Settlement & Annexation Report: November 20, 2020


Welcome to FMEP’s Weekly Settlement & Annexation Report. To subscribe to this report, please click here.

November 20, 2020

  1. Final Days of Trump Admin, Part 1: Historic Shifts in US Settlements Policy
  2. Final Days of Trump Admin, Part 2: Full Steam Ahead on Givat Hamatos Settlement
  3. Final Days of Trump Admin, Part 3: Israel Expected to Advance Har Homa E Settlement Plan
  4. Final Days of Trump Admin, Part 4: Israel Set to Start Process of Land Registration in East Jerusalem
  5. Final Days of Trump Admin, Part 5: Settlers Push to Re-Establish Abandoned Settlements in Northern West Bank
  6. Final Days of Trump Admin, Part 6: Bibi Seeks U.S. OK for More Settlement Projects, Settlers Push for Outpost Authorization
  7. Israeli Education Minister Celebrates New Settlement Yeshiva
  8. IDF Pays for Use of Yeshiva After Settlers Destroy Army Base
  9. Impending Sheikh Jarrah Evictions
  10. Bonus Reads

Questions/Comments? Email Kristin McCarthy (

Final Days of Trump Admin, Part 1: Historic Shifts in US Settlements Policy 

U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo landed in Israel on November 19th for a two-day visit in which he made history with respect to U.S. support for settlements, delivering a series of extraordinary (though entirely predictable) victories to Israeli settlements and Israel’s Greater Israel pro-annexation movement. 

First, Pompeo became the first U.S. Secretary of State to visit the Israel-occupied Golan Heights since the Trump Administration recognized Israeli sovereignty there in March 2019, . 

Second, Pompeo became the first U.S. Secretary of State to visit a West Bank Israeli settlement, in a visit publicly framed as establishing the legitimacy of settlements. Pompeo’s visit to the Psagot Winery – located near Ramallah – flouted international law and international consensus, which views Israel’s settlement enterprise as illegal [for a deep dive in the history of the Psagot settlement and the significance of Pompeo’s visit – check out this FMEP podcast with Dror Etkes, Fadi Quran, and Lara Friedman]. 

Third, in conjunction with his visit to the Psagot Winery settlement, Pompeo announced new U.S. guidelines that require products made in all areas under Israeli control to be labelled as “Made in Israel” (or iterations thereof) when being exported to the U.S. This is a massive and highly consequential shift in U.S. policy that offers recognition of Israeli sovereignty not only over settlements (as the Trump Administration has previously done) but over all of Area C – some 60% of the West Bank. The announcement was urged on by a group of four Republican Senators ahead of Pompeo’s trip. The policy, which if focused on territory, not people, would require even Palestinian-made goods originating from villages in Area C to be labelled as “Made in Israel”. Roughly 150,000 Palestinians live in Area C, where they are subjected to an escalating Israeli campaign to make life untenable for them via discriminatory planning policies and demolitions. 

Laying out the new policy, the State Department issued a statement saying:

Today, the Department of State is initiating new guidelines to ensure that country of origin markings for Israeli and Palestinian goods are consistent with our reality-based foreign policy approach.  In accordance with this announcement, all producers within areas where Israel exercises the relevant authorities – most notably Area C under the Oslo Accords - will be required to mark goods as ’Israel’, ’Product of Israel’, or ‘Made in Israel’ when exporting to the United States.  This approach recognizes that Area C producers operate within the economic and administrative framework of Israel and their goods should be treated accordingly.  This update will also eliminate confusion by recognizing that producers in other parts of the West Bank are for all practical purposes administratively separate and that their goods should be marked accordingly.”

Pompeo made this announcement following his visit to the Psagot winery – which not only named a vintage after Pompeo but has also been at the center of Israel’s global effort to push nations to treat Israeli settlements as indistinguishable from sovereign Israeli territory, with the winery involved in international legal battles over how Israeli businesses located in the settlements are required to label their products. U.S. labelling requirements will now stand at odds with European policy on the matter, which requires differentiation between products made in Israel and products made in settlements. 

As part of the major change in U.S. labelling policy, Pompeo also changed how Palestinian-made products (produced in Areas A & B, and in the Gaza Strip) must be labelled, replacing the “West Bank/Gaza” label with separate “West Bank” and “Gaza” labels – another symbolic move laced with antagonism towards Palestinian rights and national aspirations. The change also contradicts the Oslo Accords, under which the Gaza Strip and West Bank are to be treated as a single territorial entity. The U.S. State Department statement on the labelling policy reads:

“We will no longer accept ’West Bank/Gaza’ or similar markings, in recognition that Gaza and the West Bank are politically and administratively separate and should be treated accordingly.”

