Top News from Israel & Palestine: August 8, 2019

What We’re Reading


Israeli Soldier Killed in West Bank Attack; Security Forces Suspect Failed Kidnapping,

“A 19-year-old Israeli soldier and yeshiva student was murdered in a stabbing attack near the West Bank settlement of Gush Etzion on Wednesday. “

Hamas refers to multiple ‘fighters’ in heaping praising for deadly attack,

“The Hamas terror group refers to multiple people who carried out the terror attack that killed a religious seminary student, whose body was found this morning outside a settlement in the Gush Etzion area, describing it as ‘heroic.'”

After West Bank Murder, Netanyahu Vows to Build 'In All Parts of Our Historic Homeland',

“Speaking at a ceremony marking the establishment of a new neighborhood in the settlement of Beit El, the premier said: ‘These despicable terrorists, they come to uproot – we come to plant. They come to destroy – we come to build.'”

IDF raids Palestinian village as troops hunt for student’s killer,

“Israeli security forces launched a massive search effort after the body of a yeshiva student who had been stabbed to death was found outside a settlement in the Gush Etzion area of the West Bank in the predawn hours of Thursday morning. Authorities were treating the killing as a terror attack. Palestinian media reported that Israeli troops were operating extensively in the village of Beit Fajjar, outside Bethlehem, confiscating security camera footage and conducting searches in order to locate the killer or killers. Army Radio reported that Palestinian security forces were also taking part in the search effort.”

Lawmakers blame government policies, push for annexation after student killed,

“The foreign press spokesperson for Netanyahu appeared to link the attack to PA President Mahmoud Abbas, tweeting: ‘Only yesterday, forty US congressmen heard Abu Mazen lying again about his will for peace. And today, we wake up to the reality, a brutal murder.’ Former defense minister Avigdor Liberman and Blue and White MK Gabi Ashkenazi, a former IDF chief of staff, attributed the stabbing to the government’s security policies. ‘Capitulation to terrorism in Gaza leads to terror attacks in Jerusalem and Judea and Samaria [the West Bank],’ said Liberman, the head of the Yisrael Beytenu party. ‘The defense establishment knows of dozens of attempts to carry out terror attacks, which are directed by Hamas in the Gaza Strip.’”

Israeli Occupation Productions, Ltd.,

“The climax of the series was the planting of the gun in Samer Sleiman’s house. That was the moment of truth. That’s how the police operate in the territories. Sometimes they plant evidence, or make up a pretext for brutal behavior. And in general, they plant themselves in places where they shouldn’t be at all. It’s not just the planted weaponry; it’s all based on deceit – the supposedly unoccupied status of the supposedly united city; the dangers exaggerated to the point of absurdity; the security services who fight these dangers and make them worse by their very violent and provocative presence, in Jerusalem as in the West Bank.”

Are Palestinian construction permits Israel's way to annex Area C?,

“Tayseer Khaled, a member of the PLO’s Executive Committee, told Al-Monitor that Israel is not entitled to allow or prevent Palestinians to carry out construction on their own land and in their homeland, in reference to the issuance of the construction permits. Khaled described the decision as ‘a war crime.'”

Israel's Education Minister Demands Loyalty to the Occupation,

“The decision by Education Minister Rafi Peretz not to extend the term of Prof. Yossi Shain on the Council of Higher Education’s Planning and Budgeting Committee proves that promoting Ariel University is more important to the interim minster than concern for the higher education system. Distancing Shain from the council’s most important committee removes another obstacle to the medical school at the university in the territories, and it repeats a practice we’ve seen in other instances – appointing loyalists, weakening the gatekeepers and bending decades-old rules and procedures to satisfy random political needs.”

U.S. Politics

Pentagon repeats warning to Israel on Chinese port deal,

“’While we are not asking Israel to avoid dealing with China entirely, we have open discussions with all our closest allies and partners on the national security implications of Chinese investment,’ Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for the Middle East Mick Mulroy said in a statement last week. ‘The openness of the US and Israeli economies is a strength to our countries, but malign actors can take advantage if we are not cautious.’”

Abbas tells Congress members on AIPAC-linked trip he won’t accept US ‘dictates’,

“Abbas stressed ‘his rejection of American dictates and decisions related to Jerusalem, refugees, borders and security,’ the Wafa report said of the meeting…During their meeting with the PA chief, the members of Congress expressed their ‘complete support’ for the two-state solution and achieving peace, the Wafa report also said.”

Israeli Politics

Israel’s economy victim of election campaign,

“The two election campaigns in 2019 are costing the economy half a billion shekels each, or 1 billion shekels ($287 million) in total. Of these, 195 million shekels ($56 million) are being used to fund the parties, while the Election Committee costs another 283 million shekels ($81 million). Added to this direct cost is the cost of a nationwide paid holiday for workers. According to figures provided by the Manufacturers Association of Israel, one such day is estimated to cost the private sector alone another 1.5 billion shekels ($430 million). Last month, the Manufacturers Association tried to advance a new law repealing the national holiday and replace it with paid leave for the day limited only to employees who actually choose to vote. This attempt failed.”

Airport inspection in Israel a nightmare for Israeli-Arabs,

“Are the Ben-Gurion security checks truly equitable and impartial? It is safe to assume that almost every Arab citizen of Israel would ridicule such a claim and could provide at least one personal experience of being humiliated during border security checks. The bitter experience of Israeli Arabs clearly shows that Israel’s profiling methods used for the security inspections on people entering and exiting Israel automatically tag all Israeli Arab citizens as a high threat due to their ethnicity.”