Top News from Israel & Palestine: June 29, 2021

What We’re Reading

Breaking News - Demolition in Silwan

Police, Palestinians clash as Israel begins demolition in Jerusalem's Silwan,

“Israel demolished a Palestinian shop in the East Jerusalem neighbourhood of Silwan on Tuesday, triggering scuffles between police and protesters who accused authorities of discriminatory enforcement of building permits in the holy city…A bulldozer escorted by Israeli police flattened Harbi Rajabi’s butchers shop in the neighbourhood which is overlooked by the Al-Aqsa Mosque, the third holiest shrine in Islam and the most sensitive site in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. The shop is one of at least eight properties that residents said were slated for demolition. The residents say many have been there for decades, even from before 1967. The authorities have earmarked the land for a park and say the shops and homes have been built illegally.”


Also see:

PA vs. Palestinians

PA crackdown on anti-government protests across West Bank grows (VIDEO),

“Palestine Authority security officers attacked protesters, journalists and human rights workers on Sunday in a continued crackdown on demonstrations.”


Also see:

Palestinian media rally for protection after assaults by police,

“Dozens of Palestinian journalists rallied outside a United Nations building in Ramallah on Monday to demand press freedom following violent clashes with Palestinian security forces sparked by an activist’s death in custody. Nizar Banat, a 43-year-old from Hebron known for social media videos deploring alleged corruption within the Palestinian Authority (PA), died last week shortly after security forces stormed his home and violently arrested him, his family said. Days of clashes between protesters and police have left several journalists injured. Reporters Without Borders said on Monday that 12 Palestinian journalists, including five women, had been assaulted by Palestinian police during weekend unrest in the occupied West Bank.” Also see: UN is ‘concerned’ about suppression of freedoms by PA in West Bank (Middle East Monitor)

Family of PA critic vows to reject commission conclusions on his death,

“The family of Palestinian Authority critic Nizar Banat, who died in PA custody last week, said Monday that it will not accept the results of an official commission on his death…The commission is composed of Justice Minister Mohammad Shalaldeh and a representative from the PA’s intelligence services. A representative from the Banat family and from the Independent Commission on Human Rights, a leading Palestinian civil society group, both withdrew from the investigation, calling it slanted. The government’s committee is expected to deliver its conclusions to Abbas on Tuesday, the official PA Wafa news agency said Sunday. PA Prime Minister Mohammed Shtayyeh has said that those responsible for Banat’s death ‘will be held accountable,’ according to Wafa.


Also see:

Could Palestinian protests lead to the ouster of Mahmoud Abbas?,

“As unrest continues in Ramallah and Hebron, questions have arisen surrounding the future of Palestinian Authority (PA) leader Mahmoud Abbas.” Also see: When will Mahmoud Abbas step down? (Palestinian Media Watch)

Abbas critic’s last interview with Anadolu Agency before death,

“When Nizar Banat hung up with Anadolu Agency reporters early June, he did not know that this interview would be his last before his death in the custody of Palestinian security forces…Banat was a staunch critic of the policies of Abbas and the umbrella Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) and was arrested several times by security forces. In his last interview with Anadolu Agency two weeks before his death, Banat made his point for his criticism of Abbas’ policies. He argued that the PLO has focused on collecting money instead of rallying support for ending the decades-long Israeli occupation of the Palestinian lands. ‘This organization, during the years of establishment, began to collect money and guns at the expense of the liberation of our lands,’ he said.”

Defying Fragmentation and the Significance of Unity: A New Palestinian Uprising,

“The ongoing Palestinian uprising against the Israeli settler-colonial regime in colonized Palestine did not begin in Sheikh Jarrah, the Palestinian neighborhood of Jerusalem whose residents face imminent ethnic cleansing. While the threat of the expulsion of these eight families certainly catalyzed this mass popular mobilization, the ongoing uprising is ultimately an articulation of a shared Palestinian struggle in the wake of over seven decades of Zionist settler-colonialism.”

West Bank & East Jerusalem

West Bank Settlers Just Showed Bennett Who Really Runs the Country,

“The Israeli government’s emerging agreement with the residents of the illegal outpost of Evyatar isn’t a compromise, but a harbinger of victory for the latter. The early days of the Bennett-Lapid government are thereby proving once again what has long been known – settler leaders are the country’s most powerful pressure group…Bennett will surely argue that the compromise, which is meant to ensure the residents’ voluntary evacuation, prevented bloodshed and civil war. But assuming there’s no last-minute crisis over putting the agreement into effect, the message to soldiers and their commanders will be clear – the hierarchy of power in the West Bank remains what it always was. In the end, the authorities do what the settlers want.”