Fourth, in a press conference alongside PM Netanyahy, Pompeo announced that the U.S. holds the “global BDS campaign” to be anti-Semitic, and said that the U.S. will “immediately take steps to identify the organizations that engage in hateful BDS conduct and withdraw US government support from such groups. Pompeo called BDS a “cancer.” This is particularly relevant to settlement and annexation watchers because the new U.S. designation makes no distinction between boycotts aimed at Israel and boycotts limited to Israeli settlements – yet another legal step towards offering official U.S. recognition of Israel’s annexation of the settlements. It had previously been reported that the U.S. State Department were preparing to label Human Rights Watch, Oxfam, and Amnesty International as anti-Semitic organizations, based on the IHRA definition of anti-Semitism.

Fifth, under the protection of a large Israeli security escort, Pompeo visited the Elad settler organization’s archeological projects in the City of David, an Israeli national park which was declared on top of the Palestinian neighborhood of Silwan, located right outside of the walls of the Old City of Jerusalem. Under Elad’s direction, and with the support of the Israeli government and the Trump Administration, archeology is being weaponized to erase the historic memory and the modern presence of Palestinians, while emphasizing the Jewish heritage at that site. At the same time, settler organizations including Elad and Ateret Cohanim are battling to implement the mass eviction of Paelstinians from their longtime homes in Silwan.

Israeli NGO Emek Shaveh – a group of expert archaeologists – previously explained:

“The use of archaeology by Israel and the settlers as a political tool is a part of a strategy to shape the historic city and unilaterally entrench Israeli sovereignty over ancient Jerusalem. It is a process which is likely to produce devastating results for both Israel and the Palestinians.  It is inexcusable to ignore the Palestinian residents of Silwan, carrying out extensive excavations of an underground city and to use such excavations as part of an effort to tell a historic story that is exclusively Jewish in a 4,000 year-old city with a rich and diverse cultural and religious past.”

And in a piece entitled “Israel Is Using Archeology To Erase Non-Jewish History,” Emek Shaveh further explained:

“The exploitation of archaeology in Jerusalem has been spearheaded by the Elad Foundation, a group of settlers turned archaeology entrepreneurs, who are using ancient sites to take over land and shape the historical narrative. Elad, which emerged 30 years ago with a mission to settle Jews in Palestinian homes in the neighborhood of Silwan, manages the popular archaeological park, the City of David. Visitors to the site are treated to a heavily biblical narrative where discoveries that resonate with the story of King David or the Kingdom of Judea are highlighted. The fact the archaeologists dispute the evidence of a kingdom in the 10th century BCE often goes unmentioned. Furthermore, not many of the half a million people who visit the park annually know about life in the Palestinian neighborhood since Elad arrived on the scene. They will probably never hear about how Elad took over 75 homes in the neighborhood, or closed off virtually the last of the public areas used by the residents and annexed it to the archaeological park. With an annual budget of approximately 100 million shekels, the Elad Foundation now commands several excavation projects in the City of David, including tunnels along an ancient Roman street, which it is marketing as a Second Temple era pilgrims’ route to the Temple. It has recently branched out to establish new projects within the Old City and in other areas throughout the Historic Basin. But Elad couldn’t have done it on their own. If at first they were greeted with mistrust by the authorities in the 1990s, today they have an open door to many government agencies and ministries. From the Israel Antiquities Authority, which is in charge of most of the excavations at the City of David, and the Nature and Parks Authority, which subcontracted Elad to run the site, to the minister of tourism, who is aggressively advancing a cable car to link West Jerusalem to the City of David, to the mayor of Jerusalem, the government and all the relevant agencies are committed to the project of shaping a large tourist zone dedicated to the First and Second Temple periods.”

Final Days of Trump Admin, Part 2: Full Steam Ahead on Givat Hamatos Settlement

On November 15th, the Israel Land Authority published the long-feared/long-awaited (depending who you are) tender for the construction of the Givat Hamatos settlement in East Jerusalem. The tenders provide for the construction of 1,257 settlement units, which is about 200 units more than expected. The tender is set to close for bids on January 18, 2021 – exactly two days before the inauguration of President-elect Joe Biden. In a carefully worded statement to the press, Netanyahu acknowledged that the publication of the Givat Hamatos tender had been coordinated with the Trump Administration (but not the Biden transition team).

