Top News from Israel & Palestine: June 28, 2021

What We’re Reading

PA vs. Palestinians

‘Bullets and batons’: Palestinian Authority beats back dissent,

“The West Bank is on the verge of a serious rebellion against the Palestinian Authority (PA) as it desperately fights for political survival and is determined to cling to power at any cost, a leading Palestinian human rights defender warned. For four days, Palestinians have been taking to the streets of main cities in the Israeli-occupied West Bank protesting against the death of Nizar Banat, a political activist and big critic of the PA, who was beaten by PA security officers – presumed to be members of the Preventive Security Service – who raided his home in the Hebron area of the southern West Bank. ..But despite the PA’s brutal crackdown on the protesters in the West Bank – including arrests, attacks on journalists, and the confiscation of media equipment by plain-clothes security men and Fatah supporters – more demonstrations are planned.”


More news reports:

Responses – critics of PA:

Responses – PA & defenders:


11 political detainees in PA prisons stage hunger strike,

“Eleven young men from the village of Urif have entered a hunger strike in the Palestinian Authority (PA) prisons after being detained for weeks. The families of the detainees explained that their relatives have been held in poor conditions, are being ill-treated and beaten since their arrest, adding that the authorities are pressuring them to deny that they have been tortured.”

Israel vs. Palestinian Rights

“Compromise” reached: Families to leave Evyatar outpost, yeshiva to be established there,

“A compromise deal has been reached to prevent the razing of an illegal West Bank outpost that would see some parts of the settler site remain in place, the Samaria Regional Council announces in a statement. The statement says residents of the Evyatar outpost overwhelmingly approved the deal reached with Defense Minister Benny Gantz and Interior Minister Ayelet Shaked, claiming it has been welcomed by Prime Minister Naftali Bennett. The deal will see the state reconsider the status of the outpost’s land with a view to making it legal for a future settlement, after ‘it was proven that Evyatar is not situated on private land.’ The Evyatar residents will leave but the structures won’t be demolished. Rather, the IDF will immediately transform the outpost into a makeshift army base, and in some six weeks, a new yeshiva will be established there. Meanwhile, authorities will examine the legal status of the land. Should the land eventually be approved for use by the settlers, residents would be able to move back to the community.”


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Settlers open gunfire at civilians, set tents on fire near Hebron,

“Hardcore Israeli settlers opened gunfire today at Palestinian civilians and set two residential tents on fire after raiding the village of al-Tuwanah in Masafer Yatta community, south of Hebron in the occupied West Bank, according to local sources. Mohammad Rabaee, head of the Al-Tuwanah village council, told WAFA that scores of Israeli settlers from the nearby illegal settlement of Havat Maon broke into the village, opened gunfire and threw stones at residents’ homes, spreading fear among the local residents. No injuries were reported. The attacking settlers also set on fire two residential tents belonging to Hatem Makhamreh, a local resident. Rabaee said the Israeli settlers carried out the attack under Israeli military protection. Meantime, Israeli settlers physically assaulted and beat up Fo’ad Omour, a Palestinian activist, during their raid of Masafer Yatta community. Omour sustained bruises and scars as a result of the assault, and was moved to a hospital for medical treatment.”


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13 Palestinian families at risk of displacement in Jerusalem’s Al-Bustan quarter,

“The deadline set by the Israeli occupation authorities ends today for 13 Palestinian families who received orders to self-demolish their homes in the Al-Bustan quarter in the occupied Jerusalem neighbourhood of Silwan within 21 days. Earlier this month, the Israeli municipality in Jerusalem handed over notifications of renewal of house demolition notices belonging to 13 families in Al-Bustan. These homes are among 86 homes that the Israeli occupation courts had issued demolition orders against without specifying a date for implementation. The Israeli municipality has threatened to demolish the 13 houses after the deadline and to fine their owners the demolition costs.”


