Top news stories from Israel/Palestine: February 8, 2018

What We’re Reading

FMEP Resources

Settlement Report: February 8, 2017,

Everything you need to know about Israel settlement activity in the West Bank and East Jerusalem in the past week.


UN: Fuel for critical Gaza facilities will run out in 10 days,

The Gaza Strip is on the ‘verge of disaster,’ the UN warns. Intensive care and surgical operating rooms, sewage treatment plants, and desalination plants are at immediate risk — hospitals have already begun to close.

Change in Gaza can only begin when Israel recognizes its responsibility,

There is a lot that can be done immediately to improve the situation in Gaza that does not involve massive financial investment or ambitious plans that would take years to implement.

Occupation/Human rights

Jerusalem Plans Promenade on Mount of Olives Connecting Settler Homes in Palestinian Neighborhood,

The city of Jerusalem and Jerusalem Development Authority are advancing a plan to build a promenade in the Mount of Olives connecting the two Jewish residential compounds in the Palestinian A-Tur neighborhood. A proposal for a visitors’ center on the Mount of Olives is also being advanced.

Court petition seeks to compel Israel army to investigate deaths of Palestinian civilians,

The Israeli High Court of Justice is to consider a petition filed by human rights NGO Yesh Din, which argues that the Israeli military’s approach to investigating the deaths of Palestinian civilians is severely flawed.

Churches Fume as City of Jerusalem Claims $186 Million in Overdue Tax,

Church representatives have accused Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat of breaching international treaties after the municipality said it planned to collect 650 million shekels ($186 million) in back taxes owed by churches and international bodies with property in the city.

Shin Bet holding ‘gentle’ talks with far-rightists to head off revenge attacks,

In an effort to calm growing tensions, the Shin Bet security agency is initiating “gentle conversations” with far-right activists who have been demanding a harsher military response to the Palestinian terror attacks that left two West Bank rabbis dead within the span of a month.

Opinion: Everyone Is Going All the Way,

“It is hard to spend a week in Israel and not come away feeling that Israelis have the wind at their backs,” writes Thomas Friedman. “But…”

Israel police: IDF won't take over East Jerusalem enforcement,

Responding to previous reports, the police say that the IDF will not take any kind of control in east Jerusalem neighborhoods, as part of a reorganization of security forces near the capital.

US-Israeli/Palestinian relations

US peace envoy blasts Abbas for failure to mention Jerusalem’s Jewish connection,

American Middle East envoy Jason Greenblatt on Thursday slammed Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas for failing to mention Judaism’s connection to Jerusalem in a speech this week.

Palestinian politics

PA to form plan for extensive ‘disengagement’ from Israel,

Palestinians say they will explore going it alone on economy, security, currency; but the move is widely seen as tactic to appease the Palestinian public rather than a real bid for change.

Abbas, Putin to discuss new peace talks mechanism sidelining US – report,

When they meet on February 12, Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas and Russian President Vladimir Putin will discuss a new proposed peace negotiations mechanism meant to sideline the United States, a Palestinian diplomat in Russia told the Russian Interfax news agency on Wednesday.

Israeli politics

Defying racist legislation: New bill seeks to turn Israel into a true democracy,

In the face of an onslaught of nationalist, anti-Arab laws, one lawmaker is proposing a simple alternative: transforming Israel into a state for all its citizens.