Top News from Israel & Palestine: October 7, 2020

What We’re Reading

Settlements/Occupation/De Facto Annexation

Palestinian village installs cameras, accusing Israeli settlers of attacks,

“Palestinians are installing a video surveillance system in a remote village in the occupied West Bank to keep an eye on nearby Israeli settlers who they accuse of frequent attacks.The project’s founders hope the closed-circuit television cameras around Kisan, which lies in an area under complete Israeli military control, will help deter potential perpetrators wary of being caught on video. ‘The goal is to limit settler attacks on our villages, our children, our little ones, that live close to settlements,’ Ali Faraj, one of the project’s founders, said.Cameras mounted in 10 locations will be linked to a mobile application that will warn residents of a breach and record alleged incidents that often go undocumented, Ahmed Essa, another of the project’s founders, said.”

Premier denounces approval of 2,500 new colonial settler units,

“Premier Mohammad Shtayyeh today denounced Israel’s approval of the construction of 2,500 new settler units in the colonial settlements across the West Bank. ‘Every settler unit constitutes a plan to annex our land,’ stressed Shtayyeh during the cabinet weekly session in Ramallah, and urged the international community to reject the construction of the new units as it did reject Israel’s annexation plan.”

Palestinian farmers face uncertain olive harvest season amid settler attacks and pandemic,

“Farmers in Area C have long struggled to access their lands amid restrictions and say Israeli settlers are taking advantage of the situation to pillage their crops.” Also see: Settlers torch olive grove west of Salfit (WAFA), Settlers attack olive harvesters south of Nablus, injure three (WAFA)

Rights center: Israel detained 42 residents of Issawiya neighborhood of occupied East Jerusalem in six days,

“The Israeli occupation forces detained 42 Palestinian residents of Issawiya neighborhood of occupied East Jerusalem since the start of this month, the latest were five young men detained at dawn yesterday after storming their homes, according to the Palestinian rights group Wadi Hilweh Information Center. It said among the 42 detained were nine minors and that most of them were released after hours or two days after posting a cash bail and kept under house arrest for several days.”

Israel DM orders funds of Palestinian prisoners’ relatives be seized,

“Israeli Defence Minister Benny Gantz yesterday signed four orders to seize money transfers going to families of Palestinian prisoners and martyrs, Anadolu reported. ‘The orders targeted funds transferred by both Hamas and the Palestinian Authority to Palestinians serving prison sentences in Israeli jails,’ for alleged ‘terror attacks’, Israeli newspaper the Jerusalem Post reported, according to Anadolu. It also said that the orders targeted funds for family members of Palestinians ‘who were killed during the attacks.’”

Human Rights/Violence

Israeli NGO tackles tax benefits for 'hostile' organizations,

“A document put out by the Israel Tax Authority recently and obtained by Israel Hayom, indicates that the government is unwilling to supply information about hundreds of millions of shekels worth of tax exemptions given to the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East and other international organizations operating in Israel, some of which are defined as hostile to Israel. Now, an Israeli NGO is gearing up to file a petition against benefits for these organizations with the Jerusalem Administrative Court.”

Cops won’t be prosecuted for planting gun in Arab man’s home for docuseries,

“Police officers who planted a rifle in the home of an East Jerusalem resident only to ‘find’ it during the filming of a television docudrama will not face criminal charges, the Justice Ministry unit that investigates cops announced on Tuesday. In one episode of the reality cop show ‘Jerusalem District,’ police claimed to have discovered an M-16 in the basement of a Palestinian resident of Issawiya in East Jerusalem. A report by the Haaretz daily later alleged that police had planted the weapon in the house of Samer Sleiman before pretending to ‘uncover’ it during the search. In a statement, the PIID did not deny that police faked the discovery of weapons; but according to PIID chief Keren Bar Menachem, the police had no criminal intent in their actions and did not attempt to falsify formal charges against the East Jerusalem resident.”

