Top News from Israel & Palestine: November 15, 2019

What We’re Reading


Israeli Army Admits to Killing Eight Gaza Family Members: We Thought the House Was Empty,

“The Palestinian Health Ministry identified the dead as Rasmi Abu Malhous of the Asouarka tribe, 45; his son Mohand, 12; Miriam Asoarka, 45; Moad Mohamed Asoarka, 7; Sim Mohamed Asoarka, 13; Yoseri Asoarka, 39; and two toddlers whose bodies were dug up from the debris on Thursday morning and whose names have not been released…’This was a very simple, poor family, who lives from hand to mouth in a tin shack, with no water or electricity,’ said a neighbor who knew the family. ‘They lived off herding sheep and were known as simple, poor people. Is this the way the head of a rocket unit or a senior Islamic Jihadist lives?'”

As fighting fades, Islamic Jihad’s losses seen as less than catastrophic,

“Islamic Jihad took a very hard hit. It lost its main commander in Gaza and 12 to 15 key activists who would launch rockets. It did not achieve what it wanted or what it could describe as a victory,” Amos Yadlin, a former IDF Military Intelligence chief, said in a phone call, referring to Abu al-Ata, whom Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu described as “the main instigator of terrorism from the Gaza Strip.”

Amid Gaza fighting, Israel could face questions on tactics,

“As Israel claims victory in its latest battle against Gaza militants, its tactics of carrying out airstrikes on private homes suspected of harboring militants could once again come under scrutiny over the civilian death toll. Among the 34 people killed in the two-day flareup were 16 civilians, including two 7-year-old boys and two toddlers, according to human rights investigators.”

Anti-BDS Lawfare

U.S. human rights group sued for funding Palestinian balloon terror,

“A newly filed $90 million US lawsuit has charged a Palestinian human rights group with financing hundreds of acts of environmental terrorism along Israel’s southern border with Gaza. The lawsuit, filed at midnight Israel time on Wednesday, exposes an alleged conspiracy between the US Campaign for Palestinian Rights (USCPR, also known as Education for a Just Peace in the Middle East) and Hamas, Palestinian Islamic Jihad, the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine and other designated terrorist organizations. ‘This landmark case exposes a shocking and multi-layered planned conspiracy and campaign aimed at manipulating the public,’ said Adv. Yifa Segal of the International Legal Forum.”

[Re-Up] The Surprising New Battleground In the War Against Palestinian Rights: Your Local Courthouse,

For more context on the new allegations against U.S. Campaign for Palestinian Rights, see the articled linked above. In January 2019, Lara Friedman wrote, “In principle, there’s nothing wrong with people or groups challenging discrimination, or raising alarms about work they believe supports terror or breaks U.S. law. In practice, there is cause for concern when weak, immaterial, or unsubstantiated allegations are weaponized to attack businesses, or individuals, humanitarian aid groups, and civil society organizations. Such attacks are even more problematic when they are motivated by political and ideological goals. They are especially alarming when they target free speech, or threaten non-governmental organizations, known as NGOs, that provide vital humanitarian aid; likewise, when they undermine groups working to promote democracy, support the rule of law, or those that defend human rights, civil rights, women’s rights, or children’s rights. And they have implications that reach far beyond the Israeli-Palestinian arena.”

FMEP Resource

[Podcast] Occupied Thoughts: “Israeli Annexation & The Settler Agenda”,

On this episode of “Occupied Thoughts”  Peter Beinart is joined by Lior Amihai, Executive Director of Yesh Din, to discuss Israel’s ongoing de facto annexation of West Bank land, a brief history of the settlement movement, and the violent endemic in Israel’s military occupation of the West Bank.

Israeli Politics

Likud Expecting Netanyahu Indictment Announcement on Tuesday,

“The party is now planning a public relations effort to scuttle public demands for the prime minister to be declared incapacitated and take an immediate leave of absence if an indictment is filed.”

Occupation, Annexation, & Human Rights

Don't Label Israeli Settlement Products. Ban Them,

Saeb Erekat writes, “Few policies aimed at the settlements have been implemented, despite clear and firm international resolutions. International markets continue to trade with Israeli settlements, and global companies continue to be involved with the Israeli occupation. Their actions have facilitated the growth of the settlement project. There is a clear correlation between the absence of accountability and the expansion of Israeli settlements.”

Israeli Settlement Defenders Once Again Turn To False Antisemitism Claims Amid European Court Decision,

Mitchell Plitnick writes, “The principle at stake in the labeling issue is clear: European consumers have the right to decide for themselves whether they want to support businesses in the settlements, and European countries have the right to decide whether agreements they made with Israel, which were never meant to include settlements, should be altered to accommodate those illegal colonies. But the disingenuous arguments and the faux outrage from Israeli officials and defenders like Kontorovich of its worst policies, expand those stakes, taking them from the realms of law and international relations and into a place of ethical turpitude. With antisemitism rising in the West—overwhelmingly due to the nationalism, racist-inspired and otherwise, being promoted by American and European leaders—it is utterly intolerable that Israeli occupation, dispossession of Palestinians, and denial of Palestinian rights be defended by crying antisemitism where there is none, as we are witnessing in the response to the labeling issue.”

Israeli Settler Charged With Throwing Stones at Palestinian Village, Recklessly Firing Gun,

“According to the indictment, on February 23, 2018, Sadeh and a number of other settlers – some of them masked – arrived at a hill near Burin. They allegedly threw stones at the village, specifically targeting a nearby house. Sadeh pulled out a gun, waved it, and fired it into the air several times next to houses in the village. He then continued walking with the gun before joining the masked group and throwing stones with them.”