Top News from Israel & Palestine: August 12, 2019

What We’re Reading

FMEP Resource

Settlement Report: August 9, 2019,

FMEP’s weekly Settlement Report – covering all the details of a big week in Israeli settlement advancements and ongoing annexation of Area C in the West Bank.


Palestinians and Israeli police clash at Jerusalem holy site,

“Tensions had mounted at the flashpoint complex at the start of Eid al-Adha as the holiday overlapped this year with the Jewish fast day of Tisha B’Av, amid calls by Jewish nationalist and religious politicians for Jews to visit the holy compound.”

Temple Mount Clashes: Israeli, Palestinian Extremists Win Latest Round of Arm Twisting,

“The status quo, despite its weakness, has resolved the relationship between the two nations in this sensitive location since 1967. It’s been the common denominator that the two sides can agree on when the violence subsides. Due to cynical election and publicity concerns, strong forces from both sides are implementing the status quo and threatening to dismantle it completely. In a scenario such as this, the danger posed to the Temple Mount Sunday will transform this threat into a reality.”

Temple Mount Clashes: Jordan Condemns 'Blunt' Israeli Violations as Jews Allowed in Holy Site,

“Clashes erupted around 9:30 A.M. after worshipers finished their prayers. Police forces reportedly fired stun grenades and tear gas canisters after they claimed the worshipers began hurling objects at officers and yelling ‘nationalistic remarks.'”


Israeli Military Kills 4 Palestinian Militants After Attack at Gaza Border,

“Israeli forces shot and killed four Palestinian militants near the Gaza border fence after one tossed a hand grenade at Israeli troops on Saturday, the military said. The men were armed with assault rifles, anti-tank missiles and other grenades, the Israeli military said on Twitter. The Israeli military posted images of the weapons it said the men had been carrying.”

Hamas distances itself from terror attack, wants to keep truce with Israel,

“Hamas has distanced itself from Saturday’s botched attempt to infiltrate into Israel from the Gaza Strip by arguing that the four terrorists who were killed by the IDF had acted independently. This was the second time in the past 10 days that Hamas has distanced itself from a terrorist attack along the Gaza-Israel border. By disassociating itself from the recent terrorist attacks, Hamas is signaling that it is keen on preserving the ceasefire understandings reached with Israel earlier this year under the auspices of Egypt and the United Nations, Palestinian political analysts explained.”

Israeli Politics

Before election, PM aims for Trump backing for Israel sovereignty at settlements,

“While Netanyahu cannot himself take the far-reaching diplomatic step of extending Israeli sovereignty to the settlements while he is leading the current caretaker government, the Prime Minister’s Office is lobbying for public support from Trump for such a move. This would enable Netanyahu to credibly assure right-wing voters that he can and will move quickly to apply sovereignty to the settlements if he is again elected premier. If issued, such a declaration by Trump would mark the third far-reaching diplomatic shift by the White House in under two years, after Trump recognized Jerusalem as Israel’s capital in 2017 and moved its embassy there, and recognized Israeli control over the Golan Heights earlier this year, shortly before the previous elections.”

Israel Now a Key Battleground in the Global Clash of Liberal Democracy and Its Enemies,

Nimrod Goren and Gil Murciano write, “This world-spanning support highlights Netanyahu’s status as a central figure in the global non-liberal camp. His domestic policy corresponds with its values, favoring the majoritarian aspect of democracy over liberal values. However, it also put forward a message that goes well beyond the Israeli context – in times of need, the non-liberal network also functions as a practical political alliance.”

The Deal of the Century/U.S. Politics

Right-wing MKs to congresspeople: 2-state solution ‘far more dangerous’ than BDS,

“The letter, which was sent to the offices of leading members of Congress who promoted the resolution, was the initiative of Samaria Regional Council head Yossi Dagan, the Land of Israel caucus in the Knesset and the National Conference of Likud, an informal group of hawks within the ruling party. It was signed by Deputy Defense Minister Tzipi Hotovely (Likud), Deputy Defense Minister Eli Ben Dahan (United Right), and Likud MKs Avi Dichter, Gideon Sa’ar, Yoav Kisch, Uzi Dayan and others.”

US peace envoy: There’s ‘no international consensus’ on Mideast conflict,

“In a podcast interview released Friday evening, Jason Greenblatt told the outgoing head of the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations Malcolm Hoenlein that there was no broad agreement on how to deal with the conflict among the community of nations. ‘There is no international consensus on this conflict,’ Greenblatt said. ‘People reflexively try to pretend that an international consensus exists as to how to resolve the conflict. That’s not true.’ He went on, ‘In fact, we couldn’t even get an international consensus to condemn Hamas. Hamas is a terror organization that subjugates 2 million Palestinians in Gaza, vows to destroy Israel, shoots thousands of rockets at Israel. If there’s no international consensus on that, there’s no international consensus on a resolution here.’”

Scoop: Trump tells advisers Israel should bar entry to Reps. Omar and Tlaib,

“Trump’s private views have reached the top level of the Israeli government. But Trump denies, through White House press secretary Stephanie Grisham, ever giving any kind of directive to the Israelis. ‘The Israeli government can do what they want. It’s fake news,’ Grisham said on Saturday.”

In Jerusalem, U.S. House Leaders Back Netanyahu’s Decision to Let Tlaib and Omar Enter Israel,

“‘I do not know that the president was unhappy; I speak to him everyday,’ said McCarthy, responding to an Axios story alleging that Trump told advisers that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu should use Israel’s anti-boycott law to bar Omar and Tlaib from entering Israel. The Republican leader said he favored allowing the two congresswomen to visit, despite their views.”

Israeli Politics

Source: Netanyahu considering firing Smotrich from government,

“The United Right leader on Sunday slammed Netanyahu and the judicial system after Nazareth District Court ruled against allowing the ultra-Orthodox to hold a gender-segregated musical event in a public park in the northern city of Afula.”

Netanyahu’s campaign to delegitimize the left, suppress Israeli Arabs,

“Netanyahu, fighting for his political life, will go to battle over every vote to ensure that the right-wing and ultra-Orthodox parties win 61 seats on Sept. 17 without the cooperation of Yisrael Beitenu leader Avigdor Liberman. He will wage this war on every imaginable front, both publicly and far from the spotlight. He attacked Peretz, because Peretz is trying to win support from voters on the soft right and even from traditional Likud supporters. Netanyahu lashed out at him in an attempt to scare off those potential defectors.”

Corruption No Longer Fazes Israeli Voters,

“Leading the group of corrupt officials is none other than the prime minister himself. Benjamin Netanyahu is currently facing three indictments on charges of bribery, fraud and violation of public trust. His pre-indictment hearing is scheduled to take place on Oct. 2, shortly after the Sept. 17 election. His wife Sara was already been convicted of a crime under a plea deal, an outcome the Netanyahu family’s supporters twisted into a victory.”