Top News from Israel & Palestine: April 2, 2021

What We’re Reading

Occupation, Annexation, Apartheid, Human Rights

Settlement & Annexation Report: April 2, 2021,

Welcome to FMEP’s Weekly Settlement & Annexation Report. To subscribe to this report, please click here.

  1. Biden Admin Downplays on Occupation, Avoids Criticizing Settlements
  2. New Insights Into Trump Consulate Closure Reveal Consequences for Settlement Policy
  3. Bonus Reads

Palestinians in this village suffer daily settler raids of Muslim shrines Read more: ,

“Each time the settlers raid the village, the Israeli army imposes a total curfew and deploys a large number of soldiers and vehicles in preparation for the entry of settlers that lasts until dawn. Kifl Haris has 4,500 residents and stretches over a surface area of ​​about 10,000 dunams (2,471 acres). It accommodates three prominent Muslim shrines, namely the shrine of Prophet Dhu al-Kifl, the shrine of Yusha ibn Nun and the shrine of Dhul-Nun (Prophet Jonah). The three shrines date back to the period of Salahuddin al-Ayoubi and are characterized by the Islamic architectural style of the domes and prayer niches.”

Five Palestinians injured by Israeli gunfire in Nablus,

“Five Palestinian young men sustained gunfire injuries today during an Israeli army incursion into Askar refugee camp, near the city of Nablus in the occupied West Bank, according to Palestinian security sources. Dozens of Israeli military vehicles forced their way into the camp, located about two kilometers east of the city, provoking clashes with local residents. Army fired live bullets and teargas to disperse the protesters, injuring five of them.”

Also from WAFA:

Israeli Elections

Bennett, Netanyahu talk coalition options; Yamina chief may recommend self as PM,

“Meanwhile, according to an unnamed Yamina source cited by the Haaretz newspaper, Bennett was increasingly unlikely to recommend either Netanyahu or opposition Yesh Atid leader Yair Lapid to form the next government when he meets with President Reuven Rivlin next week, and is liable to recommend himself.”


See also:

Analysis | Israel Election Results: Islamist Leader Offered the Jewish Right an Olive Branch, but Can It Get Him Any Results?,

“The term Palestine was never even mentioned, nor was the two-state solution or the concept of self-determination. The nation-state law, Kaminitz Law and the issue of unrecognized Bedouin towns in the Negev weren’t mentioned either….While the Israeli public views the speech as a message of conciliation, in the Arab community the responses were divided. For his supporters it was a sophisticated speech that penetrated every home in Israel. For his opponents, the speech reeked of obsequiousness, defeatism and flattery to the right.”

See also:

After Abbas speech, Smotrich once again rejects any coalition backed by Ra’am,

“Religious Zionism party leader MK Bezalel Smotrich said Friday that his party will not sit in a government that is dependent on any support from Mansour Abbas and his Islamist Ra’am party. “We will not be a partner in any government that leans actively or by the abstention of Ra’am or other terror supporters,” Smotrich said.”


See also:

Better to form alliance with Arabs than with the Left, prominent rabbi says,

“Prominent ultra-Orthodox Rabbi Chaim Kanievsky told his disciples Thursday that it is preferable to side with the Arabs rather than left-wing political parties for the purpose of safeguarding Jewish tradition….Kanievsky explained that, unlike the Left bloc, Arab Israeli lawmakers do not aspire to “turn everyone secular,” and pointed out that religious Knesset members would have an easier time cooperating with them as they share similar values when it comes to respect of religion, family, and military conscription.”

If at fourth he can’t succeed, Netanyahu signals he’s ready to try, try again,

“But as things stand, after a week of quiet cogitation Netanyahu appears to have decided a fifth election is the least costly path for him – or at least that it’s the most likely outcome regardless of what he does. It seems likely that Netanyahu’s sudden conciliatory tone has little to do with the next government and everything to do with shifting blame for the next election onto someone else.”

