Top news stories from Israel/Palestine: December 18, 2018

What We’re Reading

BDS and Settlement boycotts

A Texas Elementary School Speech Pathologist Refused to Sign a Pro-Israel Oath, Now Mandatory in Many States — so She Lost Her Job,

Who can justify that — as a condition for working with speech-impaired and developmentally disabled children — Bahia Amawi is forced by the state to violate her conscience and renounce her political beliefs by buying products from a country that she believes (in accordance with the U.N.) is illegally and brutally occupying land that does not belong to it?

ICYMI: U.S. Politicians Are Backing a Free Speech Exception for Israel — & Creating a Template for Broader Assault on the First Amendment,

It requires little imagination to see how criminalizing Americans’ participation in political boycotts of Israel could pave the way for further infringements to Americans’ right to support or join internationally-backed protests on other issues.

Airbnb Denies Israeli Claim That It’s Reversing Its Settlement Ban,

Airbnb denied claims made by Israel’s Ministry of Tourism that the hospitality company was reversing its month-old policy of banning listings of properties in West Bank settlements.

Occupation/Human rights

How many more ways can Israel sentence Palestinians to death?,

Israel is now considering to bring back capital punishment to crush those resisting its illegal occupation.

Israeli ‘Warning’ Shot Killed Two Boys in Gaza, Rights Groups Say,

An Israeli military tactic intended to spare civilians actually killed two Palestinian teenagers recently and needs to be viewed as a form of attack, not as the ethically responsible precautionary measure that Israel portrays it to be, two human rights groups said in a new report.

Mosque vandalized, tires slashed in West Bank village,

Nearly two dozen cars had their tires slashed and the wall of a mosque was graffitied in the Palestinian village of Yasuf overnight Tuesday in an apparent hate crime, residents of the northern West Bank town reported.

Amid West Bank tensions, PA official and Shin Bet head said to meet,

The PA official said that the “behavior” of the IDF and settlers was “massacring” signed agreements between Israel and the Palestine Liberation Organization.

Half a million fewer Palestinian refugees set to receive UN aid next year,

Announcing its humanitarian response plan for next year, Jamie McGoldrick, UN humanitarian coordinator for the Palestinian territories, said UNRWA, the UN agency for Palestinian refugees, was also expecting $200m less in funding – a reduction from $550m in 2018 to $350m.

Israeli politics

Gantz: Solving conflict with Palestinians must be the top priority,

Former IDF chief of staff Benny Gantz, widely expected to run in the upcoming 2019 elections, told a gathering of Mexican Jews in April that solving the conflict with the Palestinians should be the highest priority, Channel 10 news reported Monday.