Israel Falsely Tells Court Palestinian Hunger Striker Recorded Boasting of Islamic Jihad Membership,

“State prosecutors representing defense agencies said administrative detainee had been filmed saying in his hospital bed that he was proud of belonging to the Palestinian armed group, but evidence says otherwise.” Also see: Prisoner’s wife joins in hunger strike (WAFA)

Israel army recruits ex-intelligence officers to spy on Arab Israelis,

“The Israeli army is recruiting former intelligence officers from the Shin Bet to spy on Palestinians living in Israel under the pretext of combating the coronavirus, Israel’s Walla news site revealed. The site quoted senior sources in the Home Front Command as saying that the army has contacted former officers in the Shabak, who are known for their knowledge of Arabs living in Israel, and asked them to join a new ‘security body’ tasked with tracking coronavirus infections.”

PA/PLO/Palestinian Politics

Abbas adviser: Israel and the US are blackmailing us,

“A senior Palestinian Authority official on Tuesday claimed Israel and the US are blackmailing the Palestinian leadership by imposing financial sanctions. Nabil Shaath, adviser to PA chairman Mahmoud Abbas, said in a statement quoted by the Xinhua news agency that the PA has been suffering from a financial crisis because Israel and the US have pressured donor countries, including Arab nations, to stop their funds. Shaath claimed that Israel and the US are inciting the donor countries to stop their financial aid to the PA under the pretext that it pays them as salaries for Palestinian Arab prisoners and their families. ‘It is unacceptable blackmail,’ Shaath said. ‘Unfortunately, some Arab countries accepted to be subjected to the US pressure,’ he continued, expressing hope that some international countries would resist the pressure and continue to support the Palestinian issue.”

Palestinians ready to talk peace after US presidential election, says top Abbas adviser,

“Majdi Khaldi, senior diplomatic adviser to Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, says the Palestinians are ready for an international peace conference in early 2021, noting that a Biden administration would be ‘more committed to international law.’”

Hamas, Fatah complete consultations on reconciliation,

“Palestinian movements Hamas and Fatah have completed discussions and consultations related to reaching reconciliation and ending internal Palestinian division. In a press release issued yesterday, Hamas spokesman Hazem Qasem said that his movement held lengthy talks with Palestinian factions to agree on a roadmap to restructure Palestinian bodies. ‘The discussions related to rearranging the Palestine Liberation Organisation (PLO) and its institutions, as well as activating popular resistance to face off the growing dangers aimed at liquidating the Palestinian cause,’ Qasem said. He pointed out that such moves aimed to reinforce Palestinian consensuses on national matters, noting that there is a consensus among Palestinian factions to unite against the threats facing Palestinian rights.”

Palestinian officials aim to pressure EU to reverse NGO funding ban,

“Palestinian Foreign Ministry officials have convened with representatives of Palestinian factions, civilian organizations and prisoners organizations to discuss ways to remove terror organizations from the European Union’s lists of restrictive measures. The listing is significant because the EU cannot pay out funds to NGOs who have ties to the terror groups on the lists, or who refuse to sign. According to a statement on the official news site of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO), the meeting, chaired by Secretary General of the PLO Executive Committee Dr. Saeb Erekat, focused on the need to preserve a relationship with the EU while rejecting the terrorist label attached to the factions and the need to comply with that designation to access the funding. The attendants also unanimously agreed to reject conditional funding.”

Arab states try to undermine Fatah-Hamas reconciliation,

“Four Arab states reject Palestinian reconciliation and have put pressure on Fatah to backtrack on its pledges, The New Khalij news website revealed on Monday. Citing informed sources, the site said that Saudi Arabia and the UAE are supporting Egyptian and Jordanian efforts to undermine the understandings between the rival Fatah and Hamas movements agreed in Istanbul. According to the sources, who spoke to Lebanon’s Al-Akhbar newspaper, the Palestinian Authority’s slowdown in implementing the agreed measures was a result of this pressure.”

