Top News from Israel & Palestine: August 5, 2021

What We’re Reading

Occupation, Settlements, Apartheid

Palestinian dad expects no justice for son killed by Israel,

“A week after the death of his eldest son, Moayed al-Alami sat on the sofa on his ground floor patio, protectively hugging and kissing two of his remaining children. The Israeli military has opened an investigation into the killing of 12-year-old Mohammed al-Alami who was shot by Israeli soldiers as he rode in the family car. But that is no comfort to his father, who is devastated by his son’s death and has little faith that he will see justice…The Israel human rights group B’Tselem this week released what it said was security-camera video of the shooting. In the video, al-Alami’s van is seen approaching a dip in the road, with a group of Israeli soldiers standing further down a hill. Al-Alami is seen doing a U-turn before being chased up the street by troops, who are heard shouting at him to stop, before opening fire. The actual shooting is not seen, but at least a dozen shots are heard. B’Tselem said the video shows the family posed no threat to the troops. The army has said that senior commanders and military police — which investigate suspected wrongdoing by troops— are involved in the probe. But Moayed said that he did not expect the investigation to lead to anything. He said the military helped transfer the boy to the hospital after the shooting, but that he has not heard from investigators.”

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JNF Set to Approve Plan That Could Lead to Palestinians' Eviction,

“A new initiative by the Jewish National Fund (Keren Kayemeth LeIsrael) on registration of properties beyond the Green Line could lead to the eviction of Palestinians from their homes in the West Bank and East Jerusalem. JNF’s board of directors is set to meet on Thursday to approve the plan, which entails reviewing 17,000 property assets across Israel and the West Bank that have not been registered to date. The entire project is expected to cost about 100 million shekels ($31 million) and take five years to execute.”

Israel carries out 3 large-scale demolitions in the West Bank,

“Israeli forces yesterday carried out three large-scale demolitions in different areas of the occupied West Bank. The head of the Palestinian Committee Against the Wall and Settlements in Bethlehem, Hassan Breija, said an Israeli army bulldozer demolished five agricultural structures in the Shaab Sultan area in the town of Wadi Rahal, south of the governorate…The Israeli forces also demolished ten shops and razed a plot of land near the occupied city of Jerusalem, under the pretext that it was built within the Jerusalem municipality boundaries…Israeli occupation forces also demolished facilities belonging to five Palestinian families, in the northern Jordan Valley.”


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Israel destroyed, raided and ransacked 11 Palestinian printing presses and bookstores since January,

“Israel destroyed, raided and ransacked 11 Palestinian-owned printing presses, media offices, and bookstores in the first seven months of this year, today said the Palestinian Ministry of Information. It said Israel destroyed four printing presses or publishing houses and four bookshops during its 11-day war on Gaza in May. In the occupied West Bank, Israeli forces raided and totally ransacked and destroyed equipment in three printing presses in Ramallah, Bethlehem and in Izzariyeh, east of Jerusalem, while ordering closure of the Ramallah-based printing press, Bisan, for six months.”


US Scene

We got Ben & Jerry’s to stop selling in Israeli settlements. Here’s how we did it,

“Israel has oppressed Palestinians for decades, but the groundswell of support for Palestinian freedom has reached new levels. It’s only a matter of time before other companies take Ben & Jerry’s lead. It might be surprising that an ice cream company could cause such a meltdown, but Ben & Jerry’s set a remarkable precedent, one worth learning from. Here’s how the Ben & Jerry’s campaign unfolded.” Also see: Ben & Jerry’s franchisees call for company to rescind Israel decision (Jewish News Syndicate)

Pro-Israel groups split over whether new US spending bill conditions foreign aid,

“J Street says requirement that secretary of state inform Congress of any instance where funds used in manner inconsistent with national security a new stipulation. AIPAC disagrees.”