Terrestrial Jerusalem writes:

“The decision to proceed with the construction of Givat Hamatos is the most defiant and inflammatory settlement move in recent memory, and should be treated as such. The construction of Givat Hamatos will create a buffer, contributing to an effective seal between East Jerusalem and Bethlehem. In addition, Givat Hamatos will, for the first time, completely surround an East Jerusalem neighborhood, Beit Safafa, with Israel construction, making the implementation of the Clinton parameters in East Jerusalem impossible.  Givat Hamatos will have a devastating impact on the very possibility of a future two-state outcome.”

Ir Amim writes:

“The opening of the tender significantly decreases the potentiality to effectively block Israeli building in the area. Concerted opposition and pressure to freeze the tender is therefore vital in this limited window of time. If carried through, Givat Hamatos would become the first new settlement in East Jerusalem in 20 years. Located in a particularly strategic area, Givat Hamatos (along with Har Homa E and E1) has constituted a longstanding international red line due its impact on the prospects of a viable two-state framework with two capitals in Jerusalem. By creating a contiguous Israeli built-up area between the existing settlements of Gilo and Har Homa, construction in Givat Hamatos will serve to seal off the southern perimeter of East Jerusalem from Bethlehem and the southern part of the West Bank, while isolating the Palestinian neighborhood of Beit Safafa. The next two months in lead-up to the change in the US Presidential Administration will be a critical period. We believe that Israel will attempt to exploit this time to advance moves that the incoming administration will potentially oppose. It is crucial that the international community remain vigilant.”

Peace Now writes:

“Construction in Givat Hamatos will severely hamper the prospect of a two-state solution because it will ultimately block the possibility of territorial contiguity between East Jerusalem and Bethlehem–the main Palestinian metropolitan area–and will prevent Palestinian Beit Safafa from connecting with a future Palestinian state…The meaning of the publication of the Tender Booklet is that now the tender is open for bids and contractors may submit their proposals to win the right to build the units in Givat Hamatos. The final day for submitting the proposals is January 18th, 2021, three days before the change in the US administration…This is a major blow to the prospects for peace and the possibility of a two-state solution. This Netanyahu-Gantz government was established to fight the coronavirus but instead it is taking advantage of the final weeks of the Trump administration in order to set facts on the ground that will be exceedingly hard to undo in order to achieve peace. This tender can still be stopped. We hope that those in this government who still have some sense of responsibility for our future will do what they can to cancel the tender before bids are submitted.”

Nabil Abu Rudeineh, the spokesman for President Mahmoud Abbas, said

“Israel is trying to benefit from the unlimited support of the current U.S. administration, which has provided it with all possible support for the sake of settlement expansion and the takeover of more Palestinian lands.”

PA Prime Minister Muhammed Shtayyeh said in a statement:

“There appears to be an escalating and intensive assault plan for the next 10 weeks in a race against time to create a new fait accompli before Donald Trump leaves the White House on January 21. We look with concern at the frequent reports about new colonial settlement projects in Arab Jerusalem and the West Bank, which aim to encircle and stifle the Palestinian Arab neighborhoods and prevent interaction between them and the rest of the West Bank and to completely isolate the city of Jerusalem.”

International reaction to Israel’s decision to publish the tender for the construction of the Givat Hamatos settlement — long treated as a red line by the international community — was predictably tempered. Several foreign governments issued statements of “concern,” including Saudi Arabia, Germany, France, the UK, Russia, and Italy, in addition to statements from UN Envoy Nikolay Mladenov and European Union High Commissioner Josep Borrell. The United Nations General Assembly passed a resolution – by an overwhelming majority — calling on all governments to refrain from treating Israel’s settlements in the West Bank or East Jerusalem as part of sovereign Israeli territory. B’Tselem Director Hagai El-Ad urged European governments to move from words to action.

Meanwhile, a delegation of European Union representatives received a hostile greeting from right-wing settlement supporters organized by hardline Israeli NGO Im Tirzu when the delegation attempted to visit the site of the future Givat Hamatos settlement on November 16th. The diplomats’ caravan was actually chased off by the right-wing protestors, which included Jerusalem city councilman and settlement empresario Ariyehh King, who shouted “Go home, anti-Semites!” at the visiting EU diplomats.

