Top News from Israel & Palestine: August 13, 2019

What We’re Reading


Explosion Heard in Gaza, Two Drones Spotted Crossing to Israel,

“A loud explosion was heard in northern Gaza Strip on Monday night, according to Palestinian media reports, after IDF forces have reportedly identified two drones that crossed from Gaza to Israeli territory and back. It is unclear what the source of the explosion was, although preliminary reports claim that the explosion was caused by an explosive balloon. The two drones that crossed the Gaza border were reportedly spotted by IDF forces who did not react to the drones, but observed them crossing the border for a short while and then crossing back.”

Israel to build additional wall with Gaza to prevent infiltrations,

“According to a report on Israel’s Channel 12, the Defense Ministry is planning to build a 6 m. (20 feet) high defensive wall inside Israeli territory along a 9 km. stretch of Route 34 between the communities Yad Mordechai and Sderot.”

Israel and Hamas both said taking steps to secure Gaza border after breaches,

“The Hamas terror group, which rules the Strip, deployed additional troops to the frontier in a bid to prevent breaches of the border fence, understanding that these cross-border attacks risked provoking a harsh response by the Israeli military, according to the Palestinian Amad news outlet. Israel’s Defense Ministry was also reportedly planning the construction of a six-meter (20-foot) high defensive wall inside Israeli territory across from the northern Gaza border, which is meant to provide nearby communities with additional protection from terrorist infiltrations.”

Occupation & Annexation

Master plan approved for East Jerusalem's Ras al-Amud,

“Jerusalem Municipality confirms that similar master plans are now being drawn up for other East Jerusalem Arab neighborhoods including Beit-Hanina-Shuafat, Issawa, and A-Tur. Jerusalem Mayor Moshe Lion said, ‘Regulating planning and construction in East Jerusalem neighborhoods, including promoting master plans, is a cornerstone of the policies that I am leading to strengthen sovereignty and improve quality of life in these neighborhoods.'”

What's happening in Kashmir looks a lot like Israel's rule over Palestine,

“Aside from the parallels in policy objectives, the discourse used by supporters of the current regime in India resemble old Israeli refrains. Both Israel and India claim to be exceptional democracies, despite their treatment of large swaths of populations under their control. Additionally, both Zionists and Hindu Nationalists argue that the existence of many Muslim countries in the world necessitates a Jewish and Hindu state, respectively. This perpetuates the lie that Palestinians and Indian Muslims can supposedly live elsewhere, yet choose to live in Palestine and India only to antagonize Jews and Hindus.”

Palestinian Politics

Abbas aide fumes as Netanyahu eyes Israeli sovereignty over settlements,

“Abu Rudeineh added that the proposed Israeli undertaking ‘will have dangerous consequences after Trump’s declaration about Jerusalem being Israel’s capital, the continued incursions of settlers and extremists into the blessed al-Aqsa Mosque, and the American position on refugees and the salaries of prisoners and martyrs,’ the Wafa report also said.”

Abbas: Settlements will be swept away, Palestinians came from ancient Canaanites,

Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas has asserted settlements in the West Bank will be swept into ‘the dustbins of history’ and contended that Palestinians are the original inhabitants of the region according to the Biblical history. Abbas made the comments over the weekend in a strongly worded speech during the course of an extremely rare visit to a refugee camp in the West Bank days after Israeli officials pushed forward thousands of new settlement homes.”

Israeli Politics

Most right-wing Israeli voters want Netanyahu to remain prime minister even if he’s indicted,

“More than half of right-wing voters believe that Benjamin Netanyahu should continue as Prime Minister even if indicted, according to a new poll released by the Israel Democracy Institute on Monday. Netanyahu’s formal indictment hearing will take place in October, weeks after the Israeli election on September 17. Israeli Attorney General Avichai Mandelblit announced in March that he intends to indict Netanyahu for bribery, fraud and breach of trust in three separate corruption cases. Netanyahu is the first sitting prime minister to face a pending indictment.”

Likud rejects AG’s opinion that hidden cameras at polls could be illegal,

“Ruling party slams Avichai Mandelblit’s legal missive as ‘unacceptable,’ says barring cameras ‘could hurt democracy and the purity of elections’”

Netanyahu Is Running Out of Natural Partners,

“Their challenge puts Netanyahu in a double bind. On the one hand, he needs his natural partners if he is to ever have a chance of forming another coalition. On the other, his very proximity to these partners is now being used against him by Lieberman and other rivals on the center-right to paint him as an enabler of extremists and parochialists.”

U.S. Politics

Israeli Lawmakers Rebuff House Bill Endorsing 'Dangerous' Two-state Solution,

“According to The Jerusalem Post, the impetus for the letter came from the Knesset Land of Israel Caucus and Samaria Regional Council head Yossi Dagan. ‘Unfortunately, in the last few years, AIPAC is independently advancing the two-state solution,’ Dagan said in a statement. ‘AIPAC portrays the two-state concept as an Israeli interest to elected officials in America and as the official position of the Israeli government, even though this is untrue,’ he said.”