Top News from Israel & Palestine: September 3, 2019

What We’re Reading

Occupation, Annexation, & Human Rights

Netanyahu repeats pledge to annex Israeli settlements in occupied West Bank,

“Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu intends to annex all Israeli settlements in the occupied West Bank, he said on Sunday, reiterating an election promise made five months ago but again giving no timeframe.”

Palestinians slam Netanyahu pledge to annex West Bank settlements,

“Palestinian officials have denounced Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s reiteration of a pledge to annex all illegal Israeli settlements in the occupied West Bank, warning such a move would not lead to ‘any peace’.”

PODCAST: Has international law failed Palestinians?,

Palestinian legal scholar Noura Erakat proposes a different, inclusive vision that guarantees justice and dignity for all oppressed groups in Israel and Palestine.

Israeli Police Agree to Limit Operations in East Jerusalem to End Residents' Strike,

“The Israel Police, Jerusalem municipality and residents of the East Jerusalem neighborhood of Isawiyah have come to an agreement to limit police operation underway there since early summer.”

ICC to Reconsider Decision to Close Gaza Flotilla Case Against Israel,

“Appeals judges have ordered the International Criminal Court’s prosecutor to reconsider again her refusal to open a formal investigation into the 2010 storming by Israeli forces of an aid flotilla heading to the Gaza strip.”

The Israeli Election – Through the Eyes of Palestinians Who Can't Vote,

“Like the 2.7 million other Palestinians living in the West Bank, they do not have the right to vote in the Israeli election. That’s ironic, he notes, considering what’s at stake for them and how they have become pawns in this political contest. ‘To appeal to right-wing voters, we see Israeli politicians talking more and more these days about annexation of the West Bank,’ says Nawaja, 36, the unofficial spokesman of the village — basically a cluster of tents and shacks situated in the southern Hebron Hills. If these politicians get the opportunity to follow through with their plans, he predicts, it will end any dreams Palestinians might still harbor of their own independent state.”

Israel lifts Gaza fuel restriction after calm returns,

“Israel has lifted a restriction on fuel delivered to Gaza for electricity, a defense official said Monday, a week after cutting the flow by half over a series of violent incidents. COGAT, A unit of the Defense Ministry that serves as its military liaison to the Palestinians, announced on August 26 it was halving the amount of fuel allowed into Gaza from its territory, after three rockets were fired at the Jewish state the day before.”

Education minister under fire for planning school trips in West Bank,

“The center-left party Democratic Union accused Peretz of remaking the education system as a religious function. ‘The education minister not only goes beyond his purview, he simply acts as if he’s the minister of religionization. He doesn’t care about Israeli students, but only how to turn them into settlers living in the West Bank,’ the party created by former prime minister Ehud Barak, Labor departee Stav Shaffir and Meretz leader Nitzan Horowitz said.”

Israeli Politics

Netanyahu, Trump in Intensive Talks for Dramatic Diplomatic Gesture in Coming Days, Ahead of Israeli Election,

“In recent weeks, there have been intensive talks between some of Netanyahu’s advisers and people close to U.S. President Donald Trump over a potential statement by the American president, in which he could commit to protecting Israel in the future from any existential threat.”

Netanyahu seeks deal to have far-right party drop out of election – report,

“Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is reportedly seeking to persuade the far-right Otzma Yehudit party to withdraw from the election race by promising its leaders that the next Knesset will lower the electoral threshold to improve its future political prospects.”