Top News from Israel & Palestine: September 8, 2021

What We’re Reading

Prison Break

Palestinian Inmates Set Cells Ablaze in Israeli Prisons After Major Jailbreak,

“Palestinian inmates affiliated with the Islamic Jihad movement clashed with guards and set seven cells in Ketziot Prison on fire on Wednesday, as Israeli security services continue their search for six escaped high-security prisoners, focusing on the Jezreel Valley area. The Prison Service reported that two cells in Rimon Prison were also set ablaze, but that the fire was under control. Israeli authorities said they were preparing for more rioting in other prisons too.”

Israel Backtracks on Dispersing Islamic Jihad Inmates After Threats of Riots,

“The Israel Prison Service has decided against dispersing Palestinian Islamic Jihad inmates from Ofer Prison in the West Bank after prisoners had threatened mass disturbances, including arson and harm to guards if they are transferred to other prisons, according to prison authority sources…A short time after the six had made their escape on Monday, Prison Service Commissioner Katy Perry decided that about 400 prisoners pertaining to Islamic Jihad from all Israeli prisons would be separated and placed in different maximum security facilities. The purpose of the move was to house only one Islamic Jihad prisoner in any given prison cell. The prison authority began transferring inmates from prisons in the north of the country, and prisoners from Gilboa and Megiddo Prison in the north were moved to other jails, mainly in the south. But about 150 Islamic Jihad prisoners from Ofer refused to vacate the prison and some clashed with the guards. Currently, three Islamic Jihad prisoners are housed in one cell in Ofer on average. According to Israel Prison Service sources, fearing mass disturbances, Central District Commander Avichai Ben-Hamo later decided against moving the prisoners, and they currently remain at Ofer. “They are just scared of them,” one senior Israel Prison Service official said.”


Also See

PPS cautions against "open confrontation" with Israeli Prison Service,

“The Palestine Prisoner’s Society today cautioned against the outbreak of an open confrontation between Palestinians in Israeli imprisonment and the Israeli Prison Service. PPS said in a press release that all Palestinian prisoners in Israeli prisons warned the Israeli Prison Service (IPS) that the punitive measures currently imposed on prisoners risk an open confrontation with IPS. It pointed that IPS has imposed additional punitive measures on all prisoners following the escape of six prisoners from the highly fortified Gilboa Prison through a tunnel.”

Three Suspects Arrested for Assisting Palestinian Fugitives in Northern Israel,

“Three people were detained in the northern Israeli village of Na’ura on Tuesday on suspicion of assisting the six Palestinians on the run from Israeli authorities after their escape from Gilboa Prison. According to sources involved in the investigation, the prisoners were only Na’ura for a short time, where they went to the local mosque to shower and change their clothes, before going to the local bakery to purchase food. The police found some of the prisoners’ clothes in the village, they added.”

Israeli troops said to arrest family members of fugitives in West Bank raids,

“Israeli forces arrested family members of several Palestinian fugitives during overnight raids in the northern West Bank, Palestinian media reports said Wednesday morning, as the massive manhunt continued for the six escaped security prisoners. Among those reportedly arrested were relatives of Mahmoud and Mohammed Al-Arida in the town of Arraba, near Jenin.” Also See – “Israeli forces detain close relatives of Palestinians who broke out of prison” (WAFA)

Palestinians vow to fight Israeli forces if they raid Jenin camp,

“Members of the Palestinian Islamic Jihad group said they will fight Israeli forces if they enter the Jenin refugee camp in search of six Palestinian prisoners who escaped from a high-security Israeli prison. Early on Wednesday, Israeli soldiers with dogs scoured gaps in Israel’s separation wall near the Palestinian town of Yaabad near Jenin, while reconnaissance aircraft flew above.”

Questions plague Israeli security forces after jailbreak,

“Authorities remained short on answers Tuesday over how six Palestinian prisoners’ escape from a high-security jail went unnoticed and where they could have gone, with a vast manhunt still underway…But the full weight of Israel’s security arsenal has been deployed to catch them, including aerial drones, checkpoints on roads and an army mission to Jenin, where many of the men locked up for their roles in attacks on the Jewish state grew up.”

A Hole, a Tunnel, a 32-Yard Crawl: Palestinians Still Free After Jailbreak,

“The six fugitives were confirmed missing fully two hours after their escape, after a roll call of all 400 prisoners at Gilboa, the prison service said. About 80 prisoners have since been moved to other jails as a precaution, while the Gilboa prison authorities search the site for signs of other escape routes. As of Tuesday evening, the fugitives remained at large amid fears from Israeli officials that the longer they remained free, the likelier it would be that their escape could lead to a violent confrontation. In 1987, five Islamic Jihad members also escaped from an Israeli jail, an act that is associated with the start of the first intifada.”

Occupation & Apartheid: West Bank, Gaza, East Jerusalem

Quarterly Report of Palestinian Digital Rights Violations,

“During the reporting period, 7amleh documented a total of 116 violations against Palestinian users and supporters of the Palestinian cause by social media companies. These violations included 16 content removals and 100 account suspensions on various platforms. The digital rights violations committed against Palestinians in the West Bank also included extensive smear campaigns on social media platforms, where 7amleh documented 20 cases of defamation against activists relating to their participation in peaceful protests. Following the confiscation of their phones, accounts supporting the Palestinian Authority published private personal photos belonging to participants in the protests with the aim of blackmailing and defaming them and to prevent them from exercising their right to peaceful assembly and protest. It is worth mentioning that the majority of the aforementioned cases targeted female activists and journalists. 7amleh has reached out to social media companies as a trusted partner to report these violations.