Though many settlers celebrated the publication of the Givat Hamatos tender, settlers who are currently living in the area of Givat Hamatos remain skeptical that the government will actually follow through. It’s worth noting that the government has provided mobile homes to about 30 families who live in the Givate Hamatos hillside as squatters, having waited 30 years since the Givat Hamatos plan was given final approval for construction to happen. Wall-to-wall international opposition to the settlement plan deterred the Israeli government from publishing them.

MK Miki Zohar (Likud) celebrated the new tender in a tweet saying:

 “Now we can talk about it. Before the last elections, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu promised me that he would publicize the building tender in Jerusalem’s Givat Hamatos; this neighborhood is in a strategic location between Beit Safafa and Hebron road. It important to build there in order to maintain a Jewish land continuum … We have a one-time opportunity these days to strengthen our hold in the land of Israel. I am sure that our friend, President [Donald] Trump, and Prime Minister Netanyahu will be wise enough to take full advantage of this opportunity.”

Final Days of Trump Admin, Part 3: Israel Expected to Advance Har Homa E Settlement Plan 

As anticipated in last week’s Settlement Report, the Israeli government has decided to press forward with a highly controversial and consequential plan to expand the East Jerusalem settlement of Har Homa westward, toward the site of the future Givat Hamatos settlement (discussed above). Ir Amim reports that on November 23rd, the Jerusalem District Planning Committee is scheduled to take up the plan for 570 new units – called Har Homa E – for the second time this year, and is expected to approve the plan for deposit for public review, one of the final steps before implementation.

Ir Amim warns

“The rapid advancement of this plan is indicative of the Israeli government’s intent to accelerate as many settlement construction projects as possible in East Jerusalem and its vicinity in the waning days of the Trump administration.”

The construction in Har Homa E will solidify a continuum of Israeli settlement construction within the southern perimeter of East Jerusalem – from Har Homa, to Givat Hamatos, to Gilo – detaching East Jerusalem from Bethlehem and completing the encirclement of the Palestinian East Jerusalem neighborhood of Beit Safafa.

The plan for Har Homa E was last discussed in September 2020, when the District Planning Committee signaled its support for approving the plan for deposit, but requested several amendments prior granting that approval. With the modifications made, the expectation is that the committee will now give its formal approval, setting off a period of 60 days during which the public can submit objections to the plan.

The plan for 570 units currently set for approval represents the first detailed plan under a much larger Master Plan for Har Homa E, which involves a total of 2,200 units. Plans to build the remaining units permitted under the Master Plan are not yet being advanced.

Ir Amim writes:

“Construction in Har Homa E will serve as another step in connecting the existing Gilo and Har Homa neighborhoods/settlements and create a contiguous Israeli built-up area along the southern perimeter of East Jerusalem. This will likewise detach Bethlehem and the southern West Bank from East Jerusalem while isolating the Palestinian neighborhood of Beit Safafa. In line with the new reality created by the Trump Plan and its unilateral recognition of Israeli sovereignty of East Jerusalem, these developments will constitute a major obstacle towards the future establishment of a Palestinian capital in the city and the prospect of a viable two-state framework.”

Final Days of Trump Admin, Part 4: Israel Set to Start Process of Land Registration in East Jerusalem

In an interview celebrating the publication of a tender for Givat Hamatos settlement project, Jerusalem Affairs & Heritage Minister Rafi Peretz connected the project to a larger Israeli effort to begin registering all East Jerusalem land in Israeli records, an effort which Peretz is spearheading. Al-Monitor reports that, as part of the Givat Hamatos project, the Israeli Finance and Justice Ministry’s acted swiftly to approve a budget, remove legal impediments, and finalize “financial compensation packages with the Palestinian land-owners” so that the land can be properly registered in Israeli government books.

Perez stated:

“The fact that almost all of the land in the eastern part of Jerusalem is not registered properly is something that should have been addressed a long time ago already. The plans that I have developed for registering land plots and properties have now been adopted by the various government ministries concerned, and once they are implemented, they will go a long way to improving the situation for the residents of these areas. A united Jerusalem is not a slogan – it’s a vision, and one that needs to apply to the eastern part of the city just as it applies to the west.”

The Israel-run process of registering ownership of land in East Jerusalem land will have far-reaching consequences for Palestinians, who have not had a formal legal avenue for registering land ownership with the Israeli government since East Jerusalem was annexed by Israel in 1967. Palestinians who wanted/needed to prove their land ownership were forced to rely on the “mukhtar protocol” — a procedure in which Palestinians in East Jerusalemites document/prove ownership by collecting signatures from local Palestinian leaders acknowledging that the land in question does, indeed, belong to them. This policy was developed by the Israeli government as an alternative to the formal land-registration process, which was frozen in East Jerusalem since 1967. 

