Top News from Israel & Palestine: June 11, 2019

What We’re Reading

Occupation/Human Rights

Settler Group Strengthens Hold on Jerusalem's Christian Quarter After Victory in Court,

The Supreme Court has rejected the appeal of the Greek Orthodox Patriarchate and approved the sale of three “strategic” assets in Jerusalem’s Old City to the pro-settlement Ateret Cohanim association.

Israeli Troops Misidentify Palestinian Security Forces, Wound One Officer in Fire Exchange,

Spokesperson of Palestinian Prime Minister Mohammed Shtayyeh condemned the incident, saying it marks a “dangerous escalation” on Israel’s part, threatening Palestinian sovereignty. The Governor of Nablus also condemned the incident, adding to it Israel’s policy of arrests taking place daily in Palestinian cities and villages, including in Areas A, which according to accords should be exclusively administered by the Palestinian Authority

Israel shutters 30 BDS fundraising accounts by revealing alleged terror ties,

Israel has quietly waged a two-year financial campaign against organizations promoting a boycott of the Jewish state by revealing their connections to terror operatives, leading to the closures of dozens of fundraising accounts, the Ministry of Strategic Affairs said Monday.

German firm escalates its war crimes against Palestinians,

After exhausting the Nahal Raba quarry, the Israeli army has now given the firm permission to exploit another 25 acres of occupied West Bank land.

The Deal of the Century

Bahrain Workshop: Business Over Politics,

Nur Arafeh writes, “As long as economic development is seen as separate from politics, and as long as Israel’s colonial structures of power and control are not addressed, then every strategy that aims at the development of the Palestinian economy will be destined to fail, since the Palestinian economy is a political construct heavily embedded in Israel’s colonial enterprise. It is only when there is an end to this enterprise and a lifting of all measures to restrict Palestinian movements and access, that Palestinian economic development can take place.”

Scorn for US peace plan brings Hamas, Hezbollah closer,

It appears that the yet-to-be-unveiled US proposal has become an opportunity for the strengthening of ties between Hamas, Islamic Jihad and Hezbollah. Osama Hamdan, Hamas representative in Lebanon, told Al-Monitor, “The relationship between Hamas and Hezbollah was and will remain excellent. The most important achievement we could accomplish as Trump pursues his peace plan is to reestablish the importance of the Palestinian cause in the Arab and Muslim world.”

Weekly Gaza protests to focus on US Ambassador Friedman,

Those behind the weekly border protests announced that the slogan for this week’s protests will be “No annexing the West Bank, Friedman shut up.” Last Friday, when Muslims celebrated Eid al-Fitr to mark the end of Ramadan, there were no protests at the border.

Israeli Politics

With Annexation Comment, Friedman Just Made Netanyahu’s Life More Difficult,

Anshel Pfeffer writes in Haaretz, ” The easiest way for Netanyahu to counter the settlers’ demands while keeping them in his coalition was to complain about pressure from the Americans. That was his answer every time he was asked why Israel wasn’t building more settlements or evicting more Palestinians. Friedman has taken away Netanyahu’s excuse.”

Erdan hails US envoy’s annexation remark as ‘the only way to bring about change’,

Internal Security Minister Gilad Erdan on Sunday praised the US ambassador to Israel for saying the Jewish state has the right to annex “some” of the West Bank. “The world view of the Trump administration, which was expressed by Ambassador (David) Friedman, is the only one that might bring about a change,” said Erdan.

Yair Netanyahu, son of Israeli leader, calls Trump a ‘real rock star’ and compares him to King Cyrus,

Yair Netanyahu, the 27-year-old son of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, has become well-known within Israel for his boisterous social media presence, on which he defends his father from criticism and frequently ignites controversy. Now, in a recent interview with a right-wing U.S. broadcaster, the younger Netanyahu has used his platform to defend President Trump, describing the U.S. leader as a “real rock star” in Israel and comparing him to the ancient Persian ruler King Cyrus

Palestinian Politics

Palestinian Authority Pressing for Jewish-Arab Political Alliance Ahead of New Israeli Election,

The Palestinian Authority is trying to foster Jewish-Arab political cooperation in Israel, either by setting up a new party or by bolstering the Meretz party.

Palestinians urge sanctions if Israel moves to annex parts of West Bank,

The Palestinian foreign minister on Monday called for sanctions on Israel if it starts to annex parts of the West Bank. But Riyad al-Maliki also questioned whether Israel was a “holy cow” no one dare touch.

U.S. Politics

Bipartisan bill complements Kushner’s plan to try to buy off Palestinians,

Josh Ruebner writes in Mondoweiss, “In its most benign interpretation, this bill could be seen by well-intentioned members of Congress as a last-ditch attempt to revive the moribund prospects for a two-state resolution to the Israeli-Palestinian issue and perhaps even as a foil to the Trump administration’s “deal of the century,” which appears in all likelihood to preclude the possibility of Palestinian statehood. Remarks from supporting members of Congress make the likely true intentions of the bill evident.