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Shaked to reject family reunification requests even without law,

“Interior Minister Ayelet Shaked intends to reject every request for citizenship by a Palestinian Arab who married an Israeli Arab if the Family Reunification Law is not extended, Kan Bet reported Sunday morning. In addition, Shaked plans to continue raising the law for Knesset approval, even if it is rejected at first. In a report by Zeev Kam this morning, it was stated that Shaked is preparing for the possibility that the Prohibition of Family Reunification Law will fall in the Knesset this week, if the coalition fails to mobilize a majority to support the law. The minister plans to prevent the reunification of the families by giving a personal negative answer to each of the hundreds of applications submitted to her office each year.”


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Israel plans road connecting West Bank settlements to Jerusalem cutting through Palestinian farms,

“Israel is planning to build a road connecting its illegal West Bank settlements to Jerusalem, according to Israeli media, with potential repercussions on Palestinian property rights. The planned road, an eight kilometres-long belt originating in the Jewish outpost of Betar Ilit, would cut through Palestinian agricultural lands and potentially impact the access of farmers working these plots, as well as damaging the area’s natural landscape. The plan is currently awaiting approval from Israel’s Civil Administration, the government body tasked with green lighting such projects.”

On hunger strike for 53 days, Palestinian administrative detainee in Israel faces serious deterioration in health,

“A Palestinian detainee in Israel who has been on hunger strike for 53 days today demanding an end to his illegal administrative detention is facing serious deterioration in his health, according to the Palestinian Prisoners’ Commission. It said the administrative detainee, Ghadanfar Abu Utwan, has entered into a coma at an Israeli hospital and that his health is in constant deterioration.”

Hamas calls for ‘popular resistance’ against Israeli settlement building,

“Palestinian group Hamas on Saturday called for escalating “popular resistance” against Israeli settlement building in the occupied West Bank. ‘The occupation government’s approval of a settlement scheme that includes 31 settlement plans in the West Bank proves the extremism of the [Naftali] Bennett’s government by continuing with the policy of settlement intrusion, land grab, and the uprooting of our people,’ Hamas spokesman Abdul-Latif Al-Qanou said in a Twitter post. Al-Qanou called for ‘the escalation of the intifada and the expansion of the popular resistance throughout the West Bank to confront the occupation and its settlement projects.’”

Hope under the rubble: The impact of Israel’s home demolition policy on Palestinian children and their families,

“Four out of five children in the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, whose homes have been demolished by Israeli authorities say they feel abandoned by the world, a new report by Save the Children revealed today. The findings emerge as Palestinian residents of the East Jerusalem neighbourhoods of Sheikh Jarrah and Silwan face eviction from their homes, pending decisions by the Israeli Supreme Court…Eighty percent of the consulted children said they lost faith in the ability of not just the international community but also the authorities and even their parents to help and protect them. They reported feelings of powerlessness and hopelessness about the future…The report also found that the majority of parents (76%) and caregivers feel powerless, unable to protect their children after losing their homes. They also feel shame (75%), irritation and anger (72%), as well as being emotionally distant from their children (35%). Seven out of ten children said they felt socially isolated and had no connection to their communities after their homes were demolished.” Also see: Traumatised by Israel’s home demolitions, Palestinian children feel ‘abandoned’ (Middle East Monitor)

Israel’s Responsibility to Guarantee the Right to Health for Palestinians in the oPt ,

“In this position paper, Physicians for Human Rights Israel outlines Israel’s obligation to guarantee the right to health of Palestinians living in the occupied Palestinian territory (oPt) and the violation of this right throughout the years of the occupation. While calling on Israel to uphold Palestinians’ right to health, the paper also notes, ‘Israel’s obligation to guarantee the right to health of Palestinians cannot continue forever, and Israel must work towards ending this obligation, which derives from its status as an occupying power.  This is especially true in light of the prolonged occupation and all of its accompanying features of colonialism and apartheid, and considering Israel’s control over most of the necessary conditions for protecting and promoting the right to health.’ The paper stresses that the right to health will not be fully guaranteed until Palestinians’ civil and political rights, both as individuals and as a national collective, are realized. The paper demands that Israel in the immediate future: allow free and open passage between the different parts of the oPt, enable the Palestinian healthcare system to function as a single unit, cancel the permit regime, end to the blockade on the Gaza Strip, and provide funding for medical treatments that are unavailable in the oPt.”

