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

What We’re Reading

US-Israeli/Palestinian relations

As U.S. Jerusalem Consulate Shuts, Pro-Israel Envoy Takes On Palestinian Relations,

When the United States closes its Jerusalem Consulate on Monday, it will not only be winding down a 175-year diplomatic mission. The move also represents another major downgrade of the Trump administration’s relations with the Palestinians.

Occupation/Human rights

There's a Different Kind of Escalation Brewing in the West Bank,

The rise settler violence against Palestinians is likely to continue as the army, the police and Israeli society stand by passively – or even encourage attacks.

Panel Rejects Protocol Allowing Palestinian Construction in East Jerusalem,

The Jerusalem Planning and Building Committee turned down some 20 applications for residential building permits submitted by Palestinians, rejecting a long-standing procedure for establishing land ownership in East Jerusalem.

Palestinians, Jordanians challenge Israel at Al-Aqsa over banned prayer space,

Tensions are mounting between Jordan and Israel after the latter arrested members of the Islamic Waqf Council for entering a supposedly banned prayer room at Al-Aqsa Mosque.

BDS and Settlement boycott

Texas blacklists Airbnb over settlements boycott,

Airbnb on Friday was placed on the state’s “List of Companies that Boycott Israel” by Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts Glenn Hegar. Texas in 2017 passed a law prohibiting government contractors from engaging in boycotts of Israel, in a move meant to counter the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement against Israel, or BDS.

Israeli politics

Blue and White said to oppose dividing Jerusalem, evacuating settlement blocs,

The Blue and White party will oppose the division of Jerusalem as part of any peace agreement with the Palestinians and will call for Israel to maintain sovereignty over West Bank settlement blocs, according to an Israeli television report on Sunday.

What will it take for Israel's right-wing voters to say enough?,

“A small group of right-wing voters could tip the balance and lead to a change of government in Israel. Who are these voters, what do they care about, and would a Kahanist party in the Knesset be a step too far?” asks Dahlia Scheindlin.

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