Also see:

UN report accuses Israel of ‘serious violations’ against children,

“An annual United Nations report on children at war accuses Israel of hundreds of ‘grave breaches’ in 2020. The report, presented to the UN Security Council on Monday and dated May 6, 2021, says 340 Palestinian children have been injured in the West Bank, East Jerusalem and the Gaza Strip over the past year. UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, the official author of the report, alleged that Israel’s offenses included the detention of 361 Palestinian children, dozens of whom reported ‘physical abuse’ by Israeli security forces. The report also accuses Israel of killing eight Palestinian children in the West Bank and an Israeli boy, who died in a car crash while fleeing from Israeli police. Israel reportedly “mutilated” 324 Palestinian children in 2020, 170 with tear gas and 70 with rubber bullets. The report also points to Israeli forces attacking 26 schools and hospitals, while residents of the settlements attacked four more.”

Palestinians brave arrest, injury with innovative 'night confusion' anti-settlement protests,

“Palestinians in the West Bank are using innovative non-violent techniques in nightly protests designed to disrupt illegal settlement building, risking assault and detention by Israeli forces.”

Israeli settlers set up mobile homes on Palestinian land south of the West Bank,

“Israeli settlers set up mobile homes on Kisan village land, east of the southern West Bank city of Bethlehem, in preparation to build an illegal settlement outpost, today said Ahmad Ghazal, deputy head of Kisan village council. He told WAFA that settlers had set up over the past two days around 20 mobile homes on land west of the village near the illegal settlement of Ebi Hanahal, which they have seized a while ago. He said the land in question is over 50 dunums in area, adding that the settlers opened roads to the land and built infrastructure for a new settlement outpost in that area.”

Israel to demolish four inhabited houses in Bethlehem-district village,

“The Israeli occupation authorities today notified to demolish four inhabited Palestinian houses in al-Walaja village, west of Bethlehem, according to a local source. Ibrahim Awadallah, a local activist, told WAFA that Israeli forces handed four brothers from the village notifications to tear down their houses, located in Ein al-Jwaiza neighborhood, northwest of the village, purportedly for being built without licenses. This area of al-Walaja has been targeted by Israel for several years in an attempt to empty it of its Palestinian residents in order to build illegal settlements on its land. Several Palestinian-owned homes have been demolished in the village under the pretext of building without a permit, which is impossible to get from the Israeli occupation authorities.”

MK Cassif about Sheik Jarrah Jewish residents: They need to be thrown out,

“In a meeting in the Knesset Tuesday regarding Sheik Jarrah, MK Orit Struck said that something needs to be done about the danger to the Jewish residents living there. Ofer Cassif responding by saying that the Jewish residents are those who are violent, calling them pirates and said they need to be thrown out.”

Gaza Strip

Rivlin: Gaza rehabilitation dependent on Israeli captives' release,

“At issue are the bodies of Lt. Hadar Goldin and St.-Sgt. Oron Shaul, presumed to have been killed during the 2014 Gaza war, and the fate of two Israeli citizens, Avera Mengistu and Hasham al-Sayed.”

Marginalization leads Fatah in Gaza to stage coup against Abbas,

“In a dramatic development within the Fatah movement, its members in Gaza announced their resignation in protest against the policy of marginalization and exclusion by President Mahmoud Abbas.”

New semi-autonomous robot to be deployed to Gaza border,

“The IDF’s Gaza division will soon deploy a new semi-autonomous robotic ground vehicle called the Jaguar along the border with the Gaza Strip, replacing soldiers along the border where they could be targets by Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad. Developed over the past year and half by Israel Aerospace Industries in close cooperation with the technological department of the IDF’s Ground Forces Command, it is currently being integrated into the Gaza division. The Jaguar is equipped with dozens of sensors, an automated driving system, and advanced fire capabilities. Based on a six-wheeled chassis, it is equipped with a 7.62mm MAG machine gun that can be operated remotely against suspicious objects or people, both while stationary or on the move.”

After Gaza war, lawyer builds Palestinian case files,

“Overlooking war-battered Gaza from the tenth floor of a tower block, Palestinian human rights lawyer Raji Sourani has a new bundle of files — on victims of last month’s war with Israel. For years, he has been building cases in the Israeli-blockaded enclave to be submitted to the International Criminal Court. The 66-year-old lawyer has already filed dozens of cases with The Hague-based court since 2015, after the Palestinian Authority ratified the court’s Rome Statute. The cases represent Palestinian victims of war crimes committed by Israel, according to the lawyer. For Sourani, the ICC chief prosecutor’s announcement in March of a full investigation into the situation in the Israeli-occupied territories was a day of hope.”

