlers backed by Israeli colonial forces attack Palestinian cars and shops in Huwwara village, near Nablus. Since Tuesday, there has been an Israeli military closure on Nablus, after one Israeli soldier was killed.” (Oren Ziv//+972)

The northern West Bank is taking up arms. Will the south join?,

“Why is armed resistance in the northern West Bank growing but not in the south? Will it spread beyond the north? Will it continue? Through conversations with journalists, commentators, and political activists, it became clear that there are no easy answers to these questions. One reason for the difficulty is that the armed resistance is acting relatively independently, with no centralized political movement putting forward a plan and no leadership outlining a clear path…The disparity between the level of control the PA maintains in the north versus the south is visible in numerous ways. Not only is it more difficult for the PA to act in the north, but there is a major gap in the number of arrests carried out in each region. “The PA’s security forces carry out far more arrests in Hebron than they do in the north,” Al-Natsha said. “The occupation army is also more active in the south. All of this diminishes the resistance in the south relative to the north.” See also Who are the terrorists?’: How a new Palestinian generation is fighting occupation (Middle East Eye) and Nablus’ ‘Lion’s Den’ Has Become a Major Headache for Israel and the Palestinian Authority (Haaretz)

The PA’s Faltering Authority,

“Dana El Kurd: There has always been some degree of PA control that’s built on their coercive capacity, but there are also people who are invested in the idea of the PA. And I think we really are reaching a low point regarding that kind of control. People are simply no longer tolerating the PA’s role in all of this. There has been a break between the older generation and the younger generation, specifically. Younger people, who have grown up with no political horizon, are taking up arms much more readily, and are willing to directly confront the PA…It’s important to note that polling shows that Hamas is not enjoying the same kind of popular legitimacy that they did following the last Gaza war in May 2021. People in the West Bank view Hamas as having not translated their gains after the last war into any kind of change on the ground. So the armed resistance we’re seeing is not a Hamas versus Fatah thing, or a Hamas versus PA thing. I think people are pretty fed up with all parties.So you see people turning instead to militias and armed resistance groups, particularly the Al-Aqsa Brigades and [Palestinian Islamist political faction] Islamic Jihad.”

Drones terrorized Gaza for years. Now they’ll do the same in the West Bank,

“Drone warfare has officially come to the West Bank. On Sept. 29, Israeli media reported that the Israeli army has greenlighted the use of armed drones in the occupied territory, quoting unnamed military sources…Israel’s political and military leadership say such innovations in automated warfare provide quick fixes to a cycle of violence they deem regrettably chronic. …To solve this so-called “security crisis” — which in reality stems from decades of occupation, foreclosed economic horizons, and fractured political leadership — the army is calling for the use of drones to surveil refugee camps and strike militants, for installing remote-controlled gun turrets to secure high-volume checkpoints, and for employing biometric cameras to track civilians across the West Bank.”

‘Place the Material in the Wells’: Docs Point to Israeli Army’s 1948 Biological Warfare,

“This operation was partially exposed decades ago when rumors and oral testimonies were reported in newspapers and books about an attempt in 1948 by the IDF to poison wells in Acre and Gaza by adding bacteria to the drinking water. However, only now, in Morris and Kedar’s research, has the “smoking gun” been revealed – in the form of official documentation. The newly unearthed documents show that this operation was much broader in scope than earlier believed and that other top military and political figures besides Ben-Gurion were involved.” See also Israel’s Secret Poisonings in 1948 (Haaretz)

Lawfare//Redefining Antisemitism to Quash Criticism of Israel and Advocacy for Palestinian Rights

Report: Unveiling the Chilly Climate – The Suppression of Speech on Palestine in Canada,

“IJV has spent the last year gathering research about the repression faced by academics, students and Palestine solidarity activists, collecting approximately 80 testimonies describing the resulting “chilling effect” in Canada. This report is the first of its kind anywhere in the world, utilizing ethnographic methodology and qualitative analysis to describe both the overarching effects of this repression as well as the deeply personal impact it has on activists, artists, students and professors. While focused on Canada, it also holds international ramifications as many of the processes we describe are present in other countries….The contribution of this report is two-fold:  1) the amount and quality of information gathered here is unprecedented and speaks to the worrisome prevalence of harassment and suppression of speech on Palestine on campuses and in Canadian civil society and 2) it surpasses a simple documentation of instances of repression by employing an ethnographic methodology to analyze the so-called “chilling effect” and its impact on governmental, institutional and individual decision making.” See also Palestine advocates face ‘organized, funded intimidation,’ finds new report (The Breach) and Academics in Canada face harassment, intimidation for pro-Palestinian speech, report shows (Middle East Eye)

