Violence / Detentions — West Bank / Jerusalem
Israel arrests Palestinian music band for ‘producing songs that incite to resistance’
MEMO 12 June — Israeli occupation forces yesterday [Monday] arrested members of a Palestinian music band in the southern West Bank town of Hebron under the pretext of “incitement”. According to a statement by the Israeli army, six Palestinians were arrested over “producing songs and provocative videos that incite to resistance.” The videos were circulated on social media, the army added. Local sources told Quds Press that the occupation forces raided and confiscated the homes of Nabil Al-Horoub, Bilal Al-Tawil, Bara‘a Al-Talahoma and Bashar Zahida, who formed the Al-Anwar band. The arrest comes several months after the detention of other two other members of the band, Ahmed Al-Masri and Moussa Al-Horoub, who were accused of “supporting Hamas”.
Israeli soldiers shoot eight Palestinians, abduct one suspected of killing a soldier, in Ramallah
IMEMC 13 June — Israeli soldiers invaded, on Wednesday morning, the Sateh Marhaba area in al-Biereh city, and the al-Am‘ari refugee camp, south of al-Biereh, in the central West Bank governorate of Ramallah and al-Biereh, and injured seven Palestinians, including a woman, before abducting her son, who is reportedly involved in the death of an Israeli soldier in late May 2018. The Palestinian Red Crescent Society (PRCS) said the soldiers injured seven Palestinians, including three who were shot with live Israeli army fire, after the soldiers attacked Palestinian protesters with live rounds, rubber-coated steel bullets and gas bombs. The PRCS said two Palestinians were shot with rubber-coated steel bullets in the legs, and one in the abdomen, in addition to one resident who was injured by shrapnel from a bullet. It added that local medics provided the wounded Palestinians with the needed first aid, before rushing them to nearby hospitals for further treatment.
In related news, Israeli sources said the soldiers arrested Islam Yousef Abu Hamed, 32, from the al-Am‘ari refugee camp. The said that Abu Hamed is suspected of killing Sgt. Ronen Lubarsky, a soldier with the Israeli army who was seriously injured during an invasion into the refugee camp, after a Palestinian dropped a marble slab on his head, and died from his serious wounds three days later. It is worth mentioning that the soldiers also injured Islam’s mother, before Palestinian medics rushed her a local hospital. The woman was wounded after the soldiers attacked her and throw a gas bomb at her. The military is still operating in the al-Am‘ari refugee camp, has deployed more vehicles on all its entrances and completely isolated it.
Army attacks Palestinian medics in Bethlehem
IMEMC 10 June — Israeli soldiers attacked, on Saturday evening, a Palestinian ambulance crew while they were trying to rescue persons who were injured in a traffic accident near the illegal Gush Etzion colonialist block, south of Bethlehem in the occupied West Bank. Mohammad Awad, the head of the Emergency Department of the Bethlehem branch of the Palestinian Red Crescent Society (PRCS) said its ambulance rushed to a site of a traffic accident between a Palestinian car and an Israeli car, near the colony, but the soldiers stopped them near and ordered them not to approach the wounded. The medics insisted on performing their humanitarian duty, before the soldiers assaulted them, wounding one of them, identified as Jamal al-Balboul, 51, who was beaten up and pushed around by the soldiers, who also pointed their guns at the medics. Awad said that this type of behavior by the soldiers is one of the constant Israeli violations against all related international laws that grant protection to medical teams at all times. The Red Crescent said two Palestinians from Hebron, in the southern part of the West Bank, were injured in the traffic accident, and were later moved to a hospital in the city.