In 2019, a mini-saga over the “mukhtar protocol” revealed the uphill battle facing Palestinians if formal registration proceeds. In March 2019, the Jerusalem Planning & Building Committee, at the urging of the Regavim settler group (acting with the clear goal of preventing Palestinian development and undermining Palestinian land ownership claims to land in the city), annulled the mukhtar protocol as a legally acceptable basis for establishing land ownership in the eyes of the Israeli government, putting Palestinian land ownership in East Jerusalem in limbo. The result: having no recognized means to prove their land ownership, Palestinians were prevented from building in East Jerusalem. One month later, the Israeli authorities reversed the decision and again recognized the mukhtar protocol, reportedly following appeals to Jerusalem Mayor Moshe Leon by a city council member.

This news about starting the land registration process in East Jerusalem comes only a few weeks after Israel was reported to be advancing plans to begin a process of land registration for Area C of the West Bank — a process that opens another door for Israel to seize more Palestinian land. The registration process in East Jerusalem is expected to have similar results.

Final Days of Trump Admin, Part 5: Settlers Push to Re-Establish Abandoned Settlements in Northern West Bank

A group of 100 settlers, including children, invaded and set up camp at the abandoned site of the Sa-Nur settlement in the northern West Bank in an attempt to pressure the government to allow them to re-establish the settlement, which the state dismantled as part its 2005 disengagement from Gaza. After the Israeli army arrived at the site to evict the trespassers, MK Miki Zohar (Likud) persuaded the settlers to abandon their illegal campsite and leave the area, with the promise of raising the issue of Sa-Nur’s re establishment directly with Netanyahu.

MK Zohar is a staunch supporter of reestablishing Sa-Nur, along with three other settlements in the area that were likewise dismantled by the Israeli government in 2005 (Homesh, Ganim, and Kadim). Zohar has participated in previous visits to the site to support the settlers’ bid, frequently accompanied by his Likud colleagues, including former Speaker of the Knesset Yuli Edelstein. In July 2018, the Israeli Cabinet had the opportunity to lend government backing to a bill that would have cancelled the 2005 disengagement and allowed the settlers to rebuild those settlements – but the Cabinet blocked the bill. The settlers and their allies are no doubt raising this issue now, at a time when it seems like the wildest wishes of the settler enterprise are being fulfilled one after another.

As a reminder, even though Israel evacuated the four settlements in the West Bank, the IDF issued military orders barring Palestinians from entering the areas, preventing Palestinians from taking control over the area and building there. At the same time, settlers have regularly entered the areas and even repeatedly built a yeshiva at the Homesh site.  

Final Days of Trump Admin, Part 6: Bibi Seeks U.S. OK for More Settlement Projects, Settlers Push for Outpost Authorization

In addition to the extraordinary settlement plans unleashed over the past two weeks, Israeli media reports that Prime Minister Netanyahu is seeking the blessing of the Trump Administration to push forward additional East Jerusalem settlement projects in the immediate future. Israel’s Kan News Radio reported that Netanyahu planned to raise the settlement projects with U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo during his trip to Israel this week. With developments related to Givat Hamatos and Har Homa E making the news this week, we can speculate that Netanyahu might be asking specifically about the Atarot settlement plan (northern tip of Jerusalem) and/or the E-1 settlement plan (just east of Jerusalem) – as FMEP laid out last week.

Another possibility is, of course, outpost legalizations. Settlers and their allies in the Israeli government are continuing their campaign to pressure Netanyahu to grant retroactive authorization to all of Israel’s outposts and illegal settler construction across the West Bank before Trump leaves office. Since FMEP’s last reporting two weeks ago, the Israel Land Caucus has begun collecting signatures on a petition calling on Netanyahu to act immediately on this matter. According to the Times of Israel the petition states that the Knesset committee, which includes senior members of Netanyahu’s own Likud Party, is “united in the position that the regulation of young settlements must be done now…it is not fair, reasonable or responsible to leave the settlements without status and the tens of thousands of their residents deprived of their rights.”

Just this week Defense Ministry legal advisor Moshe Frucht stated that a government declaration authorizing the outposts is required prior to any actions that treat the outposts as legal communities – specifically rebuffing the request by settlers for the Defense Ministry to connect unauthorized outposts to Israeli state utilities. Frucht’s statement, combined with Netanyahu’s lack of action, enraged MK Bezalel Smotrich (Yamina) who sharply scolded Netanyahu’s top settlements advisor in a Knesset hearing this week.

