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.
Category Archives: Today in Palestine
Canadian stores are ordered to deshelve wines produced in settlements that carry a “made in Israel” origin tag. From here one, settler wines must me marked “made in the West Bank occupied territory.”
For the moment, swimming in beaches in southern Israel is banned indefinitely after pollution from Gaza made it way north following an electricity crisis where the absence of power has shut down the Strip’s only sewage treatment plant.
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.”
A West Bank settlement is building a $100 million medical school and doubling the size of its campus, with the aid of the Israeli government. The project will be named after casino mogul and settlement financier, Sheldon Adelson and his wife Miriam.
The human rights group B’Tselem reports that in May, Israeli soldiers in occupied Nabi Saleh detained Baraa Kanan, 19, for seven hours, beat him, forced him to say ‘Mohammed is a pig,’ cut his hair, and then dumped him on the side of a settler highway.
Ynet News reports Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu pledged “No one will be uprooted from their home, I’m doing everything to protect the settlement enterprise,” at a Knesset event commemorating the 1967 war.
The Palestinian Authority cabinet announced yesterday it will hold local elections in Gaza, despite the territory being ruled by Hamas who already stated it will boycott the elections. If municipalities do not participate in voting, the West Bank government may appoint winners of the race.
AFP reports Israel’s cabinet passed a plan for cable cars to run over East Jerusalem, “Israel’s government on Sunday approved plans to install a cable car to Jerusalem’s Old City, a project likely to anger Palestinians and much of the international community.”
Ma’an News Agency reports, “Three Palestinian security guards of the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound in the Old City of occupied East Jerusalem were assaulted and detained by Israeli police on Wednesday, as hundreds of right-wing Israelis and settlers took to the holy site in celebration of ‘Jerusalem Day.'”
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.”
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.”
Haaretz reports the Netanyahu government is mulling over a bill that would prohibit Israeli legal rights groups from representing the interest of Palestinians in Israeli courts.
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’.”
The Israeli army fired inside of a Ramallah hospital overnight, Ma’an News Agency reports, “Israeli forces fired bullets, stun grenades, and tear gas at a Palestinian hospital in the central occupied West Bank city of Ramallah at dawn on Thursday.”
Wafa reports that after multiple cancellations, Palestinian Authority elections are back on in the West Bank but Hamas will be boycotting and Gaza will not participate in the vote.
Writing in Haaretz, John Brown asks: “800 Palestinians have been arrested by Israeli and PA security forces as a result of a computerized program that tries to predict lone-wolf attacks based on social media posts. But how can you jail someone for a crime they haven’t committed?”
AFP reports: “When wedding planner Salama Al Odi was blocked by Israel from importing a limousine for his business in Gaza, he was not dissuaded. Instead, he built his own – from five other cars.”
Israeli grandmother Carol Cook was visiting a Palestinian village near Yitzhar, an extremist Israeli settlement funded by the family of senior White House advisor Jared Kushner, when she was attacked by settlers along with two other women. The story is in Haaretz.
IMEMC reports: “The Israeli court admits that Bassem was killed, and that it was the soldier’s fault. Despite having one officer and three soldiers called for questioning, the court claims that it had done what it could. But the court has said there is nothing it can do, because they allegedly don’t know the name of the soldier who shot Bassem, or even the name of the officer. Court officials told the family’s lawyer that the file of Bassem Abu Rahma was stolen from the court, and that for that reason, they have an incomplete file on the case.”
Israeli authorities admitted to losing the remains of seven Palestinians who were killed in the second Intifada, and are unable to locate more than 100 others.
Israeli police refuse to give a permit to Palestinians for the “March of Return,” a day of protests and commemoration marking the Nakba, or catastrophe, when more than 750,000 Palestinians became refugees during the 1948 war.
Amira Hass reports for Haaretz: “In 2013, a UNICEF report said Israel was systematically abusing young detainees, new data shows little has changed.”
Ahmad Zahir Fathi Ghazal, 17, from Nablus was shot and killed by Israeli forces in occupied East Jerusalem’s Old City on Saturday, after he carried out a stab attack that left three Israelis lightly injured, with witnesses asserting Israeli police could have easily detained the boy without killing him.
Palestinian university student Kifah Quzmar, in his final year studying business administration at Bir Zeit University, launched a hunger strike on Sunday, March 26 in Ashkelon prison, where he is held shackled and remains under interrogation after 22 days of imprisonment. Quzmar, a popular, well-known student, was seized by Israeli occupation forces on March 7 at the Karameh/Allenby crossing from Jordan as he returned from travel. After denying that he was in their custody for several days, he was then denied access to a lawyer for 19 days.