Top News from Israel & Palestine: July 14, 2021

What We’re Reading

West Bank & East Jerusalem

E1 Plans Scheduled for Discussion of Objections at the Civil Administration on August 9th,

The Civil Administration set August 9th as a date for discussing objections to the E1 plans, E1-South (TPS YOSH 420-4-7)  and E1-East (TPS YOSH 420-4-10). Such a discussion is the last stage for the final approval of the plans after which tenders can be published and construction can begin. Scheduling the date for such sensitive plans has most likely happened with the explicit approval of both the Minister of Defense and the Prime Minister. Construction in E1 will be a death blow to the prospects of a sustainable Palestinian state with a capital in East Jerusalem. It will also mean the uprooting of roughly 3,000 Palestinian living in small Bedouin communities in the area, the most well-known of which is Khan al-Akhmar.”

Ex-Israeli soldiers call for halt to settler violence against Palestinians,


“Around 100 former Israeli soldiers who were stationed in the occupied West Bank have demanded Israel’s defense and internal security ministers to put a stop to the violence by Jewish settlers against Palestinians. According to a report on Israeli Army Radio, the former soldiers, who have just completed their military service, sent a letter to Defense Minister Benny Gantz and Internal Security Minister Omer Bar-Lev about their experiences in the occupied West Bank. Calling for action ‘against the phenomenon of settler violence,’ the former soldiers said the responsibility for countering the violence of Jewish settlers rests with Gantz and Bar-Lev. The violence perpetrated by the Jewish settlers against Palestinians has increased with the implicit support of the Israeli state for years, the letter said, adding: ‘We are the ones serving there and we have personally seen how that violence happened on the field.’”

Israeli guard lightly wounded in West Bank shooting, attacker arrested,

“A security guard was lightly injured in a drive-by shooting at the Qalandiya checkpoint in the West Bank north of Jerusalem late Tuesday, police said. The attacker fled after the shooting toward Jerusalem. A short while later, police and Border police carrying out searches found the vehicle abandoned and the suspect hiding nearby, police said.”

Who are the Murabitat? The Palestinian women guarding Al-Aqsa Mosque,

“The all-female Murabitat who protect the Islamic holy site often endure a violent backlash from Israeli authorities for their activism.”

EU: Israel displaced 595 Palestinians since beginning of 2021,

“The European Union (EU) announced on Tuesday that Israel had displaced 595 Palestinians, including 320 children, since the beginning of 2021, representing an increase of 50 per cent compared to last year. The EU Mission in Jerusalem issued the remarks on its official Twitter account, explaining that in the last demolition on 7 July in Humsa, in the northern Jordan Valley, as many as 42 people, including 24 children, had been displaced and remain in desperate need of humanitarian aid. According to the statement, in the past two days, three Palestinian families in East Jerusalem, including Silwan, had been forced to demolish their homes. The EU called on Israel to halt all demolitions in the occupied Palestinian territories, adding that such activities are cruel and illegal under international law and must cease.”


Also see:

Israeli settlers shoot and injure a Palestinian man near Nablus,

“A Palestinian was today injured after he was shot by Israeli settlers near the village of Madama, south of the occupied West Bank city of Nablus, according to sources. Ghassan Daghlas, who monitors colonial settlement activities in the northern West Bank, told WAFA that settlers from the illegal Israeli settlement of Yitzhar shot 40-year-old Mamoun Nassar as he was grazing his livestock near the town. He was injured in the thigh and was later taken to a hospital in Israel for treatment.” Also see: Israeli forces detain 16 Palestinians, injure another in West Bank raids (WAFA)

IDF, Shin Bet, Gantz balked at seizing PA taxes over terror stipends — report,

“Defense Minister Benny Gantz, Transportation Minister Merav Michaeli, and Health Minister Nitzan Horowitz all had reservations about a security cabinet decision to withhold hundreds of millions of shekels from the Palestinian Authority to offset funds that it paid to terrorists and their families, the Walla news website reported Tuesday. The report said the ministers’ positions were in line with those of the military and the Shin Bet. The Security Cabinet eventually decided on Sunday to seize nearly NIS 600 million ($183 million) from the PA over funds it paid out over the past year.”


‘So They Know We Existed’: Palestinians Film War in Gaza,

“Trapped in deadly fighting between Israel and Hamas, Palestinians in Gaza used their phones to capture the toll of the 11-day war in May.”

Israeli Restrictions Are Preventing Gaza’s Water System From Being Repaired,

“Due to the ban imposed about two months ago by Defense Minister Benny Gantz against bringing raw materials, construction materials and “non-humanitarian” items into the Gaza Strip, most of the damage to its water and sewage infrastructure caused by the war in May has not been repaired. At present, it is also impossible to carry out crucial, regular maintenance activities in the enclave. The facilities for desalinating and purifying water operate only partially, and projects for development and expansion have been discontinued. This deterioration is happening after several years of major efforts by the Palestinian Water Authority, authorities in the Strip and donor countries to improve the infrastructure.”

