Top News from Israel & Palestine: July 11, 2019

What We’re Reading

Occupation & Human Rights

REPORT: Annexation Trumps Start-up Nation Two Settlement Projects = Two Different National Agendas,

“Yet, the promise encapsulated in the settlements project is not primarily socio-economic but rather political: to prevent Palestinian sovereignty in the territories occupied in 1967 and to reduce the territorial basis of Palestinians by chopping up the territory into separate enclaves. This purpose is clearer today than it was in the past, against the background of the demand voiced by the right-wing settlers: to annex all of the settlements to Israel. A more comprehensive demand is to annex all the Palestinian territories to Israel, the same way that East Jerusalem and the Golan Heights were annexed. Recently, this demand was bolstered by the US ambassador to Israel, who declared that under certain circumstances, Israel has the right to annex parts of the Palestinian territories. The message is annexation. And in the competition between two national projects, annexation trumps development.”

Palestinians Report Hundreds of Olive Trees Destroyed in West Bank Overnight,

“In the area of the southern Hebron Hills, near the village of Susya, some 160 trees were cut down. Meanwhile, Palestinians reported that some 100 trees were damaged in the town of Turmus Ayya in the central West Bank.”


Israeli Army Admits Unintentionally Killing Hamas Member in Gaza,

“A Hamas source told Haaretz that al-Adham was shot when he was chasing after two young Palestinians who approached the border fence in order to stop them from crossing over into Israeli territory, in order to maintain the understandings reached between Israel and Hamas.”

Why Hamas changes strategy, privileges arrangement with Israel,

“Since the IDF began using advanced technology to unearth the terror tunnels, Hamas has abandoned its flagship project in which it had invested millions of dollars. Even if some undetected tunnels remain, as far as Israel knows they are inactive and Hamas would have a hard time using them and overcoming the new Israeli barrier. The Hamas decision to forgo its tunnel enterprise has significant implications for the military doctrine of the organization’s armed wing and the movement’s diplomatic path.”

Palestinian terror groups say Gazan collaborators with Israel arrested,

“The Lebanese newspaper al-Akhbar quoted sources Wednesday as saying that one collaborator was collared after he unsuccessfully tried to poison a top Gazan military leader on behalf of Israel in June.”

Israeli Politics

At West Bank Event, Netanyahu Promises No More Settlers, Arabs Will Be Evicted,

“’I personally commit to this, and the commitment has no expiration date. We will not let any community or town in the Land of Israel be evicted, neither Jewish nor Arab. We don’t forcibly evict people. We’re done with this nonsense. Israel under my leadership will not repeat the mistakes of the past,’ he said, referring to the 2005 evacuation of Jewish settlers from the Gaza Strip under the leadership of Prime Minister Ariel Sharon. ‘I am guided by several principles when it comes to the West Bank,’ he said. ‘The first – this is our homeland. The second – we will continue to build and develop it. Third – not one resident [settler] or community [settlement] will be uprooted in a political agreement. Fourth – the Israeli military and security forces will continue to rule the entire territory, up to the Jordan Valley. Fifth – I am working to get international ratification of these principles.’”

Why is the Jordan Valley so important to Israel?,

“The Jordan Valley is a strategic area full of natural resources, and it has a great economic value. ‘The Jordan Valley abounds with natural resources, such as water and fertile lands,’ Daraghmeh said. ‘It is an important strategic area. Israel invokes security pretexts to maintain its control over the Jordan Valley, but the real reason behind such a will is the Jordan Valley’s economic importance and the fact that it pumps millions of dollars into the Israeli treasury.’”

Palestinian Politics

Palestinian Authority thought compliance would lead to independence, but it only strengthened Israel’s domination,

Noura Erekat writes, “It is a cruel, but not unprecedented, twist in the history of co-opted liberation movements and authoritarian postcolonial regimes that the Palestinian leadership has become a part of the Palestinian problem. Today, the buy-in and collaboration of the Palestinian leadership is central both to Israel’s apartheid regime and to the enduring denial of its existence. Palestinian participation in U.S.–brokered bilateral talks sustains the false conception that a sovereign state is within reach. Facts on the ground make evident that establishing a Palestinian state today would be as difficult as, if not more difficult than, dismantling Israel’s apartheid system.”

PA official denies Ramallah has raised its payments to security prisoners,

“The accusations came from Palestinian Media Watch (PMW), an Israeli non-governmental organization that closely monitors the Palestinian press, and were later echoed by US Middle East Peace envoy Jason Greenblatt, and Malcolm Hoenlein, the head of the Conference of Presidents of American Jewish Organizations… Greenblatt posted the allegation on Twitter on Wednesday, accusing the PA of prioritizing pay to ‘murderers’ over healthcare for its citizens.”

U.S. Politics

Resetting America’s Mideast Policy Through Deals On Iran And Palestine,

Emile Nakhleh writes, “In order to achieve a new grand design for the region, the president would have to accept the uncomfortable truth that his current approach to Iran and the Palestinians has not worked. Despite the draconian economic sanctions he has imposed on Iran, the country’s leaders have not cried uncle. Nor have the administration’s recent anti-Palestinian policies forced the Palestinian leadership to attend Kushner’s Bahrain Workshop.”

Kushner Reassures Evangelicals: Israel's Security a Priority in Trump Peace Plan,

“Kushner hosted dozens of religious leaders and activists affiliated with Christians United for Israel, which describes itself as the largest pro-Israeli organization in the U.S., and which is strongly identified with evangelical Christian churches. The organization held its annual conference in Washington this week, and no less than five senior Trump advisers spoke at the conference.”