Top News from Israel & Palestine: June 17, 2019

What We’re Reading

The Deal of the Century

U.S. Mideast Envoy Greenblatt: We May Postpone Publication of Peace Plan to November,

The American envoy also said that he backs remarks by U.S. Ambassador to Israel David Friedman that Israel has a right to annex parts of the West Bank. The statement was made in an interview with the New York Times last week, sparking controversy in Israel and abroad.

US envoy Greenblatt backs Friedman on Israel’s right to retain part of West Bank,

“I will let David’s comments stand for themselves,” said Greenblatt. “I think he said them elegantly and I support his comments.”


After fresh Gaza violence, army said pushing for ‘serious military campaign’,

Citing a senior military source, Channel 12’s veteran military analyst Roni Daniel said Israel was “on the verge of a serious military campaign,” and said the IDF was considering ending its policy of warning occupants of buildings ahead of airstrikes, even if it causes casualties.

Hamas: New phase of understandings with Israel underway,

Hamas, the terrorist organization that controls the Gaza Strip, on Monday confirmed the delivery of millions of dollars in Qatari aid, and said that the implementation of an advanced and broader stage of the understandings with Israel was now underway. According to Hamas, these understandings include improvements to the water and electricity supplies, relaxed rules on imports and exports to Gaza, and the expansion of industrial projects.

After 3 years, accusations against Gaza World Vision head remain unproven,

“This case is unprecedented in the Israeli legal system,” Hanna says. “Israel knows that Halabi is innocent. Some Israeli officials told me that.” Nonetheless, Hanna acknowledges that the panel of three judges could find his client guilty.

Are banks in Gaza jeopardizing economic sector?,

On the role of the PMA, he said, “Given its powers, the PMA must issue instructions to the banks to provide the maximum possible facilities and follow the policy of financial inclusion that it advocates. The PMA must allow all segments of Palestinian society to take full advantage of all banking services.”

Occupation/Human Rights

Palestinian village targeted in week’s second apparent hate crime,

Police on Monday [June 17th] opened an investigation into an apparent hate crime attack targeting a central West Bank Palestinian village where the tires of 13 vehicles were slashed and Hebrew slogans was found graffitied. Using the biblical name for the West Bank, one of the the Hebrew phrases daubed read: “There will be a war for Judea and Samaria.”

Israel names illegal Golan settlement after Trump,

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has inaugurated a new illegal settlement in the occupied Golan Heights named after US President Donald Trump in a gesture of appreciation for the US leader’s recognition of Israeli sovereignty over the territory…Developing Trump Heights will not be easy. Ringed by high yellow grass and landmines, it is located roughly 20km from the Syrian border and a half-hour-drive from the nearest Israeli town, Kiryat Shmona, a community of about 20,000 people near the Lebanese border.

A Fire Racks a Palestinian Village. Israeli Firefighters Act Only When It Nears a Settlement,

Dror Etkes, who studies Israel’s settlement policy, toured the area a day later. He estimates that about 90 percent of the trees damaged were in the Palestinian grove. It’s easy to distinguish between the two, he said. In the Israeli grove the trees are young and closer together, and it’s equipped with drip irrigation. Only a few dozen of the settlers’ trees were damaged, Etkes said, and less severely than the trees of the village of Jalud.

Israeli Politics & West Bank Annexation

Hotovely: Time to apply Israeli law in area C,

Tzipi Hotovely, Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs, said on Sunday that it’s time to apply the Israeli law in are C. In a speech at the Jerusalem Post conference, Hotovely addressed Ambassador David Friedman’s remarks from last week, and added that after the move of the American Embassy to Jerusalem, “it’s now the time for Judea and Samaria.” She called to use the term “sovereignty” instead of “annexation”: “Using the term annex is not true. You annex something that is not yours. This is not a story of annexation. This is a story of realization,” she said. Many ask what’s next, what’s going to happen, what’s going to change [after the annexation of area C]. For 52 years, we were feeding this myth of occupation. It’s a myth. It’s not true,” said Hotovely.

Lindsey Graham, America's Most Unlikely Campaigner Against Israeli Annexation,

Senator Graham, it should be noted, is one of Israel’s fiercest and most loyal supporters, a dependable ally on virtually every issue advocated by the Netanyahu government. But when pressured by Israeli diplomats to remove the “two-state” formula from his resolution, he refused. “I can’t envision a one-state solution,” he said in an interview. “It won’t work. I mean, you’d have to disenfranchise the Palestinians, (and) that won’t work. If you let them vote, as one state, they’ll overwhelm the Israelis. That won’t work. So if you want to have a democratic, secure Jewish state, I think you have to have two states…”

Israeli Residents, Including Mayor, Protest Sale of Home to Arab Family,

The municipality refused to comment as well, but council member Itai Cohen told Haaretz: “We don’t have a problem cooperating with Arab businesses, but we won’t have them live here. We stand by the residents in this protest … Afula must remain a Jewish city.”

Israeli Arab parties pass on Jewish-Arab cooperation,

Hadash and Ta’al were close to breaking the glass ceiling and bringing about Jewish-Arab political cooperation. They appear to have given up on that, however, preferring instead an illusory unity to real bridge building. Odeh, who claimed just weeks ago that the die had been cast and a new page had been turned, has chosen to remain in his comfort zone rather than make the courageous decision that he spoke about with such pathos.

Anti-BDS/Anti-Free Speech/Pro-Settlement Lawfare

Germany Is Betraying the Fight Against anti-Semitism - by Demonizing BDS,

Dani Karavan and Avraham Burg write, “Anti-Semitism is real and should be confronted in Germany and any other place, using all legal means. However, there is nothing anti-Semitic about BDS as such. Non-violent popular campaigns launched to hold states to account for severe discrimination and grave violations of human rights, are a legitimate and established practice. Think about apartheid South Africa.”

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