Israeli Education Minister Celebrates New Settlement Yeshiva

Israeli Minister of Education Yoav Galant (Likud) attended the opening of a new religious school (yeshiva) in the Bruchin settlement, located in a finger of continuous settlements that extends from the 1967 Green Line to the Ariel settlement in the very center of the northern West Bank.

Making it clear that opening yeshivas is part of Israel’s entrenchment and expansion of settlements across the West Bank, Galant said at the event:

“I am delighted to be here in order to celebrate the inauguration of this new building for a yeshiva high school in Bruchin, together with my good friend Yossi Dagan, who has done so much to develop Jewish settlement in the Samaria region and specifically to advance the educational network here. This new building will serve all the students of the local communities and neighborhoods that have been established in the area in the last few years. I am deeply committed to promoting Jewish settlement in Judea and Samaria. As Education Minister, I will continue to do all I can to further settlement here, just as I did when I was Housing & Construction Minister – and, indeed, as I have done throughout my life. It’s time that we settled the entire Land, from the Jordan River to the sea. I hope that the students who come to learn here will be able to commence their studies this winter.”

IDF Pays for Use of Yeshiva After Settlers Destroy Army Base

The Times of Israel reports that Israel has agreed to pay the operators of a violent yeshiva associated with the Yitzhar settlement a sum of $118,750 (400,000 NIS) to cover the cost of the building’s use by security forces over the past six years.

In 2014, a mob of violent settlers stormed an army base near the Yitzhar settlement, leaving several officers wounded and destroying all military equipment at the site. After the attack, the IDF seized the yeshiva to use as a temporary base (since theirs was destroyed). It has continued to use the yeshiva since that time, and will now pay the settlers for the inconvenience.

Impending Sheikh Jarrah Evictions

Earlier this month, the Jerusalem Magistrate’s court notified four Palestinian families living in Sheikh Jarrah that they must vacate their longtime homes by November 24th, or else be forcibly evicted. One of those families is the Sabbagh family, whose legal struggle against Israeli settler groups has previously caught international attention and sparked weekly protests in Sheikh Jarrah to stop their eviction. 

The Sabbagh family has lived in their home for over 64 years, and have been battling the settler organization Nahalat Shimon for their right to remain in their home. Nahalat Shimon was awarded ownership rights of the Sabbagh’s house through the use of the “Legal and Administration Matters Law,” which allows Israeli Jews (but not Palestinians) to reclaim property lost/abandoned during the 1948 war. Nahalat Shimon managed to find the Jewish Israeli family who owned the home prior to the 1948 War and convinced that family to hand over their ownership rights.

Muhammed al-Sabbagh told the Middle East Eye recently:

“I know that the Israeli court will not do justice to me. They will not be on my side against Israeli settlers. But I will fight until the very end to protect my home where I grew up, the only safe haven for me and my family.”

Sami Ershid, the family’s lawyer, told Middle East Eye: 

“For years, these [families] wake up thinking what the court will rule against them. They live a life completely devoid of stability, thinking when they will be forcibly expelled from their homes. The [Israeli] goal is clear: to create a new settler neighbourhood on the rubble of their homes.”

Just Vision – who shared one Sheikh Jarrah family’s story in the docuseries “My Neighborhood,” said in an email drawing attention to these evictions:

“While the cases in Sheikh Jarrah are thinly veiled as a legal matter, the political motivations are clear. This latest round of evictions is part of a broader attempt by the Israeli state to forcibly displace Palestinians from their homes in East Jerusalem and the West Bank. The process is methodical and impacts thousands of lives on a daily basis. In the past month alone, Israel hid under the US election media frenzy to undertake the largest demolition of Palestinian homes and structures in a decade, and just yesterday, announced a new settlement, Givat Hamatos, that would effectively cut East Jerusalem off from Bethlehem. This all happens under the United States’ watch – subsequent US administrations have done little to hold the Israeli government to account, and the latest administration has given a carte-blanche for unjust activity like this.”

Bonus Reads

  1. “Occupied Thoughts: “Pompeo in Psagot” ft. Fadi Quran, Dror Etkes, & Lara Friedman” (FMEP)
  2. “Israel Impounds Palestinian’s Cows Grazing on Nature Reserve, Ignores Settlers’ Cows” (Haaretz)
  3. “Israeli settlers in the West Bank confront the Biden reality and dig in for a fight” (Washington Post)