Egypt asks Palestine factions for time to pressure Israel over Gaza reconstruction,

“Egyptian intelligence officials have intensified their contacts with Palestinian factions in the besieged Gaza Strip over the past few hours asking them for time to pressure Israel to move forward with Gaza reconstruction plans. Al-Ayyam newspaper cited a ‘well-informed’ source as saying that the Palestinian factions have recently informed Egypt of their dissatisfaction with Israel’s prevention of Gaza’s reconstruction process, despite the passage of about two months since the two reached a ceasefire agreement that ended Tel Aviv’s aggression on the enclave. The source, who preferred not to be named, added that the Egyptian intelligence officials asked the Palestinian factions not to respond militarily to the Israeli intransigence and procrastination, and to wait until next week’s Eid holiday passes.”

The Palestinian Scene

Opinion | PA security forces are not serving the Palestinian people,

“The past few weeks have demonstrated once again that the PA and its security forces are not serving the Palestinian people. Some look at the human rights abuses committed by the PA security forces and claim that they are clearly “failing”. However, they are actually successfully fulfilling their main purpose: stifling Palestinian dissent. The PA security forces are nothing but subcontractors of the Israeli regime and, contrary to the accusations thrown at the protesters, it is they that have “a foreign agenda”. As the PA continues to repress political opposition, people across the world are largely watching on in silence. However, it is more crucial now than ever before for anyone supporting the Palestinian struggle to recognise that the PA and its security forces are antithetical to our collective liberation.”

Going back to school on Palestinian textbooks,

“Even if the lurid charges made over the years are true (and they are not), the incitement lobby is at a loss to explain a central empirical reality. From the start of Israel’s occupation in 1967 till the establishment of the Palestinian Authority in 1994, Israeli officials reviewed every single page of the books given to Palestinian students in the West Bank and Gaza and censored whatever they wished. And the generation raised by those textbooks launched two uprisings and grasped more tightly to an independent Palestinian national identity than any previous Palestinian generation. The idea that Palestinian anger or action against Israel was incited directly by schoolbooks should scarcely have been credible any longer.”

Inside the Green Line

Israel freezes building enforcement in Ra’am stronghold,

“Israeli authorities have agreed to temporarily cease enforcement of illegal construction in a southern Bedouin community where the coalition’s Islamist Ra’am party enjoys substantial backing, the government official tasked with managing Bedouin affairs said.”

"No shelter in place: State demolitions in the Naqab Bedouin communities and its impact on children, during the Covid-19 pandemic,

“In the middle of a global pandemic, the demolition of structures continued to be one of the central tools used by the State of Israel against the Bedouin community in the Naqab, to dispossess them of their land and concentrate them in urban townships. The Bedouin community,which has suffered for years from the lack of adequate housing, has been engaged in a lengthy struggle against the State over ownership of land in the Naqab. The lack of adequate housing and the insecurity and distress that comes with it, impact severely on Bedouin children in an acute and irreversible manner, damaging their mental health, security and development.”


Israeli opposition seeks to bar reopening of U.S. Palestinian mission,

“Israel’s Knesset opposition has been working on a bill that would bar the United States from reopening its diplomatic mission for Palestinians in Jerusalem, putting the new government on course for potential conflict with U.S. President Joe Biden. Former mayor of Jerusalem and Likud MK Nir Barkat is the one currently drafting the bill… ‘The bill comes in light of the Bennett-Lapid government’s intention to succumb to international pressure by establishing consulates that will address the Palestinians within Jerusalem,’ Barkat said. ‘Apart from the political danger, the move poses a security risk and will allow Palestinians to [freely] enter Jerusalem. We will not allow the government to undermine Jerusalem’s status as the united capital of Israel. It must not be agreed to. We will fight without compromise to preserve Jerusalem.’”

UAE inaugurates embassy in Israel in downtown Tel Aviv,

“The United Arab Emirates formally opened its embassy in Israel on Wednesday, inaugurating its diplomatic offices in Tel Aviv less than a year after the two countries announced they would establish open relations. Speaking at the ceremony, Israeli President Isaac Herzog said the embassy opening was ‘an important milestone in our shared journey toward a future of peace, prosperity and security for the Middle East.’ The Emirati embassy’s inauguration came two weeks after Israel cut the ribbon on its embassy in Abu Dhabi during Foreign Minister Yair Lapid’s visit to the UAE in June.” Also see: Israel signs first agricultural agreements with the UAE (Times of Israel)

Palestinian Authority President Abbas facilitated call between presidents of Israel and Turkey,

“Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas communicated to new Israeli head of state Isaac Herzog that Turkey’s Recep Tayyip Erdogan was interested in resuming contacts with Israel, Channel 13 News reported. Presidents Herzog and Erdogan spoke for 40 minutes on Monday evening, the first direct contact between Turkish and Israeli leaders in many years. This call comes after discussions Saturday between Erdogan and Abbas, with the former assuring the PA head that Ankara would not ‘remain silent in the face of Israeli oppression in Palestine,’ according to the Turkish presidency.”

US Courts

In first, US court rules Syria, Iran, IRGC, banks liable for Hamas attack,

“In a landmark ruling, a US federal court ruled on Monday that Syria, Iran, the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps and three Iranian banks were liable for the Hamas terror attack which killed Eitam and Naama Henkin in 2015. The District of Columbia court ruled on two suits: one filed by the parents and siblings of Eitam and one filed by the Henkins’ children and the Henkins’ estates. The suits made claims governed by the US Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act, alongside other claims.The Justice for United States Victims of State Sponsored Terrorism Act, which amended the Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act, established a fund to provide compensation to eligible claimants who hold judgments against state sponsors of terrorism.”