We Zionists are actually thriving at Berkeley Law,

“In “Berkeley Develops Jewish-Free Zones,” an op-ed that ran in the Jewish Chronicle, Kenneth L. Marcus is understandably alarmed at the adoption by several student groups at the University of California, Berkeley, School of Law of a bylaw written by Law Students for Justice in Palestine (LSJP). The controversial measure promises to, among other things, prevent speakers who hold views in support of Israel or Zionism from being invited to campus…We are troubled by Mr. Marcus’ attempt to disparage one of America’s most vibrant institutions that supports a strong Jewish community…First and foremost, let us be clear: what the nine student groups did was wrong and the students that were part of that decision-making process should be ashamed of themselves. The logical effect of these bylaws is to discriminate against Jews, who overwhelmingly consider Zionism to be an integral part of their identity. For LSJP members and other Berkeley Law students to profess that this BDS bylaw is merely “in support of Palestinian liberation” without acknowledging the tangible impact it will have by excluding Jews is unbefitting of legal scholars at the best public law school in the country…We won’t deny that in our three years at Berkeley Law, we experienced a number of antisemitic incidents that contributed to what was, at times, a hostile climate for many Jewish students. Yet with support from the highest levels of the Berkeley administration, including Chancellor Carol Christ and Dean Erwin Chemerinsky, our Jewish community, Zionism and advocacy flourished, despite the bigotry from some of our peers.” See also There Are No ‘Jewish-Free’ Zones on the UC-Berkeley Campus (Erwin Chemerinsky, Dean of the UC Berkeley School of Law // Daily Beast)

Palestinian Scene

Palestinian factions sign reconciliation agreement in Algeria,

“Rival Palestinian factions meeting in Algiers for talks mediated by the Algerian government have agreed on a reconciliation deal that aims to resolve 15 years of discord through new elections in the occupied Palestinian territories. The agreement was signed by senior Fatah leader Azzam al-Ahmad; chief of the Hamas political bureau, Ismail Haniya; and the secretary general of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, Talal Naji…Other Palestinian figures who were invited to sign the document included Ahmed Majdalani, a senior member of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO); Mustafa Barghouti, the secretary general of the Palestinian National Initiative; and Bassam al-Salhi, secretary general of the Palestinian People’s Party…According to Hamas spokesman Hazem Qassem, the deal does not include a section on forming a unity government but it does include clauses on developing the structures of the PLO, forming its national council and holding legislative and presidential elections.”

Meeting Putin, Abbas says Palestinians ‘don’t trust America’ to solve conflict,

Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas told Russian leader Vladimir Putin on Thursday that the PA does not trust the United States to be an unbiased mediator in any future negotiations. “We don’t trust America and you know our position. We don’t trust it, we don’t rely on it, and under no circumstances can we accept that America is the sole party in resolving a problem,” Abbas told Putin in a meeting on the sidelines of an international conference in Kazakhstan…A readout of the meeting from the official PA news agency WAFA did not mention Abbas’s comments on the United States, but said the PA president “praised Russia’s positions at all international forums in support of the Palestinian people and their just cause.” According to Reuters, Abbas told Putin that “we are happy and satisfied with the Russian position.”


Israel and Lebanon reach ‘historic’ maritime border and gas fields deal,

“Israel and Lebanon have reportedly agreed a deal in a dispute over gas fields and the two countries’ maritime border, a groundbreaking diplomatic achievement that could boost natural gas production in the Mediterranean before the European winter begins.” See also Lebanon’s president announces official approval of maritime border deal with Israel (Times of Israel) and US touts ‘historic breakthrough’ on Israel-Lebanon maritime border (Al Monitor)

U.S. Scene

They united to oppose an extremist party entering Israel’s government in 2019. This time, leading US Jewish groups are staying quiet.,

“In 2019, when then-Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was in talks with an extremist party to coordinate election tactics, the message from the U.S. Jewish community was clear: Don’t. That’s no longer the case now that the former prime minister is once again working with Otzma Yehudit and its leader, Itamar Ben-Gvir, to work out an agreement that would get him back into the prime minister’s seat. At least four of the major Jewish groups that spoke out in 2019 say they will not get involved this time around: the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, the American Jewish Committee, the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations, and the Jewish Council for Public Affairs. The latter two represent a broad array of national and Jewish groups.” See also U.S. Jewish Groups Face Major Dilemma as Israeli Far Right Gains in Election Polls (Haaretz) and Netanyahu and Ben Gvir meet, agree to coordinate campaign, media strategy — report (Times of Israel)