A Civil War Is Brewing, and Will Only Worsen if Ignored,

“It’s impossible to sever the return of police batons from the broader context of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. These batons weren’t brought back to prepare for the next demonstration outside the prime minister’s residence or to beat ultra-Orthodox Jews who refuse to obey coronavirus regulations. Rather, they are intended first and foremost to impose Jewish law and order on Palestinian bodies. It’s important to remember that, and not to be dragged into a general debate over police brutality.”


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Gaza Strip

Report: Israel, Hamas reach basic ceasefire deal through Egyptian mediators,

“Israel and Hamas have reached a basic ceasefire agreement through Egyptian mediators, Arab and Palestinian news outlets reported on Sunday. According to the agreement, Qatari aid money will be transferred to the Gaza Strip as early as this Wednesday, June 30. Meanwhile, shipments of Qatari-funded fuel into Gaza will resume for the first time since last month’s 11-day war between Israel and Hamas, UN envoy to the Mideast Tor Wennesland said in a statement.”


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Israeli delegation to visit Egypt to outline Bennett's 'vision' for Gaza: sources,

“According to Egyptian sources who spoke to The New Arab, the current delegation has informed Cairo that they will carry with them ‘new developments’ which they hope will be communicated to Hamas and other armed groups in Gaza.”

Haniyeh says Lebanon visit has special importance for Hamas,

“The head of the Hamas political bureau said on Sunday that his visit to Lebanon is of particular importance for the movement, Anadolu has reported. Ismail Haniyeh made his statement during a press conference at Beirut International Airport as he arrived in the country. His visit will last several days and is part of a foreign tour that has already included a number of Arab countries…The Hamas leader revealed that the meetings will include a discussion of political developments after the ‘victory of the resistance factions’ in the recent Israeli aggression against the Gaza Strip, and its repercussions on the ground and at the political level. Hundreds of people were killed during the Israeli military offensive between 10 and 21 May, and thousands more were wounded. The Palestinian factions responded by firing missiles towards cities across the occupation state.”

Israel's deliberate damage of the healthcare system in the Gaza Strip,

“Throughout the years and with the last attacks on the Gaza Strip, Israel has deliberately attacked the healthcare system and the (physical and mental) health of innocent civilians. It intentionally targets the health of civilians in the Gaza-Strip for the purpose of crippling the population as a whole. Israel intentionally and continuously carries out these unlawful actions for the ultimate goal of ethnically cleansing Palestinians from their homeland. It is clear that the Israeli forces are in breach of International Humanitarian Law and its obligations under the International Geneva Convention, through non-distinctive, discriminatory, and disproportionate attacks on innocent civilians in the Gaza-Strip. In accordance with International Humanitarian Law, Palestinians have the right to be protected and respected. Israel must be held to account for its illegal actions and its war crimes must be properly investigated by the International Criminal Court.”


Blinken to Lapid: Regional normalization no substitute for Israeli-Palestinian peace talks,

“…Blinken spoke of the need to resolve the Israeli-Palestinian conflict but did not offer any kind of timetable or any strategy to ‘offer a more hopeful future for everyone: Palestinians and Israelis alike with equal measures of opportunity and dignity.’ And, while the Biden administration supports and hopes to expand on the Trump-era Abraham Accords that normalized relations between Israel and several Arab countries, Blinken said they ‘are not a substitute for engaging on the issues between Israelis and Palestinians that need to be resolved.’”


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Gilad Erdan to resign as ambassador to United States,

“Israel’s ambassador to the United States and the United Nations, Gilad Erdan, has requested of Prime Minister Naftali Bennett that he be relieved of his position as ambassador to the United States in the immediate future, once a replacement is appointed by the Prime Minister. Erdan also noted that even in the event that a replacement has not been appointed by November, he will not continue in his position beyond that date. He will, however, continue to serve as ambassador to the United Nations.” Also see: Lapid Looking to Replace Netanyahu-appointed U.K. Ambassador (Haaretz)