On the other hand, the spread of Israeli incitement content has continued across social media platforms, as about 100 articles and inflammoatry posts were documented to have been posted online by Israeli politicians and influential writers. As for privacy and digital security, it has been reported that the Israeli police are seeking to enact a law that allows them to set up face recognition cameras in public spaces and streets, whereby a number of security agencies other than the police can obtain the information collected by these cameras.

As for technology companies, a recent report by Amnesty International revealed that a list of over 50,000 individuals, public figures, organizations, activists and journalists were targets of hacking attempts by the clients of the Israeli company NSO Group. Additionally, 7amleh sent a letter alongside the Palestinian Digital Rights Coalition to PayPal and Venmo demanding that they stop closing and freezing accounts on political and ethnic grounds, especially the accounts of Arab and Muslim users.”

Israel shuts Ibrahimi Mosque to Palestinian worshippers but allows settler entry,

“Israel has banned Muslim worshippers from praying at the Ibrahimi Mosque in the southern West Bank city of Hebron. Israeli authorities used the Jewish New Year as a pretext for their actions, adding that the religious site would remain open to Israeli settlers living in the occupied Palestinian city. Mosque director Sheikh Hafthi Abu Sneineh said Israeli forces blocked Palestinians from accessing the place of worship, including the courtyards, but illegal settlers were permitted to prepare for their holiday at the site. “

Jewish settlers storm Aqsa mosque again,

“Jewish settlers on Wednesday stormed Aqsa mosque under the protection of Israeli police. According to eyewitnesses, the settlers entered the mosque in groups from Bab Al Magharba (Morocco gate) and carried out provocative tours. The so-called Temple Mount groups had incited settlers during the past days into storming the mosque on the occasion of the new Jewish year.”

Palestinian Family Forced To Demolish Its Home In Jerusalem,

“On Tuesday, a Palestinian family from the al-Bustan neighborhood in Silwan town, in occupied Jerusalem, was forced to demolish its home after the City Council denied their appeals. The Wadi Hilweh Information Center In Silwan (Silwanic) stated that the Dweik local family was forced to demolish its own home to avoid the excessively high fines and fees, especially if the City Council uses its workers and equipment to demolish the property. Silwanic added that the family received the demolition order twenty days ago, and tried to appeal the decision but to no avail. The 80 square/meter home provided shelter to nine family members, including 7 children between the ages of 7 and 16m, and was constructed in the year 2017.”

[Video] Will Gaza ever be fully rebuilt?,

“In this episode, we’ll look at the status of reconstruction in Gaza and ask what are the reverberating effects of bombing civilian areas.”

Abbas-Gantz meeting raises hopes for some Palestinians in West Bank,

“An estimated 22,000 Palestinians are asking for improved residency status under family unification, which would legalize the status of thousands of undocumented foreign nationals married to Palestinians and living in the West Bank.”

The U.S.

Blinken invites Lapid for Washington visit next month,

“US Secretary of State Antony Blinken has invited Foreign Minister Yair Lapid to visit Washington, the State Department said Tuesday. Speaking to reporters, spokesman Ned Price said the invitation was issued during a phone call between the two on Monday “to continue conversations following Prime Minister (Naftali) Bennett’s recent visit and to exchange Rosh Hashanah greetings.” “Secretary Blinken invited Minister Lapid to visit Washington soon. The Secretary and the Minister also underscored the importance of consultations on regional and security topics, including on Afghanistan, Iran, and China,” Price said.” Also See – “Straight talk from Israel’s Lapid includes criticism of US” (Al-Monitor)

Analysis | A Year That Made It Clear: U.S. Ironclad Support for Israel No Longer Assured,

“As we enter 5782, Israel must recognize that it’s not business as usual in Washington. The status quo can’t hold forever, and the parties are trending toward polar opposites on the U.S.-Israel relationship. There is growing awareness that Israel’s policy on the Palestinians is directly empowered by the U.S.-Israel relationship. As long as there is no improvement on the ground, the debate’s focus in the United States will continue to shift.”

CEO of leading Jewish org denies there’s an occupation and calls Ben & Jerry’s chair ‘apologist for Hamas’,

“The Conference of Presidents of American Jewish Organizations, which comprises dozens of groups and calls itself the “voice of organized American Jewry,” has said the decision was “antisemitic” and warned Unilever that 33 states have laws aimed at penalizing the BDS campaign against Israel. The Conference said these states’ pension funds can divest from Unilever if it does not override the independent Ben & Jerry’s board. William Daroff, the CEO of the Conference, goes further. He says there is no such thing as occupied territories. He says that the chair of the independent Ben & Jerry’s board is an “apologist for Hamas” who has put out “venomous hatred.” And he says that the “grownups” at Unilever can reverse the Ben & Jerry’s decision by “just snapping their fingers.””

Analysis & Commentary

Palestine: An open-air museum of colonialism,

“What if, however, there were an actual place in our world today where colonialism and post-colonialism co-existed? Herein lies the sad, almost incomprehensible Palestinian contribution to the museum industry. If museums of colonialism reimagine the past in a modern setting, Palestine is both past and present – a colonial and postcolonial reality. In Palestine, there is no need to create a museum of colonialism: the whole country functions as such.”