Top News Stories from Israel & Palestine: June 14, 2019

What We’re Reading


Israel strikes Hamas in Gaza, calling attack response to rocket fire,

Israeli aircraft attacked a Hamas target in the Gaza Strip on Thursday after a Palestinian rocket strike, the Israeli military said, in the first serious cross-border flare-up since a surge in fighting last month.

UN Mideast envoy meets Hamas leaders in Gaza amid border violence,

UN Middle East envoy Nickolay Mladenov met with Hamas leadership in Gaza on Friday in a bid to prevent an escalation of violence.

Occupation/Human Rights

Maintaining a Jewish majority: Jerusalem Municipality to demolish entire Palestinian neighborhood, leaving 550 people without a roof over their heads,

Wadi Yasul is a Palestinian neighborhood in East Jerusalem. It is located between the neighborhoods of Abu Tur and Silwan and is adjacent to the Peace Forest. Seventy-two families live in the neighborhood, amounting to more than 550 people according to OCHA figures. The Jerusalem Municipality issued demolition orders for all the neighborhood homes so all the families there are facing the threat of expulsion. In late April, the city already demolished two of the orders and displaced two of the families.

Palestinian Security Prisoners in Israel Plan Hunger Strike Over Conditions,

The group of 45 prisoners, mostly affiliated with the Fatah party, said that most of their demands were humanitarian in nature, and claimed that the prison service has not yet issued a response. The demands include medical treatment and surgery for several prisoners, a halt to nighttime searches in the prison blocks and an end to sanctions that had been imposed on some of the prisoners. They are also demanding hot water in their showers, air-conditioning, longer breaks in the prison yard and access to the purchase of fruits and vegetables, as well as permission to take photos with visiting relatives.

Jerusalem's Christian Leaders Blast Decision to Sell Old City Properties to Settler Group,

The leaders of a number of Christian denominations in Jerusalem issued an unusual joint statement in which they criticized the Supreme Court’s decision on Monday to uphold the sale of three properties by the Greek Orthodox Patriarchate to an organization that seeks to increase Jewish presence in Jerusalem’s Old City.

Golan community named for US president to be called ‘Trump Heights’,

A new community planned for the Golan Heights in honor of US President Donald Trump will be named Ramat Trump, literally translatable as “Trump Heights,” and will be approved at the next cabinet meeting on Sunday.

The Deal of the Century

Any Solution to the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict Will Lead to Civil War,

Menachem Klein writes in Haaretz, “I would like to present the following thesis: Any solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is likely to lead to an armed revolt against the legitimate government, or even a civil war in some form. I am not a believer in historical determinism. It’s possible that a serious rebellion will not break out because each side will find a way to cope with its extremists and put down a revolt before it turns into a civil war. But for that to happen, it’s necessary to pose the question and address it in order to reduce the potential damage if one of these possibilities is realized.”

Israel campaigns against Abbas ahead of Bahrain conference,

According to an Israeli security source (speaking on condition of anonymity), Israel presented the Americans with a series of suggestions it made to the PA in an effort to reach an accommodation over the money, and compromises were even offered that would allow Abbas to walk back from his intransigent stand without losing face. However, the source claimed, Abbas vehemently rejected any arrangement or compromise “and is intent on bringing about the PA’s collapse unless Israel gives in and returns in full the money it has been withholding.”

White House admits Palestinian economic growth depends on peace deal,

The White House on Thursday acknowledged that the Palestinian economic growth it envisions in its long-awaited peace plan can’t fully materialize unless the core issues of the conflict are resolved through a peace deal.

Jordan FM suggests still no decision on attending US-led peace workshop in Bahrain,

Safadi’s comments appear to contradict those of a senior White House official, who said on Tuesday that Amman informed the US administration that it would attend the conference.

U.S. Politics

IfNotNow Made An Impact With Its Birthright Protests. Now It’s Stopping Them.,

The walkouts accomplished their objective. They turned American Jewish attention to the plight of the Palestinians and also to IfNotNow itself. The campaign was so successful that on Tuesday, The New York Times published a front-page profile of it. Yet the previous Friday, IfNotNow leaders had sent a private email to members apologizing for the way this signature, headline-catching operation was run. They admitted that they had steered the campaign unilaterally and weren’t reflective of their memberships’ diverse opinions — even though many members had opposing views on how it should go. Now, the Birthright initiative is now on hold, amid internal debates about both the direction of both the campaign and the organization.

U.S. Senate Warns Israel Over Deepening Ties With China, Citing 'Serious Security Concerns',

The U.S. Senate has criticized Israel over its deepening economic ties with China, promoting a bill that expresses “serious security concerns” about a contract letting a Chinese company operate a port in Haifa that has long been a docking point for the U.S. Sixth Fleet.

Israeli Politics

Arab-majority parties meet to discuss reestablishment of Joint List,

The four largest Arab-majority parties in Israel have recently held talks to reconstitute the Joint List ahead of the upcoming national elections in September, officials said on Thursday. The Joint List was a coalition of the four Arab-majority parties, Hadash, Ta’al, Ra’am and Balad, but it split up into two separate slates — Hadash-Ta’al and Ra’am-Balad — before the last national vote in April.