Top News from Israel & Palestine: September 10, 2021

What We’re Reading

New & Upcoming from FMEP

Palestinian Protests and the Future of the Palestinian Struggle ,

Watch or listen to this discussion with Dr. Hanan Ashrawi, Fadi Quran, Khaled Elgindy, & Lara Friedman, recorded live on 9/9/21

Upcoming event on 9/14: Nakba, Mob Violence, and Inequality: the Past, Present, & Future of Palestinian Citizens of Israel,

This past May, Palestinian citizens of Israel took to the streets to demonstrate solidarity with Palestinians under attack in Jerusalem and the Gaza Strip. As many Palestinians on both sides of the Green Line and in the diaspora spoke of a new Palestinian unity, Palestinian demonstrators inside Israel were met with violence from organized gangs of Israeli Jews, leading to clashes that caused many casualties, including deaths. Israeli police not only failed to protect Palestinian citizens of Israel, but in the aftermath of the protests and clashes, police targeted thousands of Palestinian citizens with arrest. Jewish Israeli politicians incited against them and the mainstream media was flooded with articles warning of the end of “coexistence.” What really happened in May and what has changed since then? How do Palestinian citizens of Israel see their struggles relating to the struggles of Palestinians in the West Bank, Gaza, Jerusalem, and elsewhere? And how does the history and present reality of the Nakba shape Palestinian citizenship in Israel? To shed light on these and other issues, FMEP is pleased to invite you to join a conversation featuring Hana Amoury, expert in civil society struggles and resident of Jaffa; Orwa Switat, expert in national minorities and urban planning and resident of Haifa; and Rami Younis, writer and director currently finishing a film about Lyd, his hometown; with FMEP’s Sarah Anne Minkin.

Prison Break

Palestinians hold ‘day of rage’ solidarity protests for escapees,

“Palestinians across the occupied West Bank and East Jerusalem are gathering for a day of rage on Friday in support of the six Palestinian prisoners, who escaped from an Israeli prison, heeding the call of Hamas and other Palestinian resistance groups. They are also protesting against the punitive measures that the Israeli jail authorities have imposed on imprisoned members of the Islamic Jihad, another group active in the Gaza Strip, in the wake of a brazen escape from one of the country’s most secure prisons.” 


See also 

Army, police on high alert for Hamas ‘day of rage’ in support of escapees,

“Soldiers and police officers were put on high alert over fears of widespread violence Friday, after the Hamas terror group declared a “day of rage” in solidarity with six Palestinian security prisoners who broke out of jail earlier this week and remain on the run. The Israel Defense Forces canceled all leave for soldiers stationed in the West Bank as it geared up for possible clashes for the “day of rage,” set to start following Friday prayers. Police meanwhile stepped up their alert status to the second-highest level across the country. They also diverted forces to bolster the prison services that have been faced with rioting inside prisons.”


See also 

Israel arrests more family members of Palestinian prison escapees,

Israel has arrested more relatives of a group of Palestinians who escaped from a West Bank jail on Monday, stepping up what campaigners have branded a wave of “collective punishment” in the wake of the embarrassing security incident….The Palestinian Prisoners Club said that two brothers and a sister of Mahmud Ardah, who is suspected of planning the escape, were arrested on Friday morning in the town of Arraba, near Jenin. Other relatives of the prisoners – who all originate from Jenin – were also arrested on Wednesday, the group said.”

Fear and Elation Reign in Jenin After Six of Its Own Escape From an Israeli Jail,

“Each of the six prisoners who managed to escape from Gilboa Prison has a family history that includes some or all of the following: life as a refugee; relatives shot dead by Israeli forces; childhood memories of military raids and home invasions; the expropriation of family-owned land for Jewish settlements; work in Israel; detentions; and participation in armed activity against the Israeli occupation….Israeli media outlets reduce and minimize the history of each of the six to the use of the term “terrorist,” which in Hebrew also implies saboteur. But that sabotages the reader’s capacity to understand the choices they have made in their lives – and the love showered upon them by Palestinians and the joy the Palestinians derive from their daring and success in remaining free up to now. Even people who disagree with the path of Islamic Jihad and of Zubeidi see the six as being willing to make the greatest possible sacrifice (of life and liberty) for the continuation of the Palestinian fight for freedom.”