Palestinian crops torched in latest suspected anti-Arab hate crime
Times of Israel 8 June — Crops were destroyed and Hebrew-language graffiti was daubed in a Palestinian village overnight [Thurs-Fri], in what appeared to be the latest incident in a recent spate of hate crimes blamed on extremist Jewish settlers in the West Bank, activists said Friday. Israeli human rights group Yesh Din said in a statement that 85 bales of hay belonging to a farmer in the northern West Bank village of Burin were set alight at around 1:00 a.m. The group said the hay was food for the farmer’s sheep, and was piled around 100 meters from his home. No injuries were reported. The phrase “Enough with the agricultural terror” was found spray-painted in Hebrew on one bale that was not set on fire, referring to tit-for-tat property attacks between Israelis and Palestinians in the West Bank in recent weeks. Yesh Din said a group of nearby Israeli soldiers did not help the farmer extinguish the fire, blaming the blaze on local Palestinian residents. The Haaretz daily said Friday that Israel Police’s West Bank division has opened an investigation into the incident, which they are treating as a hate crime … Last month, the Shin Bet said Jewish nationalist attacks on Palestinians have sharply increased in 2018 compared to the year before. The security agency said that in the first four months of 2018 it documented 13 “price tag” attacks, in contrast with eight such incidents in all of 2017. Recent attacks against Palestinians have included the chopping down of olive groves, the torching of a mosque, stones thrown through car windows, the slashing of tires, and graffiti calling for the murder of Arabs … Israeli settlers in the West Bank also suffered property damage in a number of recent incidents blamed on Palestinians….
Israeli colonialist settlers attack homes near Nablus; soldiers injure two Palestinians
IMEMC 12 June — Israeli soldiers shot, on Monday at night, two young Palestinian men in Burin village, south of the northern West bank city of Nablus, after a group of extremist colonizers invaded the village and attacked homes. Media sources said a group of colonists from Yitzhar illegal colony, built on Palestinian lands, invaded the town, and attacked many homes, causing damage. Locals tried to force the assailants out of their community, before several army jeeps invaded the town, and the soldiers fired live rounds and rubber-coated bullets at the Palestinians, who protested the invasion and assault. Medical sources said the soldiers shot one Palestinian with a live round in the neck, and another with a rubber-coated steel bullet in the chest, before they were rushed to hospitals in Nablus.
Shin Bet: Teenage girl’s stabbing in Afula a terror attack
Ynet 12 June by Ahiya Raved — Security agency says Nur Shinawi of Jenin has confessed to his involvement in Monday’s nationalistically motivated stabbing [in Afula]of 18-year-old Shuva Malka, whose condition remains serious but stable — The Israel Police have yet to define the incident as a terror attack. Earlier Tuesday, Malka’s parents demanded that the incident be defined as an attack by the police. “Any other reference downplays and belittles the incident,” the girl’s mother said at the HaEmek Medical Center in Afula, where her daughter is hospitalized in serious but stable condition in the intensive care unit. Police officials said the motive was unclear, but banned the suspect from meeting with a lawyer, a move which can only be implemented in the event of security-related offenses. The police were expected to ask the Nazareth Magistrates’ Court to extend the suspect’s remand on Tuesday. Due to his medical condition, after he was shot [in the legs] during his arrest, the court is expected to discuss the request in his absence.
Army abducts 14 Palestinians, including three siblings, in West Bank
IMEMC 10 June — Israeli soldiers abducted, Sunday, fourteen Palestinians, including three siblings, from their homes in several parts of the occupied West Bank, the Palestinian Prisoners’ Society (PPS) has reported.
The Tulkarem office of the PPS said the soldiers invaded Tulkarem governorate, in northern West Bank, searched many homes and abducted Eyad Mohammad Abdullah, 42, and Yasser Mahmoud Abdul-Rahim, 32. The soldiers also detained four other Palestinians, after invading and searching their homes, but released them a few hours later.
In Ramallah, in central West Bank, the soldiers abducted three siblings, identified as Jaber, Majd and Hammad Awad al-Hajj, in addition to Ghassan Mousa Azzam, after searching their homes. In addition, the soldiers invaded Abu Dis town, southeast of Jerusalem, searched homes and abducted Walid Sharaf, Mohammad Sa‘id and Hotheifa Bader. The soldiers also abducted a Palestinian woman from the Al-Reshiq family, the wife of Odai Sonnokrot who was only released from prison just a week ago.
In Jericho, in northeastern West Bank, the soldiers abducted Mahmoud Abdul-Majid Abu Sal‘oum and Mahmoud Bader Ibrahim.
