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Today in Palestine

‘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.”

Clashes erupt as Mike Huckabee leads 2 a.m. rush of 4,000 right-wing Israelis to pray in West Bank

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Former governor Mike Huckabee is filmed leading thousands of right-wing Israelis in prayer at Joseph’s Tomb outside of Nablus in the early morning hours, prompting clashes between the Israeli military and Palestinians. Ma’an News Agency reports, “Clashes erupted between local Palestinians and Israeli soldiers who escorted some 4,000 right-wing Israelis to Joseph’s Tomb east of Nablus in the northern occupied West Bank overnight Sunday, when at least two Palestinians were detained and several others suffered from tear gas inhalation. Among the group of Israelis who arrived to the site under armed protection was Mike Huckabee, former US governor of the state of Arkansas.”

West Bank election results: Fatah wins as many Palestinians stayed away from the polls

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Ma’an News Agency reports, “The Palestinian Central Elections Commission (CEC) reported that Fatah, the ruling party of the Palestinian Authority (PA), maintained a majority of local council seats, despite independent lists having scored a higher number of votes. While approximately 65 percents of seats up for grabs during Saturday’s election went to registered or independent lists in 145 municipalities, another 181 villages and towns mainly saw Fatah lists run unopposed. As anti-PA sentiment has continued to grow over the past year, a number of political factions, including Hamas, Islamic Jihad, and the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP), decided to boycott the elections.”

Netanyahu gov’t advances bill to remove Arabic as an ‘official language’ of Israel

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Al Jazeera reports Israeli lawmakers will soon vote on a bill that strikes Arabic from the list of official languages, “Israeli ministers have approved a controversial bill that will downgrade Arabic as an official language and define the country as the ‘national home of the Jewish people.’ Ayman Odeh, a parliament member who heads the mainly Arab Joint List alliance, said approving the bill would mean trampling on minority rights, adding it would ‘legally transform us into second-class citizens’.”