Also see 

Jailbreak from Israeli prison shakes up Palestinian public opinion,

“The escape bolted public opinion in a way not seen for years. Palestinian Prime Minister Mohammad Shtayyeh told journalists that every prisoner wishes to be free and that Israel should free all prisoners….The combination of Fatah and Islamic Jihad — a collaboration that used to be strong — has reignited ideas of combined acts of resistance.”

PA warns Israel against attacking Palestine prisoners,

“The Palestinian Authority yesterday warned Israel of the consequences of its continued attacks on Palestinian prisoners held in Israeli detention. “The PA’s senior officials have sent a clear message to Israel, warning it against continuing to attack and harm the Palestinian prisoners,” the Palestinian Prisoners’ Club chief, Qadura Fares, told Anadolu Agency. Fares added that the PA holds Israel responsible for the “repercussions and consequences of its aggression against prisoners that has been going on for days,” stressing that Israel’s continued attacks on Palestinians would “escalate the situation in Palestine.” “The PA has called on the United States to pressure Israel to halt its attacks on Palestinian prisoners,” he pointed out.” See also “Presidency: Palestinian prisoners are a red line” (WAFA)

Report: Palestinians agree to help Israel track down escaped inmates,

“A report Friday claimed that the Palestinian Authority had agreed to cooperate with an Israeli manhunt for six inmates who escaped from prison earlier this week, some of whom are thought to be hiding out in the West Bank….According to the report in al-Akhbar, which was based on an unnamed source in the PA, an agreement was reached earlier this week that will see the Palestinian Authority cooperate on finding the escapees, in exchange for an Israeli commitment to capture them alive and ease conditions for the thousands of Palestinians remaining incarcerated in Israel.” See also “Palestinian Authority helping Israel capture escaped terrorists” (Arutz Sheva)

Occupation/Human Rights/Apartheid

PM meets settler heads, said to tell them he won’t freeze West Bank construction,

“An unsourced report from the Kan public broadcaster said that Bennett told the settler leaders that he was “committed” to settlements and won’t freeze construction there, and repeated his statement that there will be no annexation.”

Jerusalem Opposes Construction in Abandoned Palestinian Village of 'Utmost Historical Importance',

village of Lifta, which is considered a site of global historic significance, the municipality told the Jerusalem District Court last week. The city’s statement to court, responding to a petition by refugees from the village and a group of Jerusalem activists, says it wants the Israel Land Authority’s plan cancelled, as it would “would crush many green areas and areas of utmost historical importance. In the city’s opinion, the plan does not serve the public interest.”… The village of Lifta is the only Palestinian village that has remained untouched, seemingly frozen in time, since 1948. Other towns and villages captured during Israel’s War of Independence were demolished or repopulated. As Lifta is the best preserved village remaining from before the war, it possesses tremendous historical value, as an example of the local building traditions. UNESCO has listed Lifta on its tentative list of World Heritage Sites.”

Palestinian teen describes brutal attack by Israeli settlers,

“The settlers beat him with wooden clubs before blindfolding him and tying him to the hood of the car, he said. They drove for about five minutes, back up the hill, before the car came to a sudden halt, sending him tumbling to the ground. “Then they started to hit me, spit on me and swear at me,” he said. He said the settlers tied him to a tree and whipped him with a belt. Then they took him down, cut his legs with a knife and burned the soles of his feet with a car cigarette lighter. In the end, they hit him over the head with a club, knocking him unconscious, he said.” See also “‘I thought I would die’: Settlers abduct, brutally attack Palestinian teen” (+972 from August 26, 2021)

The Biden Administration & U.S. Policy

Biden officials privately pushed Abbas to shelve ICC probe against Israel,

Senior officials in the Biden administration have privately pressed the Palestinian Authority, including its president Mahmoud Abbas, to walk back Ramallah’s effort to have Israel tried for war crimes at the International Criminal Court (ICC), a Middle Eastern diplomatic official told The Times of Israel on Thursday…Nonetheless, Biden officials have several times urged Abbas and other senior figures in the PA to renounce the ICC investigation, arguing that it exacerbates efforts to keep dimming prospects for a two-state solution alive and antagonizes Israel, the Middle Eastern diplomat said. Abbas, for his part, has bucked the requests, maintaining that he has every right to pursue the probe and that it is one of the few avenues he has to peacefully confront Israel, the diplomat explained. Distancing himself from the ICC probe would also be a highly unpopular move among Palestinians for the PA president, who is already facing a severe legitimacy crisis.”

Democratic senators pushed consulate reopening during Israel meetings,

During their visit to Israel late last week, four Democratic senators pushed Israeli officials, including Prime Minister Naftali Bennett, to allow the United States to reopen the Jerusalem consulate that traditionally served the Palestinians prior to 2019.”


Why Serbia wants to buy SPIKE missiles from Israel,

“Serbia is also buying missiles from Israel to remedy a problem it has in its bilateral ties with Israel. Namely, in 2020 as part of the economic normalization agreement mediated by former US President Donald Trump, Kosovo and Israel agreed to recognize each other, and Kosovo agreed to open an embassy in Jerusalem, with Serbia vowing to move its embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. However, while Serbia’s main rationale in signing this agreement was getting close to the Trump administration, the move to Jerusalem makes no sense for Serbia with Joe Biden in the White House. Moreover, Serbia fears that moving the embassy to Jerusalem will complicate its relations with the Islamic world and the EU. While Serbia wants to avoid the costly move of its embassy to Jerusalem, it does not wish to poison ties with Israel. Therefore, defense contracts help improve relations with Israel amidst Israeli recognition of independent Kosovo and help avoid the embassy move.”

Chinese-operated port opens in Israel despite American concerns,

“Israel’s first private port opened Sept. 1. Operated by the government-run Chinese company SIPG, this project and the growing Chinese involvement in the Israeli economy are a point of dispute with the American administration. The US administration reportedly opposes this move. One of the warnings raised was that the US Navy’s Sixth Fleet, which sometimes docks at the port of Haifa, would be vulnerable to Chinese bugging and surveillance.”

Egypt, Qatar, Kuwait to Fund Separate Reconstruction Projects in Gaza,

“His remarks were made days after the Egyptian presidency and Qatari envoy Mohammed Al-Emadi announced that the reconstruction will kick off in Gaza soon. Earlier in the week, Spokesman for the Egyptian Presidency Bassam Rady said that the presidency announced it will start reconstruction work in the Palestinian enclave in the coming days…Asharq Al-Awsat newspaper was informed by sources that the Egyptians and Qataris will fund projects separately.” See also “Egypt Renews Firm Stance to Support Palestinian Cause” (Asharq Al-Awsat)

Jordan: Gaza reconstruction, halting Israel measures against Palestinians key to peace,

“The reconstruction of the occupied Gaza Strip and cessation of “all provocative and illegal Israeli measures are inevitable to achieve the two-state solution,” Jordanian Foreign Minister, Ayman Safadi, said yesterday. “The Palestinian cause was, and remains, our first priority,” Safadi told representatives at the 156th session of the Arab League Council.”

A Battle Over Wine Labels Is Exposing Canada’s Support for Israeli Occupation,

A Canadian wine enthusiast’s quest to uncover whether wines produced in Israeli settlements were being misleadingly labeled “Made in Israel” has set off a long legal battle. In the process, he has exposed Canada’s complicity in Israel’s occupation.”