Months Later, Israeli Military Backlog Holds Up Probe Into Dozens of Gaza Border Deaths,

“Three years after the outbreak of demonstrations by Gaza Palestinians along the border with Israel, the Israeli military advocate general’s office and the Israeli army have yet to complete a large number of investigations into clashes with Israeli forces along the border that resulted in Palestinian fatalities. Israeli army data show that, as of April, the army has examined 237 incidents in which Palestinians were killed – beginning with the outbreak of the protests in March 2018 until they waned in March 2020 as the coronavirus pandemic took hold. In 146 of the cases, the examinations have been completed, while the 91 other cases are still under investigation.” Also see: Killing Time – Updated figures, April 2021 (Yesh Din)

Inside the Green Line

Family reunification law aims to lower number of Palestinian citizens in Israel,

“In the midst of Israel’s reoccupation of the West Bank in 2002, an often repeated lie became the basis of a racist Israeli law. The fabrication was that Palestinian men from the West Bank marry Israeli Arab women for the sole reason of having an opportunity to enter Israel and carry out acts of terror. No proof was ever presented showing this absurd claim, yet in 2003 the “Citizenship and Entry into Israel Law” passed, barring West Bank and Gaza residents from the automatic Israeli citizenship typically granted to those who marry Israelis. Palestinians and some Israelis have consistently argued that the law is a naked attempt to lower the number of Israeli citizens of Arab origin. What has been less discussed is that this law has affected Palestinians from Jerusalem who are Israeli residents, and it is seen by Palestinians as an attempt to lessen the number of Arabs who live in a city Israeli Jews consider their united and eternal capital.” Also see:  Palestinians rally against extending Israeli family-reunion law (Al Anadolu)

Israel: Knesset member calls for murder of people in mixed marriages,

“An Israeli Knesset member has called for the killing of couples involved in mixed marriages during a speech in parliament. Yitzhak Pindrus is a member of the United Torah Judaism, an ultra-Orthodox party that believes in a homogenous Jewish state and society. He called for the murder of ‘people who contribute to miscegenation’, invoking a Biblical story about the murder of a Jewish man and non-Jewish woman while they were making love by lancing a spear through their engaged sexual organs. He made his comments on Monday while addressing – and looking at – Mansour Abbas, a Palestinian citizen of Israel who is a deputy minister in Prime Minister Naftali Bennett’s coalition and the head of the Islamist Raam party.”



Palestinian Authority Presents Biden Administration With Plan for Israel Talks,

“Palestinian Authority officials have given the American administration a list of proposals that they wish to pursue to advance the diplomatic process with Israel during Joe Biden’s term as president. The roughly 30 proposals on the list address restoring the government powers of the Palestinian Authority, improving the Palestinian economy and addressing the quality of life of individual Palestinians.”

Bennett and Sisi discuss issue of Israeli captives in Gaza,

“Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett and Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah Al-Sisi have discussed the issue of Israeli captives in Gaza, local media reported on Monday. In their first telephone conversation, Bennett told Sisi that the Israeli soldiers detained in Gaza must be released. Efforts to consolidate a permanent ceasefire between Israel and Hamas should continue, he added. The Egyptian leader is reported to have reiterated the importance of the ceasefire and the need to improve the humanitarian situation in Gaza. According to the Jerusalem Post, the two leaders agreed to set up a face-to-face meeting as soon as possible.” Also see: Egypt’s president pushes for Gaza humanitarian aid in first call with Bennett (Jewish News Syndicate)

Hamas leader Haniyeh meets Hezbollah chief Nasrallah in Beirut,

“Hamas political bureau chief Ismail Haniyeh and Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah met in Beirut on Tuesday, as the Gaza-based terror chief held a series of high-level meetings around the Arab world. The two were said to discuss the recent 11-day bout of fighting between Israel and Gaza-based terror groups led by Hamas, and how they could build on the experience of the latest round of violence.”

Lapid to visit UAE and Bennett expected to meet with Biden,

“Prime Minister Naftali Bennett is expected to meet with US President Joe Biden at the White House in July or August, Bennett’s spokesman said Monday. The White House and the Prime Minister’s Office have been in talks to set a date for Bennett’s visit, likely to be his first trip abroad since becoming prime minister two weeks ago…The planned visit, so early in Bennett’s term, indicates the Biden administration’s embrace of the new government… Foreign Minister Yair Lapid  is set to depart for the United Arab Emirates on Tuesday morning for the first state visit by an Israeli minister and the first since Israel and the UAE entered the Abraham Accords.”


Also see: