Top News from Israel & Palestine: June 28, 2019

What We’re Reading

U.S. Policy

Greenblatt says he prefers to call settlements ‘neighborhoods and cities’,

Discussing Washington’s efforts to broker a peace deal between Israelis and Palestinians at the “Israel Hayom Forum for US-Israel Relations” in Jerusalem, Jason Greenblatt said, “We might get there if people stop pretending settlements, or what I prefer to call ‘neighborhoods and cities,’ are the reason for the lack of peace.”

The Expected Presence of the American Ambassador at the Dedication Ceremony for the “Pilgrims’ Road” in Silwan...,

The expected senior American presence at the event, alongside ministers of the Israeli government is a political act which is the closest the US will have come to recognizing Israeli sovereignty over the Old City basin of Jerusalem.  This is a further step in American support for the pro-settlement policy in Jerusalem, and particularly the touristic-settlement projects.

Greenblatt says he’s never had reason to criticize Netanyahu, Israeli government,

US President Donald Trump’s Middle East envoy Jason Greenblatt said Wednesday he has never had any reason to criticize Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu or the Israeli government for their policies on the Palestinians. “I haven’t found anything to criticize that goes over the line,” Greenblatt told CNN in Bahrain.

The Deal of the Century

Dahlan fans call on Abbas to accept Gulf states' aid,

Another associate of Dahlan who returned to Gaza after being beaten up by PA security forces, told All-Monitor that anyone who takes the trouble to do so can find Dahlan’s fingerprints all over the Bahrain conference. The source said on condition of anonymity that few know about his years of behind-the-scenes activities in the wealthy Gulf states, the ties he formed, the projects he led in Gaza and the West Bank. Dahlan’s involvement in the reconciliation between Hamas and Egypt and the funds he raised for the West Bank and Gaza in the Gulf “paved the way for mobilizing these countries’ active participation in the economic conference in Bahrain,” he said. Like his colleague, this member of Dahlan’s inner circle said, “One can argue with the diplomatic plan of the White House, but never say no to big money, especially since most of it comes from rich Arab states that believe something good can be done with it for the future of the Palestinians before it is too late.”

Bahrain Workshop Sets Back Arab-Israeli Rapprochement,

The one-off entry of a handful of Israeli journalists to Bahrain and photos of Israeli and Gulf businessmen could not compensate for three developments that underscore that, despite major international and regional shifts, Arab-Israeli normalisation still depends on resolving the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

Miriam Adelson hopes there will be a biblical ‘Book of Trump’,

“Scholars of the Bible will no doubt note the heroes, sages, and prophets of antiquity who were similarly spurned by the very people they came to raise up.” She went on to say she wished there would be a biblical book named after Trump in the future. “Would it be too much to pray for a day when the Bible gets a ‘Book of Trump,’ much like it has a ‘Book of Esther’ celebrating the deliverance of the Jews from ancient Persia?” Adelson asked.


Gaza incendiary balloons spark dozens of fires in southern Israel,

Massive waves of balloon-borne incendiary devices were launched from the Gaza Strip into southern Israel throughout Thursday, sparking over two dozen fires throughout the area, according to estimates by Israeli authorities. The rash of arson attacks put Thursday on pace to see the largest number of fires started by Gazan balloons in a single day since Palestinians began launching airborne incendiary devices over a year ago.

Israel, Hamas Agree on Extended Calm on Gaza Border,

An Israeli security official confirmed to Haaretz that Israel would allow the delivery of fuel and expand the fishing zone in Gaza, in exchange for “Hamas halting violence.” The source added that “sanctions will be reimposed if Hamas fails to honor the agreement.”

In Gaza, from afar: How survivors struggle with the trauma of war and occupation after leaving,

Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is not the most apt description of what Palestinians go through with regard to mental health disorders and traumas; we’d rather call it OTSD (Ongoing Traumatic Stress Disorder). However for those of us who have survived, labels matter little; it’s clear we are in need of healing. A means to continue with life without “getting used to” what is abnormal . . . to grow and to process our futures in the healthiest ways that we can.


Clashes in East Jerusalem after police kill man who launched fireworks at them,

The police on Thursday shot dead a Palestinian suspect who launched fireworks at them in the Issawiya neighborhood of East Jerusalem, igniting protests in the area.

France reseals Jerusalem historic site after opening marred by dispute,

France reopened a revered but long-closed archaeological site in the heart of Jerusalem on Thursday, but a dispute over access immediately disrupted its reopening and France said it would shutter the site again. France, the owner of the site known as the Tomb of the Kings, reopened it to visits after having kept it closed since 2010.

Israeli Politics

Israeli Journalist Nitzan Horowitz Elected Chairman of Left-wing Party Meretz,

1,043 members of the party’s committee elected Horowitz, with 81 percent of the committee members participating in the vote. The results are likely to impact a potential merger between Meretz and the Labor Party or the new, yet-to-be-named party former Prime Minister Ehud Barak announced he was launching on Wednesday.

Ehud Barak, Ex-Leader of Israel, Will Run in New Election,

Ehud Barak, a former Israeli prime minister and longtime critic of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, announced Wednesday that he was forming a new political party to run in the September election. Mr. Barak, 77, who is also a former defense minister and a decorated military chief, has long been rumored to be planning a comeback. He has used Twitter to denounce Mr. Netanyahu in recent years for his right-wing policies and a corruption investigation that could lead to the prime minister’s indictment.

Netanyahu considering plan to cancel Israel’s September election and form unity government,

But Knesset Speaker Yuli Edelstein is pushing to cancel the Sept. 17 elections — and says he has a way to do it. “I found a parliamentary framework and there is an option to cancel the most unnecessary elections in Israel’s history,” he tweeted Tuesday. “It is our obligation to allow the 21st Knesset to keep working.”

Palestinian Politics

Would Palestinian factions go all the way to pay back Iran,

As Iran is the main party fueling Palestinian resistance factions, questions are being raised regarding the stance of these factions if a military confrontation were to break out between Iran and the United States. What are the chances of such a confrontation leading to a new clash between factions and Israel, which is the key US ally against Iran in the Middle East?