Top news stories from Israel/Palestine: February 11, 2019

What We’re Reading

US-Israeli/Palestinian relations

Democrats Echo Israel’s Far-Right by Refusing to Even Use the Word “Occupation”,

Here’s a riddle any Democrat hoping to be elected president at the crest of a progressive wave in 2020 should be able to solve: what do you call Israel’s military rule over millions of disenfranchised Palestinians in the territories it seized by force in 1967?

Palestinian students stripped of US scholarships,

Palestinian students studying abroad on US-sponsored scholarships have found themselves in limbo after the Palestinian Authority declined further US assistance following enactment of the US Anti-Terrorism Clarification Act.

Israeli report says Saudis won't back Trump peace plan without concessions,

A classified Israeli Foreign Ministry report — circulated in mid-December among top Israeli government national security and foreign policy officials — determined that Saudi Arabia will not support the Trump administration’s Middle East peace plan and won’t normalize relations with Israel unless the Israeli government makes a substantive concession to the Palestinians.

US has ordered banks not to send money to PA, official says,

A top Fatah official said in an Arabic-language interview published Sunday that the US has asked international banks to squeeze the Palestinian Authority financially in a bid to pressure the Palestinian leaders to accept the Trump administration’s peace plan.

Ilhan Omar Tweets That U.S. Politicians' Support for Israel Is 'All About the Benjamins',

A new controversy involving Democratic Rep. Ilhan Omar and Israel erupted on Sunday when the Minnesota congresswoman tweeted that support for Israel in the United States was “all about the Benjamins,” referring to Benjamin Franklin, whose image appears on $100 bills.

Occupation/Human rights

What kind of occupation do Israelis want?,

“Israel’s rule over the Palestinians will never end, so the only question left to ask is whether the country should opt for the elegant Gantz Gaza whitewash or inelegant brutality of Elor Azaria and the Netzah Yehuda soldiers,” writes Hagai El-Ad.

No due process,

Abeer and Mahmoud’s stories are two examples of countless cases in which the lives of Gaza residents are severely disrupted because of the inordinately long time the Israeli authorities have granted themselves to answer permit applications, if they respond at all.

A Christian Group Is Building a Movement That Could Destabilize Jerusalem’s Most Explosive Holy Site,

Cry for Zion, an Israel-based organization started in 2014, is recruiting Christians worldwide as it campaigns for complete Israeli control where the Al-Aqsa mosque now stands.

Israel Says Will Legalize West Bank Homes Built on Private Palestinian Land,

The state informed the Jerusalem District Court that it will retroactively legalize structures built in part on private Palestinian land in the West Bank settlement of Alei Zahav.

Palestinian battling cancer is denied exit from Gaza for treatment,

The medical care Ahlam Abu Musa needs isn’t available through Gaza’s debilitated health system, but the Israeli army has denied all four of her exit requests.

Palestinian politics

As PA tightens financial noose on Hamas, citizens will suffer,

Upcoming sanctions on money transfer firms in the Gaza Strip — designed by the Palestinian Authority to weaken Hamas — will ultimately harm cash-strapped families and individuals.