Top News from Israel & Palestine: September 9, 2019

What We’re Reading

Occupation, Annexation, & Human Rights

Two Israelis Stabbed in West Bank Terror Attack, Army Says,

“After an initial investigation, the army said that they are treating the incident as a terror attack. ‘A terrorist stabbed two Israeli citizens after they entered the village for medical treatment,’ an Israeli army statement said. ‘Security forces are working to arrest the perpetrator.’  “

Violence and lies of police operation in East Jerusalem,

“As someone who goes to Issawiyah every week, I can attest to the fact that it is the officers of the Border Police and Special Patrol Unit who instigate the violence, going into Issawiyah in the evening and at night, looking for opportunities to practice the repertoire of occupation and oppression warfare.”


Israeli forces shoot dead two Palestinian teens in Gaza,

“Israeli forces on Friday shot dead two Palestinian teens who were protesting near the fence separating the Gaza Strip from Israel, Gaza’s health ministry said. Khaled Abu Baker Mohammed al-Rebai, 14, was shot in the stomach east of Gaza City, the ministry said. Earlier Ali al-Ashqar, 17, was shot in the neck by Israeli fire near the fence east of Jabalia in northern Gaza, a health ministry spokesman told the AFP news agency. Seventy other people were wounded, 38 of them by live fire, medical officials said.”

Israel strikes Gaza after rocket attack amid growing unrest,

“In light of the violence and forthcoming Israeli elections on 17 September, reports in Gaza say that an Egyptian security delegation will arrive next week to meet with senior Hamas officials and try to de-escalate the situation, Haaretz said.”

Learning in Shifts,

“About 600,000 children started a new school year in Gaza last week. It might sound like the start of an elementary math problem, but the fact is that 737 schools in the Strip operate out of only 523 structures. Two hundred ninety one structures belong to the Gaza Ministry of Education, while 178 belong to UNRWA and 54 are private schools. The disparity between the number of schools, the number of available structures and the number of students means that 75% of Gaza’s elementary schools operate in two shifts. At shift turnover, it is not just the students that trade places, but the entire school, including teaching and administrative staff. The morning shift runs from 7:00 AM to noon, and the afternoon shift runs from noon to 5:00 PM.”

Danger from above: Gaza farmers struggle to save crops from Israeli planes,

“According to Adham al-Basiouni, the spokesperson for Gaza’s agricultural ministry, no fewer than 150 hectares of land are impacted by Israeli chemical spraying every year in the besieged Gaza Strip.While the Israeli army regularly claims that the herbicides are used to clear vegetation in the buffer zone on the Gaza side of the fence in order to have a clearer view of the area for military purposes, Basiouni argued that “the true reason behind these unjustified Israeli crimes is Israel’s attempt to force the Palestinian farmers to abandon their land, and make the Palestinian market totally reliant on Israeli agricultural imports”.

Israeli Politics & Elections

What Israeli media gets wrong about Palestinian voters,

“The problem with how Israeli media covers the Arab community, especially during elections, is twofold, explains Karkabi Sabah: in scope and substance. “In terms of scope, coverage of the Palestinian Arab community lies on the margins, just like our standing in Israeli society. The media focuses on issues and events that are of interest to the Jewish community, and gives the impression that this is what consumers want, that developments in the Arab community are not interesting or relevant to national politics,” she adds. “In terms of substance, the media mostly covers events, and doesn’t provide analysis of strategies or trends,” she continues. “They don’t try to understand what lies behind how elections are perceived in the Arab community, and how they’re connected to the general system. The reports take a factual tone and focus on the decisions that are made, and there isn’t so much of an effort to provide a deeper picture of how or why these decisions are made, or their impact on the general election campaign as a whole.”

Echoing Trump, Israeli leader pushes for election cameras,

“In a strategy reminiscent of President Donald Trump’s 2016 campaign, Israel’s prime minister is preemptively claiming to be a victim of electoral fraud as the country prepares to head to elections.”

Knesset legal adviser joins AG in opposing ‘unconstitutional’ Camera Bill,

“The Knesset legal adviser said the legislation presented a ‘legitimate fear of deterring voters’ and ‘does not… answer the tests of constitutionality and disproportionately violates fundamental principles in the electoral process as well as protected constitutional rights.’”

Knesset c'ttee nixes polling station cameras bill,

“After a stormy session and two breaks, the Knesset Arrangements Committee rejected the application by the Likud party for an accelerated procedure for its bill to allow political parties to put surveillance cameras in polling stations. Twelve opposition members, including representatives of the Labor Party and Yisrael Beitenu, voted against, and twelve coalition representatives voted in favor. The tied vote means that the bill will not be raised for first reading in the Knesset plenum today, but only for general discussion.”

How Bibi Could Win the Vote and Lose the Election,

“’The key is Rivlin. He’s going to play a monumental role,’’ said Mitchell Barak, an independent pollster who used to advise Netanyahu. ‘He can literally decide to give the mandate to anyone—not necessarily the head of the largest party.'”

Meretz is the last Jewish anti-occupation party. But for how long?,

“Has Meretz given up on the basic principles that have guided it for years? In an agreement over ‘ideological guidelines’ signed by the three parties that make up the Democratic Union, the words ‘ending the occupation’ or ‘two states’ do not appear. In their place appears a vague version of ‘striving for peace and a negotiated settlement.’ In the Labor Party platform, both under Avi Gabbay and under his successor, Amir Peretz — who has been vilified for allegedly abandoning the conflict — the term “two states” is explicitly mentioned.”

Hezbollah and Israel: A timeline of cross-border attacks,

“Recent flare-ups along the Lebanese border with Israel has stoked fears that a war might erupt between the two sides. In 2006, the Lebanese armed group Hezbollah and Israel fought a 34-day border war that left more than 1,200 people dead. Though tensions along the volatile border have remained relatively calm, the recent uptick in attacks shed light on the strained relations between Israel and the Iran-backed Shia movement, which dominates Lebanese politics.”