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Today in Palestine

Trump administration threatens to close Palestinians’ office in Washington DC

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The State Department threatened Friday to close the Palestinians’ Washington office unless they enter into direct negotiations with Israel. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson has determined that the Palestinians have run afoul of a condition in the law that allows their mission to the U.S. to function which prohibits the Palestinians from requesting the International Criminal Court, or ICC, to prosecute Israelis for crimes against Palestinians.

Israeli gov’t minister says there will be one million West Bank settlers in the next 10-20 years

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Speaking to a conference on settler population growth in the West Bank titled “On the Way to a Million,” Jerusalem Affairs Minister Ze’ev Elkin dismissed the idea of a Palestinian state, “Halas [‘enough’ in Arabic] with the story of two states. There is no other option but the state of Israel, certainly between the Jordan [River] to the [Mediterranean] sea there will be one state.”

Armed groups in Gaza vow to respond to Israeli attack on tunnel

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At least seven Palestinians were killed, and 12 others were wounded after Israeli forces blew up an underground tunnel between the southern Gaza Strip and Israel on Monday. “We will exercise our right to respond – this is our duty,” Daoud Shehab, a leader in the Islamic Jihad movement, told Al Jazeera, adding that it is a legitimate right of resistance groups to respond.

An unconventional marriage: the Marwan and Fadwa Barghouti story

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“Marwan [Barghouti] told Fadwa that she should take a week to think over the proposal and decide whether she was willing to dedicate herself to someone whose life would be fully committed to the Palestinian resistance.”–Jaclynn Ashley reports on the unconventional marriage of the imprisoned Palestinian leader and his wife.

As olive harvest begins, settlers flood Palestinian trees with sewage

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Israeli colonists flooded dozens of Palestinian olive trees with sewage water Tuesday, near Nablus, according to the Israeli Rabbis for Human Rights organization, as the olive harvest begins. Human rights groups documented ten cases of settler violence and theft directed at Palestinian groves.

Meet Reem Anbar, Gaza’s first music therapist

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“Reem’s sessions take on different styles of therapy, some of which she has invented herself, and others she has collected from other therapists,” reports The New Arab.

‘I will make half of you disabled and let the other half push wheelchairs’ — Israeli commander to Palestinians

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Al Jazeera reports on the increase in Palestinian injuries in one West Bank refugee camp: Most of the gunshot wounds were directed at the lower limbs of the youth in the camps, now commonly referred to as “kneecapping.” Residents of the Dheisheh camp say that an Israeli army commander, who the youth in Dheisheh refer to as “Captain Nidal”, has been threatening to intentionally disable Palestinians in the camp

Kicked out of Qatar, Hamas leaders eye move to Algeria

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In the wake of the Gulf crisis, Hamas leaders left Qatar and are looking for a new base for their foreign headquarters. Al-Monitor reports, Algeria is likely the group’s next move, “The Saudi-backed Asharq Al-Awsat newspaper reported July 17 that Hamas is searching for a foothold in Algeria to shelter its officials who left Qatar in early June. Algeria received an official request from Hamas to establish a representative office for the movement on its territories, but it has yet to respond.”

Israel advances bill to conceal its overseas partners in suppressing BDS

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Israel advances a law that will make secret its operations to suppress the movement for boycott, divestment, and sanctions (BDS) against Israel, Public Security Minister Gilad Erdan said the law would exempt government agencies from complying with FOIA requests that could reveal its fight against BDS, and its overseas civilian partners that seek to hide their relationship with the Israeli government.

Haim Saban pushes Democrats to support bill that would slash funding to Palestinian Authority

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Ron Kampeas reports for the JTA: “Haim Saban, a major donor to the Democratic Party, is backing a bill that would slash funding to the Palestinian Authority unless it stops payments to Palestinians jailed for attacks on Israelis. The participation of the Israeli-American entertainment mogul in the initiative of the lobbying affiliate of the Israeli-American Council is significant because Democrats until now have been reluctant to back the bill as it stands.”