Furthermore, the soldiers abducted Mustafa Taleb al-Badan, 20, from his home in Teqoua‘ town, east of Bethlehem.
In related news, the soldiers abducted Ibrahim Airbases, from occupied Jerusalem, just minutes following his release from the Negev Detention Camp, after he had served a prison term of 50 months, and moved him to the al-Maskobiyya interrogation center, in Jerusalem.
Army abducts three Palestinians in Bethlehem and Salfit, injure one
IMEMC 11 June — Israeli soldiers abducted, on Monday at dawn, three Palestinians, including a father and son, in Bethlehem and Salfit governorates, in the occupied West Bank, and injured a young man. The Bethlehem office of the Palestinian Prisoners’ Society (PPS) said the soldiers invaded the Saff Street, in the center of the city, searched homes and abducted Anas Mohammad Abu ‘Ahour, 22. Also in Bethlehem, the soldiers shot a young man, 20, with an expanding bullet in the left leg, before he was rushed to a local hospital. The Palestinian was with several other workers when he was shot in Wad al-Hummus area, near Al-Khass and an-No’man villages, east of Bethlehem.
The soldiers also invaded Qarawat Bani Hassan village, west of Salfit, searched a few homes and abducted a father, identified as Amin Mer‘ey, 60, in addition to his sons Mustafa and Abdul-Rahman. The father also has four other sons, who were abducted by the soldiers in previous invasions, and are still imprisoned.
Israeli forces detain Palestinian activist as he distributes food to Hebron families
BETHLEHEM (Ma‘an) 12 June — Israeli forces detained at least five Palestinians and set up flying checkpoints across the occupied West Bank during predawn raids on Tuesday, according to local sources.
In the northern West Bank district of Nablus, locals told Ma‘an that Israeli forces raided the Beit Dajan village and searched a house belonging to Radwan Abu Thabet and detained his son Suhaib, a former prisoner.
In the city of Hebron in the southern West Bank, Israeli forces detained three Palestinians, including an activist with the Youth Against Settlements (YAS) group. Locals told Ma‘an that Israeli forces detained 30-year-old YAS activist Muhammad al-Zughayyar, Ibrahim Jaber and Imad Azmi Abu Daoud, 19. YAS said that Israeli soldiers obstructed al-Zughayyar’s way while he was in the Tel Rumeida neighborhood of Hebron’s Old City, distributing food packages to families of the area. The group noted that al-Zughayyar has been detained several times by Israeli forces for his activism. YAS released a video filmed by the group of al-Zughayyar’s arrest: [below] Meanwhile, Israeli forces set up several flying checkpoints across Hebron City and at the entrances of the Sair and Halhoul towns, stopping and searching vehicles and ID cards of passengers.
Land, property theft & destruction / Ethnic cleansing / Settlements
Opinion: Israel’s new tool for dispossessing Palestinians / Amira Hass
Haaretz 13 June — Military order 1797 is one more item in Israel’s ‘toolbox’ to stop all Palestinian construction in the lion’s share of the West Bank — This week, a new military order is supposed to take effect that will make giant strides toward the vision of emptying Area C, which covers 60 percent of the West Bank, of Palestinians. In one stroke, the order effectively repeals Jordanian planning and construction law, which has hitherto been valid throughout the West Bank because it is occupied territory. The order also increases the power of Israel’s Civil Administration in the West Bank to demolish Palestinian buildings, cancels the right to a hearing and an appeal, and removes the court, with its power to intervene, from the arena. Order 1797, which deals with demolishing new construction, allows a Civil Administration inspector to issue demolition orders against any building that hasn’t yet been completed, any building that was completed less than six months earlier or any building that has been inhabited for less than 30 days. It authorizes the inspector to carry out the demolition within four days, unless either the builder can produce a construction permit, or the building is located within a detailed “planning program” or territory expropriated for military use. Those three exceptions are decisive proof that even though the settler media has expressed concern about this order, the Palestinians are its principal target, for all the old, well-known reasons … But it’s not just these exceptions which prove who the target audience for the new order is. This order, in violation of international law, negates the existing planning and building system in the West Bank and abolishes the right to appeal against planned demolitions or obtain a permit retroactively … The common denominator of all the tools in this toolbox is removing the courts from the picture….
