Top News from Israel & Palestine: June 20, 2019

What We’re Reading

Occupation & Human Rights

Three Palestinians Wounded in Clashes With Police in East Jerusalem,

The police and the Jerusalem municipality have been carrying out an operation in Isawiyah for about a week now in which a sizable police force enters the neighborhood every afternoon and hands out fine notices for various violations, such as improperly maintained vehicles.

Donor Perceptions of Palestine: Limits to Aid Effectiveness,

Jeremy Wildeman writes, “Thus, if the aim of Western donor spending has been meant to inculcate development and regional peace, the result has been contrary to those aims. To further our understanding of what went wrong, this commentary assesses and compares Western donor perceptions of Palestine/the OPT through their own analysis to comprehend how donors appear to have contributed to the crisis faced by Palestinians during the so-called peace process. It ultimately argues that Palestinian sovereignty over aid processes and institutions is the best option.”

The Deal of the Century

Abbas wins: Israeli officials won’t attend Bahrain conference,

High-level Israeli sources confirmed to Al-Monitor that Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas vetoed Israeli participation. Despite the fact that Abbas himself is boycotting the event, he succeeded in swaying several important Arab states to his point of view. These key states informed the American administration that if Israel will be officially represented in the conference, they will boycott it or sharply lower the ranks of their participants.

Trump sees Mideast peace. Others see a ‘racist, colonial mentality.’,

Next week, the Trump administration will preside over a summit in Manama, the capital of Bahrain. Dubbed an “economic workshop,” it is aimed at wooing investment for development projects in the West Bank — a key part of building peace between Israelis and Palestinians, the White House believes. Delegations from a handful of Arab governments close to the United States will attend. The problem is that almost nobody else is buying it.

Israeli Politics

Israel’s Arab parties reunite for upcoming elections,

Four political parties representing Israel’s Arab minority have announced they will unite for the upcoming parliamentary elections. After last spring’s disappointing showing, the move looks to boost turnout and improve Arab representation in parliament.

Netanyahu, Liberman in fierce battle over right-wing votes,

As of now, Netanyahu’s biggest rival is someone on the right rather than someone from the center-left. On one hand, he needs to block Liberman, so he is aiming all his firepower at him. On the other hand, he also has to unite the other right-wing parties around him and come up with a way to ensure that they don’t lose any seats.

Peretz offers Shaked no. 2 spot on URWP slate, at expense of Smotrich,

Union of Right Wing Parties chief Rafi Peretz on Thursday called on former justice minister Ayelet Shaked to join the slate, offering her the No. 2 spot on the list, which would entail bumping down the current No. 2, Transportation Minister Bezalel Smotrich. Last week Smotrich declared that he would give up his place on the slate for the sake of unity on the right.

Palestinian Politics

Israel says it nabbed Iranian spy in West Bank trying to build espionage network,

Jordanian businessman Thaer Shafut, 32, was sent into the West Bank last year “on behalf of Iranian intelligence to carry out missions that were meant to establish a network in Israel and the West Bank, which would be used for covert operations for the Iranians,” the Shin Bet said

Gaza banks to dole out Qatari cash, but 40,000 cut from recipient list,

Emadi said Sunday that 100,000 needy families would receive the payouts, but on Wednesday he stated that the postal banks will only hand out $100 bills to 60,000 poor families. He also said that the funds Qatar initially allocated for the remaining 40,000 families, $4 million, will instead go to “executing other sustainable projects which will be announced in the future.”