Top news stories from Israel/Palestine: December 4, 2017

What We’re Reading

U.S.-Israeli/Palestinian Relations

Talk of a Peace Plan That Snubs Palestinians Roils Middle East,

“According to Palestinian, Arab and European officials who have heard Mr. Abbas’s version of the conversation, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman presented a plan that would be more tilted toward the Israelis than any ever embraced by the American government, one that presumably no Palestinian leader could ever accept.”

Jared Kushner at Saban Forum: Israel Needs Peace With Palestinians Before It Can Form Alliance With Arab States,

Jared Kushner, U.S. President Donald Trump’s son-in-law and senior adviser on Middle East peace, said Sunday that Israel needs to reach a peace deal with the Palestinians before it can form an alliance with the greater Arab world.

Kushner says Mideast peace is essential to thwarting Iran and Islamist extremism,

“If we’re going to try to create more stability in the region as a whole, you have to solve this issue,” Kushner told Middle East experts gathered at the Brookings Institution’s Saban Forum. Trump, he said, “sees this as something that has to be solved.”

Jared Kushner Failed to Disclose he Led a Foundation Funding Illegal Israeli Settlements Before U.N. Vote,

The foundation donated at least $38,000 between 2011 and 2013 to a fundraising group building a Jewish seminary in a West Bank settlement known as Beit El. During that period, Kushner’s foundation also donated an additional $20,000 to Jewish and educational institutions in settlements throughout the region, the Associated Press reported.

Abbas envoys warn Kushner peace talks end if US backs Israeli claim to Jerusalem,

Palestinian Authority president Mahmoud Abbas sent a delegation to Washington on Friday with a warning that the United States’ efforts to revive peace talks between it and Israel would hit a dead end if president Donald Trump announces the relocation of the US embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem or if he recognizes the holy city as the undivided capital of the Jewish State.

Occupation/Human Rights

On eve of Netanyahu visit, EU to mark Human Rights Day with anti-occupation group B'Tselem,

Representatives of the European Union in Israel will mark International Human Rights Day on Thursday together with the human rights organization B’Tselem. The event, led by incoming EU Ambassador Emanuele Giaufret, will feature an exhibition of photographs marking 50 years of Israeli occupation and has sparked a fierce condemnation from Israel.

IDF declares the area around Gaza a closed military zone,

The army has declared the area surrounding the Gaza Strip a “closed military zone” in light of unspecified activities in the area, the military censor cleared for publication on Sunday. The nature of the military activity in the area and the exact location of the closures were not allowed to be published.

Israeli Politics

Hundreds of Israelis urge the UN to release ‘settlement blacklist’,

“As loyal citizens of Israel,” the petition begins, “[we] believe that the international community has a crucial and urgent role to play in order to redress the Israel/Palestine fast deteriorating conflict. We believe that to serve that end, it is essential that the international community will act against the settlement policy of the Government of Israel, which bars any resolution of this conflict.”

After Public Outcry, Netanyahu Backtracks on Police Silencing Bill,

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanayhu announced Sunday that he has asked lawmakers to devise a new draft for the police silencing bill so that it will not apply to the ongoing investigations against him.