Top news stories from Israel/Palestine: March 16, 2018

What We’re Reading

FMEP Resources

Settlement Report: March 15, 2018,

FMEP’s weekly report on settlement activity. In this edition: The Israeli Justice Ministry gives responsibility for absentee property cases in East Jerusalem to a radical settler; after seven months, the High Court orders the IDF to evacuate settler-squatters from a disputed property in Hebron; and more.

Israeli politics

Israeli parliament endorses 'nation-state bill' for first reading,

After seven years of delays, the Israeli governing parties have agreed the final terms of controversial new legislation that would define Israel exclusively as “the nation-state of the Jewish people”.

Occupation/Human rights

Transportation minister pushing for West Bank light rail,

Israel Katz has asked Israel’s transit authority to assess three route options; all three reach the city-settlement of Ariel and will likely extend to flashpoint Tapuah Junction.

Israel arrested 1,300 Palestinians in two months, rights groups say,

According to a new report, Israel arrested 1,319 Palestinians in January and February. Of them, 274 are minors, 23 are women, and four are journalists.

The Ein Hanya Spring: A Charming, Spruced-up Jerusalem Spot Free of Palestinians,

The lovely spring, which is 300 feet over the green line, has undergone a 14 million shekel face-lift, but a fence and roadblock will cut off Palestinian villagers’ access, who have frequented the site for centuries.

A Palestinian Boy Is Orphaned After His Disabled Father Is Killed by Israeli Troops,

In Hebron, troops killed Mohammed Jabri, a mentally disabled man who was not able to speak and had been raising his 4-year-old son alone.

Video: Israeli forces attack Palestinian medics attempting to save injured youth,

Video captured on Monday shows Israeli forces assaulting Palestinian medics in the central occupied West Bank city of al-Bireh as they were attempting to aid a Palestinian who had been shot during clashes in the area.

US-Israeli/Palestinian politics

Watchdogs: GOP’s Man in Israel Illegally Lobbied for Anti-Semite,

A firm helmed by the man who helped run the Republican Party’s efforts in Israel is doing lobbying work for the Hungarian government of Viktor Orban without registering as an agent of an overseas power.

Haley: Vote With U.S. at U.N. or We’ll Cut Your Aid,

U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley is proposing a sweeping reassessment of U.S. foreign assistance with a view to punishing dozens of poor countries that vote against U.S. policies at the U.N., according to a confidential internal memo drafted by her staff.

Trump administration ‘deeply sympathizes’ with victims in PLO terror lawsuit, but stands by opposition,

The Trump administration in a statement said it “sympathizes deeply” with the families whose lawsuit against the Palestine Liberation Organization may soon be considered by the Supreme Court, but continues to maintain that the lawsuit does not meet the standards for review by the court.

Progressive Jewish millennials are returning to their roots — thanks to Trump,

Activist groups such as Bend the Arc and the millennial movement If Not Now, which utilize Jewish prayer and ritual to end Jewish-American support for the Israeli military occupation, resonate through applying progressive purpose to age-old traditions.


What to do about Gaza?,

Yesterday, the White House held a ‘brainstorming session’ to promote solutions for the economic and humanitarian crises in the Gaza Strip. There are a few points worth mentioning in the context of any conversation aimed at finding long-term solutions for the Strip.

Gaza is not a humanitarian disaster, it is a crisis of human consciousness that demands your attention,

“By allowing the Israeli blockade on Gaza to continue, the international community is making the occupation sustainable for Israel,” writes Saeb Erekat.

Washington meeting on Gaza an exploitation of a humanitarian issue – official,

The Washington meeting on Gaza was an attempt to exploit the humanitarian situation in the besieged coastal strip for political ends, Palestinian’s head of delegation to the United States, Husam Zomlot, said on Tuesday.

UNRWA cuts

Trump’s aid cuts to Palestinian refugees may be worse than originally thought,

UNRWA will lose around $300 million in aid.

Summit on UNRWA funding gets $100m in aid pledges,

Participants in Rome meeting to help fund the Palestinian refugee agency, but combined aid pledge falls $350m short.