Top news stories from Israel/Palestine: January 9, 2019

What We’re Reading

BDS and Settlement boycotts

Israel anti-boycott bill becomes partisan casualty in first vote of new Senate,

Republicans’ very first bill in the new Senate is highlighting divisions among Democrats over boycotts of Israel and its West Bank settlements while drawing the traditionally nonpartisan pro-Israel lobby further into a partisan political quagmire.

Angela Davis says decision to rescind civil rights award due to her BDS stance,

US civil rights activist Angela Davis said she is “stunned” that an Alabama organisation has reversed its decision to honour her with a human rights award, accusing the Birmingham Civil Rights Institute (BCRI) of changing course because of her support for Palestinian rights.

Occupation/Human rights

Israel spraying herbicides inside Gaza violates int'l law, rights groups say,

In an urgent letter to Israeli military officials, three human rights groups [two of whom are FMEP grantees] demand that Israel immediately stop spraying the dangerous chemicals into Gaza.

Israel advances E1 settlement project, opens new West Bank road,

Israel opened the first section of the Eastern Ring Road on the outskirts of Jerusalem on Wednesday, taking a further step to advance the E1 project in the Ma’aleh Adumim settlement.

Police raid settlement yeshiva, summon 80 teens in deadly Jewish terror probe,

Police on Wednesday raided the northern West Bank yeshiva attended by the five high school students suspected of a fatal stone-throwing attack in October that killed a Palestinian woman, the Honenu legal aid organization representing the teens said.

Palestinian politics

Wary of PA ‘corruption,’ Palestinians launch protest of new social security law,

The protests against the social security institution have taken place in Ramallah, Hebron, Nablus and other parts of the West Bank, with several Palestinians demonstrating for the first time in their lives.

Israeli politics

Netanyahu seeking to meet with Trump two weeks before elections – report,

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is hoping to meet with US President Donald Trump in Washington just two weeks before April’s national elections, the Israel Hayom daily newspaper reported on Wednesday.