Former Saudi intelligence chief slams PA criticism of UAE-Israel deal,

“The former head of Saudi Arabia’s intelligence agency, Prince Bandar Bin Sultan Bin Abdulaziz, has condemned the Palestinian Authority for its criticism of normalisation deals with Israel, saying that Palestinian leaders have always been ‘failures’. The prince made his comments in an interview with Saudi news channel Al-Arabiya which was aired yesterday. He called the PA’s condemnation of the UAE’s recent signing of a peace deal with Israel a ‘transgression’ and a ‘reprehensible discourse’. The prince added: ‘The Palestinian cause is a just cause but its advocates are failures, and the Israeli cause is unjust but its advocates have proven to be successful. That sums up the events of the last 70 or 75 years.’”

Arab World

Arab populations continue to oppose normalisation with Israel, survey shows,

“Arab populations overwhelmingly continue to oppose recognition of Israel, despite moves by some countries this year to formally normalise relations, according to a new survey.”

Libya refuses to take up Arab League presidency following Palestinian walkout,

“Libya on Tuesday refused to assume the presidency of the current session of the Arab League, after Palestine resigned the position in protest at the organisation’s failure to take a stand against the UAE-Bahrain normalisation deals with Israel. Qatar also rejected the Arab League presidency towards the end of last month.”

Qatar distributes $100 to poor families in Gaza,

“Qatar’s Committee for the Reconstruction of the Gaza Strip yesterday began distributing $100 each to 100,000 poor Palestinian families in the besieged coastal enclave. In a statement, the Chairman of the Committee, Ambassador Mohamed Al-Emadi, said that the payments are being distributed in cooperation with the government ministries in Gaza. The distribution process, he stressed, will take into account the safety measures recommended to protect the beneficiaries from coronavirus as much as possible.”

Abu Dhabi, Israel sign cooperation agreement on trade and investments,

“The Abu Dhabi Investment Office has signed a cooperation agreement with the Israel Export Institute to capitalize on the newly forged ties between the UAE and Israel. The accord enables the connection of potential business partners, state news agency WAM reported.”

Lawfare/Free Speech

UK universities must adopt IHRA antisemitism definition, minister says,

“The British government is ‘actively exploring’ means to insure that all universities in the United Kingdom adopt the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance’s (IHRA) definition of antisemitism, Minister of State for Universities Michelle Donelan said Tuesday, the Jewish Chronicle reported.”

PMW welcomes Facebook’s limiting Fatah's page,

“…Following PMW’s repeated exposure of Fatah terror promotion on its Facebook page ‎and the disciplinary steps taken by Facebook, PMW can report there has been a drop ‎in Fatah terror promotion and terror glorification in recent months on the Facebook ‎page.‎ PMW welcomes Facebook’s steps against Fatah. PMW will continue monitoring ‎Fatah’s posts to expose any terror promotion or Antisemitism and will notify Facebook of these and other violations as they occur. Should Fatah resume using Facebook as a platform to promote terror we will again demand that Facebook treat Fatah with the same standards it applies to other terror promotion and completely close the page.”

The Campaign to “Kill” the BDS Movement Against Israel Extends Far and Wide,

“Israel is facing declining public support in the United States and sees the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions campaign as a key threat to its legitimacy. That’s why Israel is enlisting the US government, American university administrators, and even tech companies like Zoom and Facebook to try to destroy the BDS movement.”


The colonial heritage of Israel’s police,

“Like South Africa and the United States, Israel’s police were explicitly designed to enforce racial supremacy with violence and impunity.”

The ‘chemistry’ of anti-Israel propaganda [outrage over refusal of academic journal to list as settlement as located inside Israel],

“When the prominent Switzerland-based chemistry journal Molecules recently announced that its special January 2021 issue would feature a paper from a researcher at Ariel University in Samaria, a group of scientists immediately protested…”