Iran & Lebanon

In test for Israel’s new government, rockets from Lebanon fired into northern Israel,

“Sirens sent residents in northern Israel running for shelter Wednesday after three rockets were launched from southern Lebanon, drawing rounds of cross-border Israeli ­artillery fire and rare overnight strikes, escalating a ­regional security situation seen as a test for Israel’s new government. The relatively small-scale operation, in which two rockets landed in open fields near the northern Israeli city of Kiryat Shemona and another came down inside Lebanon, was carried out by Palestinian groups along Lebanon’s southern border, according to Israeli media. The munitions sparked blazes in both Lebanon and Israel, where extreme heat and strong winds recently have compounded the risk of wildfires.”


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Israel demands 'diplomatic, economic and even military' retaliation against Iran's oil tanker attack,

“Western allies must develop an urgent plan to retaliate against Iran following multiple reported attacks on oil tankers near Oman, according to a senior Israeli official who warned Tehran is reaching a major nuclear threshold. ‘Iran has once again proven to be a global challenge, a regional challenge, and also a challenge to the State of Israel,’ Israeli Defense Minister Benny Gantz told a group of ambassadors Wednesday. ‘It is time for diplomatic, economic, and even military deeds — otherwise, the attacks will continue.’”


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Israel in contact with most Arab countries, including Iraq — senior diplomat,

“The Foreign Ministry maintains some form of contact with almost all Arab countries, including ones officially designated as ‘enemy states’ like Iraq, a senior Foreign Ministry official said Tuesday. ;Over the last twenty years, the Foreign Ministry was always in touch with almost all the players in the Arab World,’ said the outgoing director of the Foreign Ministry’s Middle East Division, Haim Regev, during a briefing in Jerusalem. While he clarified that this list of covert contacts does not include Lebanon, Syria, and Yemen, it does extend to Baghdad.”

Saudi FM praises Abraham Accords, puts Palestinian statehood first,

“The Abraham Accords have been good for the Middle East, but their momentum should be used to help the Palestinians achieve statehood, Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan Al Saud said at a virtual conference of the Aspen Security Forum on Tuesday. ‘We think, overall, the Abraham Accords have worked positively to spur engagement in the region, so in that sense, the decision by those countries can be viewed positively,’ he said…’I think without solving the Palestinian-Israeli conflict in a sustainable, long-term way, we’re not going to have real, sustainable security in the region. We need to try everything we can to make that happen.’ Faisal pointed to the new government in Israel, saying ‘perhaps it can deliver some progress. Let’s wait and see.’”

Free Speech/Surveillance/Lawfare

Shut up and teach? Why labor unions like mine weigh in on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.,

“…the labor movement in both the U.S. and abroad has a long, honorable history of international labor defense and this resolution, though flawed, is very much in that spirit. That so many don’t understand this is a product of the decline of American labor unions and the absence of labor history from our schools and culture. The idea is simple: An injury to working people in one country needs to be resisted by working people throughout the world. Regardless of how one apportions blame between Israel and Hamas for the Gaza crisis, most of those killed and injured were poor working people in Gaza.”

Israel's NSO Double Game,

“In the end, it must be remembered that Israel is playing a double game here. It’s making a show of investigating and reprimanding NSO now, but for years the state acted as matchmaker between NSO and a number of dictatorships.” Also see: Israel’s Pegasus spyware: Tested in Palestine, sold to the world (The New Arab)

Did a pro-Palestinian campus group call for the ‘defunding’ of Hillel?,

“…when social media posts began popping up last week accusing the Rutgers chapter of Students for Justice in Palestine of calling to ‘defund Hillel,’ it seemed to confirm many people’s fears. Jewish activists on Twitter echoed the accusation, and condemnations poured in from sources including an aide to Sen. Ted Cruz and the group StopAntisemitism. In a statement, the Anti-Defamation League said the demand to ‘halt funding for the Hillel’ was ‘outrageous.’ There was just one catch: The call to defund Hillel never happened.”