Military order says Palestinians have 96 hours to appeal house demolition
AIC News 8 June by Corey Sherman — Even if Palestinians fulfill the appeal requirements put in place by military order 1797, Israeli authorities maintain complete authority to proceed with demolition — Two Jerusalem legal aid organizations will petition the Israeli Supreme Court to overturn a new military order which makes it possible for Israeli forces to demolish Palestinian homes in Area C within 96 hours after delivering demolition orders. The petition follows a formal letter the Jerusalem Legal Aid and Human Rights Center (JLAC) and the St. Yves Society sent to the Israeli defense ministry on June 4, 2018 in which they argue that the military order “blatantly violates…international law and contravenes existing local legislation.” The Coordinator of Government Activities in the Occupied Territories (COGAT) issued military order 1797 on April 17, 2018. COGAT, under the direct control of the Israeli defense ministry, runs civil affairs in the occupied West Bank. Order 1797 will go into effect on June 19, 2018. Under the order, COGAT excuses itself from informing Palestinian homeowners directly that their homes are slated for demolition. JLAC and St. Yves explain in a joint press release that Israeli authorities only require demolition orders be placed “next to” relevant structures 96 hours before Israeli forces arrive to execute demolitions. If a homeowner does catch wind of an impending demolition, he or she must present an approved master plan and building permit to appeal the demolition. Israel’s discriminatory housing policies in the West Bank ensure that this is an almost impossible requirement for the 300,000 Palestinians living in Area C, 60 percent of the West Bank, to fulfill….
Israeli high court to hear petition against eviction of East Jerusalem families
JERUSALEM (WAFA) 10 June – The Israeli High Court is scheduled on Sunday to hear a petition that could determine the fate of 70 Palestinian families from the East Jerusalem neighborhood of Silwan, after the families were given orders by the Israeli judiciary to leave their homes for the benefit of Israeli settlers, according to Wadi Hilweh Information Center. The petition was submitted by dozens of citizens of Batan al-Hawa, a section of Silwan, who represent hundreds of members of the 70 families slated for eviction, on the grounds that their homes were built on land that was allegedly owned by Jews before the creation of Israel in 1948. According to Israeli media sources, the eviction demand came from the Benvenisti Trust, established around 120 years ago by Jewish community leaders in Jerusalem for the purpose of building homes for Jews from Yemen. Since 2001, the right-wing Ateret Cohanim organization has controlled the trust. The petitioners are demanding that the High Court reverse the judgment awarding the land on which their homes are built, since the decision was inconsistent with the principles of good government.
Farmer defies army orders to leave his land despite his detention
HEBRON (WAFA) 9 June – A farmer and his wife defied orders by the Israeli army on Saturday to leave their land in the town of Beit Ummar, north of the southern West Bank city of Hebron, despite their detention for several hours, according to Mohammad Awad, a local activist. He told WAFA that soldiers raided the land of Ali Ayyad Awad, 54, while he and his wife, Amineh, 47, were attending to their land located near the illegal settlement of Karmi Tsur and ordered them to leave it. The soldiers told the farmers that they need to have an army permit to be in their land, which they rejected and insisted on staying and cultivating their land despite detaining them for a while and then releasing them on condition they do not return to their land without a permit. However, the Awads returned to their land and continued to work in it risking being detained once again, said the activist.
Residential structures near Jericho to be demolished
IMEMC/Agencies 10 June — Israeli forces served notices, on Sunday, ordering Palestinian Bedouin families living near the village of Nuway‘imah, to the north of Jericho in the West Bank, to leave the residential shacks where they live prior to demolishing them, according to local WAFA sources. Governor of Jericho Majed al-Fetyani condemned the Israeli military order, describing it as a “forcible transfer” of the original Palestinian population from the area….
