Top news stories from Israel/Palestine: February 4, 2019

What We’re Reading

Israeli politics

Israel's election is a race to the right,

Politicians fall over themselves to reject a Palestinian state, vow to expel tens of thousands of African migrants, demolish a Bedouin village near Jerusalem that was deemed illegal, and boast of harsher measures against Hamas in Gaza. Just as long as they’re not accused of being leftists.

Netanyahu’s legal woes should be a boon for Israel’s left, but it’s busy imploding,

The left-of-center voters simply are not there. As few as 20 percent of Israelis now identify themselves as left or center left, according to some surveys.

In West Bank, Ya’alon plugs ‘right to settle every part of the Land of Israel’,

Days after joining political forces with Israel Resilience chair Benny Gantz, former defense minister Moshe Ya’alon outlined on Sunday his ideological opposition to a two-state solution to the Israel-Palestinian conflict, praising the settlement project in the West Bank and saying that the Jewish state “has a right to every part of the Land of Israel.”

Israeli-Arab parties in trouble,

The withdrawal of Knesset member Ahmad Tibi from the Arab Joint List is confronting the already complicated alliance of factions with great difficulties.

Netanyahu Plays Trump Card in Reelection Campaign in Billboards and Video,

“Israel is one of the only countries in the world where close ties to Trump can be used as political currency.”


Israeli government report claims terrorists have ‘infiltrated’ Palestinian NGOs,

In a 80-page report, the Strategic Affairs Ministry pointed to several high-profile Palestinian activists who it said were former or current members of Hamas or the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine. [Ed: read FMEP President Lara Friedman’s tweetstorm on how Israel & the U.S. are conflating boycotts with support for terror.]

Occupation/Human rights

Israel’s growing settlements force stark choices about its future,

The country cannot remain Jewish and democratic while controlling the entire Holy Land. [With graphics from Peace Now.]

As West Bank Violence Surges, Israel Is Silent on Attacks by Jews,

A gang of a dozen or so armed Jewish settlers descended from a hilltop outpost to the Palestinian village below and opened fire, witnesses said. Israeli soldiers arrived, and instead of stopping the settlers, the witnesses said, they either stood by or clashed with the villagers.

Israel begins construction of new Gaza barrier,

The barrier, set to stand six metres off the ground, will be constructed on the pretext of preventing the infiltration of Palestinians from the Gaza Strip into Israel, Netanyahu said.

Palestinian village vandalized with graffiti, attack on mosque,

Police have ordered an investigation into the vandalism at Deir Dibwan, according to Israeli news reports.

US-Israeli/Palestinian relations

Palestinians refuse to meet with Trump’s adviser, so he’s tweeting them,

It’s been more than a year since senior Palestinian officials have agreed to meet or even speak with representatives of the Trump administration, but now President Trump’s special representative for international negotiations, Jason Greenblatt, appears to have adopted a new diplomatic channel: Twitter.

Palestinian politics

Fatah will form government without Hamas,

Fatah’s Central Committee will form a government composed of PLO factions without Hamas to replace the government of national consensus and prepare for the upcoming legislative elections.

FMEP Resources