Top news stories from Israel/Palestine: March 15, 2018

What We’re Reading


Beyond humanitarian quick-fixes for Gaza,

“Humanitarian aid cannot relieve suffering that stems from ongoing political choices,” writes Tareq Baconi.

What Gaza Really Needs Is For Israel To Recognize The Humanity Of Its Residents,

“Israel and its supporters must separate the civilians from Hamas militants and stop the collective punishment,” writes Mohammed Shehada.

Gaza economy continues to deteriorate – report,

In recent months, about a quarter of Palestinians in the Gaza Strip have seen their incomes significantly drop, resulting in a severe liquidity squeeze that has impacted all aspects of the economy, according to a World Bank report published Thursday.

UNRWA donors meet in Rome today,

UNRWA spokesman Chris Gunness said the budget deficit for 2018 is $446m.

Roadside bombs detonated on border with Gaza aimed at passing Israeli patrol,

Two roadside bombs were detonated on the northern Gaza border, which the Israeli military said were directed at a border patrol in the area.

BDS and Settlement boycotts

Americans have a constitutional right to boycott Israel,

“It should be a no-brainer that Americans can boycott whomever or whatever they choose without risking governmental punishment,” writes Josh Ruebner.

Knesset bars Arab MK from JVP-sponsored trip to U.S.,

MK Yousef Jabareen was supposed to travel across the United States for a series of lectures on the political reality in Israel. The Knesset decided to put the kibosh on the trip — because it is sponsored by Jewish Voice for Peace.

Occupation/Human rights

Military court sends leading Palestinian nonviolent activist to prison,

Munther Amirah is the chairman of the Palestinian Popular Committees in the West Bank. The terms of his sentence will make it impossible for him to continue organizing non-violent protests against the occupation.

Israeli settler attacks on Palestinian villages leaves locals living in fear,

“There is this constant fear that people have every time the settlers raid our villages, that maybe they will suffer the same fate of the Dawabshehs [a family that was burned to death in an arson attack by Israel settlers in 2015].”

Schumer is wrong about settlements,

“Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer told AIPAC’s 18,000 delegates that Israeli settlements are not obstacles to peace. He’s wrong. They are and that’s what they were intended to be,” writes Douglas Bloomfield.

Prosecution Agrees to Cut Sentence for 'Hebron Shooter' Elor Azaria by a Third,

The chief prosecutor doesn’t believe Elor Azaria constitutes a danger to the public but emphasizes that he has shown no remorse for his action.

Standard of Living in West Bank Dropping for First Time in Years, World Bank Warns,

The unemployment rate in adults under 30 in the West Bank stands at 40 percent, report says; Gaza continues to hurtle towards collapse, and aid cuts to UNRWA will only exacerbate the crisis.

Palestinian politics

Abbas’s Craven Response to the US UNRWA Cuts,

“Abbas’s comment on the [UNRWA] cuts demonstrates the PA’s use of Palestinian refugees as a rhetorical and political tool,” writes Randa Farah.

Hamas claims to know who tried to assassinate Palestinian PM,

A Hamas official said Wednesday that the terror group knows the identities of perpetrators of the attempted assassination of Palestinian Authority Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah in Gaza a day prior.