Top News from Israel & Palestine: August 29, 2019

What We’re Reading

Occupation, Annexation & Human Rights

In Hebron, Tlaib and Omar would have seen Israel's apartheid city,

Avner Gvaryahu writes, “When confronted with the desolate streets and empty houses, the truth rings clear: the claims about ‘security necessities’ and a ‘divinely-promised land’ sound especially hollow against the backdrop of Hebron’s stark reality. In the past, this was done underneath the table, shrouded in a cloud of mystery and blurred by denial and excuses. Today, the Israeli government and its authorities take pride in these actions.”

Israel’s Collective Abuse Operation in East Jerusalem,

“Some 340 of the neighborhood’s young people have been arrested during this period; most have been released for a lack of evidence after a day or two of detention. Only five have been charged with anything, while three are still awaiting a decision. The dozens of middle-of-the-night home searches haven’t yielded a single gun. The police ended up confiscating books and cellphones.These numbers show how ridiculous and purposeless this operation is. The police are using arrests, searches and tickets as a form of collective punishment.”

Israeli University Heads Say Won’t Intervene in Discrimination Against Palestinian Schools,

“The Committee of University Heads in Israel has declared that the discrimination against Palestinian universities with regard to granting visas for visiting lecturers is a political issue and thus not one in which they will intervene. The announcement was made in response to an appeal made by 33 faculty members at Haifa University to Prof. Ron Rubin, the university’s president and the chairman of the committee.”

Diaries of childhood in Israeli military detention,

“Last month Israel’s Supreme Court refused to hear a petition by a human rights group demanding that Palestinian children detained in Israeli jails be allowed to telephone their parents. The case cast a spotlight on children tried in military courts for crimes committed in the occupied West Bank. Israel is believed to be the only country that tries children that way. Critics have said the ill-treatment of detainees is widespread.”

Security officials warn Israel against annexation of occupied West Bank,

“Any unilateral annexation of territory or extension of sovereignty to the West Bank will put Israel’s security and safety along with the well-being of its citizens at risk,” the letter said.

Jewish Settlers Reoccupy Hebron Building After Israeli Authority Rules in Their Favor,

“Jewish settlers have moved back into a building next door to the Cave of the Patriarchs in Hebron from which they were evicted in March 2018, after the relevant Israeli authority ruled that they own half the three-story building. Army sources say the reoccupation had not been coordinated with the military.”

A Palestinian Lawyer on Netanyahu’s Strategic Errors,

To discuss what Trump and Netanyahu’s alliance means for Israelis and for Palestinians, I recently spoke by phone with Raja Shehadeh, a Palestinian lawyer, writer, and activist who co-founded the human-rights organization Al-Haq, and who has written extensively about the history of the conflict and the daily reality of life in the West Bank. Shehadeh’s latest book, “Going Home,” reflects on the history of Ramallah. During our conversation, which has been edited for length and clarity, we discussed the decline of the Israeli left, how changes in the Democratic and Republican parties affect the fate of Palestinians, and why Shehadeh won’t speak about B.D.S.

New: Settlements Map 2019,

Additions include the proposed Khan al-Ahmar transfer site near a dump adjacent to Abu Dis, a detailed outline of E2, and 11 new outposts from 2018.

Resource: Choosing annexation over development,

“There are many ways of calculating the ‘cost’ of the occupation. Since 2008, the Adva Center, a leading Israeli progressive think tank that monitors social and economic developments in Israel has for years published annual reports outlining the burden of the occupation on Israeli society.The organization’s latest report, ‘Annexation Trumps Start-up Nation,’ tell the story of two Israeli settlement projects: the ‘development towns’ established in far-flung areas of the country before the 1967 war, and the settlements built in the occupied West Bank ever since.”

The Deal of the Century

U.S. will not release Middle East peace plan before Israeli election,

“The move, announced in a tweet by Greenblatt, keeps the plan’s details from becoming an issue in the election, in which the leadership of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, a close ally of U.S. President Donald Trump, is at stake. ‘We have decided that we will not be releasing the peace vision (or parts of it) prior to the Israeli election,’ Greenblatt said on Twitter.”

Two-state Solution Necessary Even if Getting Harder, Merkel Says During Abbas Visit,

“The German chancellor said that Palestinians had a right to leading economic and socially prosperous lives, and that offering economic development perspectives was key for this process.”

Palestinian Politics

Hamas makes mass arrests in Gaza following killing of 3 policemen said by IS,

“Hamas has declared a state of emergency and on Wednesday morning began arresting supporters of Islamic State and other Salafist organizations in the Gaza Strip en masse, hours after three policemen were killed in a series of blasts in the coastal enclave, according to Palestinian reports.”