Palestinian Elections & Scene

36 electoral lists will compete in upcoming Palestinian vote,

“At the close of the nomination period for the May 22 Palestinian Legislative Council, on midnight March 31, a total of 36 different lists were officially presented….The last day for submissions witnessed high drama as a number of lists waited until the last minute to submit changes in names and ranking. The biggest drama that many feel will be a game changer was the decision of the popular imprisoned Fatah leader Marwan Barghouti to scrap his own movement’s official list and join forces with the recently fired former Foreign Minister Nasser al-Qudwa.”

Jailed Palestinian leader's alliance could deal Fatah blow at ballot boxes,

“The Freedom list includes Fatah leaders close to Barghouti, former political figures, freed prisoners, in addition to other independent candidates. The list, in which the share of women exceeds 30%, is led by Qudwa, the nephew of late Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat. Qudwa, who has a large following in the Gaza Strip, was dismissed from Fatah’s Central Committee in early March for his attempt to present a separate list of candidates. He is one of the most prominent Palestinian diplomatic figures as he served as minister of foreign affairs and Palestinian representative to the United Nations in previous years. Barghouti’s wife Fadwa, who is a very prominent female figure within Fatah, comes second in the list. She is a member of Fatah’s Revolutionary Council, and secured the highest number of votes in the 2016 elections.”

Drawing on past lessons, Hamas submits inclusive electoral list,

“The list included 132 candidates from the West Bank, the Gaza Strip and Jerusalem, including Hamas leaders, representatives of trade unions, women, young people, academics, prisoners in Israeli jails and others in exile. Khalil al-Hayya, deputy head of Hamas’ political bureau, is heading the movement’s electoral list. He said in a press statement March 29 that Hamas wants to associate its list with Jerusalem and also include technocrats. He expressed hope that the elections would pave the way to ending the Palestinian division.”

Turkey-Egypt rapprochement serves Palestinian cause: Hamas leader,

“In exclusive interview with Anadolu Agency, Ismail Haniyeh addresses various topics from Palestinian elections to political crisis in Israel.”

UNRWA raises alarm on the situation of Palestinian refugees in Lebanon,

“The United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA) said yesterday it was alarmed by the dire situation of the Palestinian refugees in Lebanon and the precarious living conditions they are experiencing, particularly in the last year of acute financial crisis and pandemic.”

Honey Thaljieh: First captain of Palestine women’s football team,

“The former Palestinian women’s football captain, who has fought prejudice all her life, now promotes equality through sport for boys and girls alike. If you ask Palestinians to name the captain of the men’s national football team, some might struggle. But mention the name Honey Thaljieh, and they know exactly who you are talking about. Thaljieh was born in Bethlehem and grew up in occupied Palestine. She first came to prominence as a player in 1984, as the co-founder and first-ever captain of the Palestinian women’s football team. She had to overcome prejudice and break through social and political barriers to achieve this goal, and became a role model to women and girls in the Middle East and beyond.”

US Policy

US ‘open’ to direct talks with Iran at meeting on nuclear deal,

“The United States has confirmed it will take part in a meeting in Vienna next week on the Iran nuclear deal and said it was “open” to sit down directly with Tehran. The European Union announced Friday the in-person meeting of all parties to the 2015 nuclear deal, formally known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), from which former President Donald Trump withdrew in 2018, instead imposing a “maximum pressure” sanctions campaign.”

See also:

Redefining antisemitism // Silencing critics of Israel // Free speech

New declaration is way out of antisemitism-Israel-Palestine entanglement,

“In the UK, following years of painful public debate on antisemitism, the JDA can play a vital role. Its legitimacy and exactness help to disentangle the fight against antisemitism in the diaspora from the political future of Israel/Palestine. At the same time, by placing the definition of antisemitism on broad anti-racist principles, the JDA enables us fight antisemitism in alliance with struggles against anti-Blackness, Islamophobia and other forms of racism. It will help us build the widest possible coalition to combat antisemitism.”

Commentary // Long Read

The Long Struggle Over the Suez,

“Since its construction just over 150 years ago, the Suez Canal has been at the heart of the global capitalist system – and has played a key role in the Arab world’s struggle against its old colonial masters.”