Top news stories from Israel/Palestine: December 6, 2017

What We’re Reading

US-Israeli/Palestinian relations

Trump will recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital but will not move the embassy for now,

President Donald Trump will recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, but will not open an embassy there for years and will reassure the Palestinians that the recognition does not impinge on their claims to the city.

U.S. House of Representatives Passes Bill Slashing Financial Aid to Palestinian Authority,

The U.S. House of Representatives passed on Tuesday the “Taylor Force Act,” a bill that will cut large parts of American financial aid to the Palestinian Authority over its payments to convicted terrorists and their families.

On Jerusalem, Trump is proving that the Israeli right was right all along,

“By recognizing Jerusalem as Israel’s capital the U.S. president is boosting the settlers’ argument that in the long run, ‘facts on the ground’ are more important than diplomacy, and that Israel will eventually win legitimacy for its actions — even unilateral annexation,” writes Noam Sheizaf.

Absent in the clamor about Jerusalem are the Palestinians of Jerusalem,

“In Arab capitals speculation turns to panic about Trump’s expected reversal of policy on Jerusalem. Meanwhile, nobody seems to be talking about — or to — the Palestinians of Jerusalem, whose daily reality of occupation will remain irrespective of what comes next,” writes Samer Badawi.

Does President Trump Want to Negotiate Middle East Peace?,

Mr. Trump insists he is committed to achieving the “ultimate” Middle East peace agreement that eluded his predecessors. But his decision to tip the scales toward Israel on this critical matter, communicated to Arab and Israeli leaders on Tuesday, almost certainly will make an agreement harder to reach by inflaming doubts about America’s honesty and fairness as a broker in negotiations, raising new tension in the region and perhaps inciting violence.

‘Jerusalem Is Not the Explosive Device—It’s the Detonator’,

“President Trump’s announcement on the status of the holy city may be perceived as a threat to sacred space—and could spark a crisis across the Middle East,” writes Emma Green.

Palestinians call days of rage over US Jerusalem plan,

Protests have broken out in the Gaza Strip in response to US President Donald Trump’s expected decision to recognise Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, as Palestinian leaders called for three days of rage against the move.

Heads of Jerusalem churches deliver last-minute plea to Trump,

13 Christian leaders warn of the ‘hatred, conflict, violence and suffering’ and ‘irreparable harm’ that a change in US policy on Jerusalem could create.

Before Deciding Who Rules Jerusalem, Decide What Jerusalem Is,

“If President Trump announces America’s recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, this gives Israel a blank check to redraw and reshape the city as it pleases, which likely means continued isolation and stagnation for the city’s Palestinian residents,” writes Diana B. Greenwald.

Occupation/Human rights

‘How Israel turned the West Bank into its garbage dump’,

A new report from B’Tselem details how Israel has exploited the legal regime in the West Bank, trucking in hazardous waste to be processed in the occupied territory.

'It took them 10 minutes to destroy what I built in a lifetime',

Ever since the Rajbi family home was demolished by Israeli authorities two weeks ago, the children have been staying with relatives, while the father sleeps in a tin hut next to the rubble. This is what it looks like when Israel turns its Palestinians into criminals against their own will.