Israeli military training destroying village crops
IMEMC/Agencies 11 June — Palestinian farmers in the northern West Bank town of ‘Aqraba, south of Nablus, complained on Monday that Israeli army military training, in their area, has destroyed their crops. WAFA reported that, according to Yousef Dirieh, an activist in the anti-settlement committee of Aqraba, the Israeli army was conducting training with live ammunition in Khirbet al-Tawil, an area in Aqraba. He said that the exercises are being conducted in the vicinity of residential homes and between them, and in agricultural land, destroying crops and causing serious loss to farmers.
Over 300 public figures from around the world: Forcible transfer of Khan al-Ahmar community a war crime
B”Tselem 11 June — Over 300 elected officials, legal scholars, academics, artists, faith leaders, and activists from around the world and Israel published an open letter voicing opposition to Israel’s plans to forcibly transfer thousands of Palestinians living in farming-shepherding communities in the West Bank. The letter focuses on Khan al-Ahmar in particular, a community under imminent threat of demolition and forcible transfer. Signatories include 90 members of parliament, many of whom are from the EU and UK Parliaments. Other notable signatories include ten Israel Prize laureates, playwright Eve Enslar, film directors Ken Loach, Amos Gitai, Costa-Gavras and Aki Kaurismäki, artists Marlene Dumas and Ai Weiwei, authors Alice Walker, Assaf Gavron and Iris Leal, choreographer Ohad Naharin, industrial designer Ron Arad, academics Noam Chomsky and Judith Butler, and musicians Peter Gabriel, Roger Waters and the members of Mashrou’ Leila. The letter states: “Forcible transfer – by direct physical force or by creating a coercive environment that makes residents leave their homes – is a war crime.” It goes on to detail the measures Israel employs to create this coercive environment, including “not allowing to build new private or public buildings, to be connected to water or power grids, or to pave access roads….
Israel’s solution for expelled Bedouin: between the garbage dump and junkyard
Haaretz 11 June by Amira Hass — The area designated for the Jahalin Bedouin evicted from their West Bank villages has become a slum as the shepherds must give up their flocks, unemployment surges and the status of women recedes — The Bedouin’s expulsion for a “permanent settlement,” now known as al-Jabal (the mountain), was carried out in three phases. The evacuated area was allotted to the West Bank settlement of Ma’aleh Adumim. Now that the High Court of Justice has let the state expel to that site a fourth wave of Bedouin families from Khan al-Ahmar, a Haaretz photographer and I came to appraise the neighborhood that the state lauds itself for setting up. It’s locked between the largest garbage dump in the West Bank to the east, and the Al-Eizariya car junkyard to the west … Social patterns dictate distance between men and women, based on the family, the clan and the tribe. Traditionally, women had a major role in earning the family’s living, when it was based on raising sheep and selling the dairy products. They looked after the sheep and goats when they returned from the pasture, milked them and produced cheese and yogurt, which was sold in the markets. The older women went to the markets themselves to sell their products to regular clients and marketers … Their living conditions were rough – no running water, electricity or sanitation; they had to walk to distant water sources, endure natural disasters, and sustain damage caused by the army and the encroaching settlements. But as shared breadwinners the women had freedom of movement and social- and self-esteem. Bedouin buying milk — In the semi-urban Jahalin neighborhood there is no room for flocks of sheep. “We buy milk. Imagine that – Bedouin buying milk!” says Hind Abu Ghalia. She has lived in the neighborhood most of her life but feels the absurdity of this reality. “Today woman have a lot of free time. In the past they took part in the work. Economically, a man couldn’t make it without his wife. Today the woman is only at home with no work opportunities,” Salaila says….
Israel illegally confiscates 24 dunums of lands near Nablus
IMEMC 13 June — Israeli soldiers illegally confiscated, Tuesday, 24 Dunams of Palestinian land in Jabal Sbeih area of Beita village, south of the northern West Bank city of Nablus. Ghassan Daghlas, a Palestinian Authority official who monitors Israeli colonialist activities in the occupied West Bank, said the soldiers handed Beita Town Council a military order for the annexation of 24.5 Dunams of lands, owned by Palestinians from Beita and Qabalan. Daghlas added that the order cited “urgent military considerations” for the annexation of the Palestinian lands, and only comes a few days after the soldiers placed several mobile homes on the lands. The head of Beita Municipality Fuad Ma’ali said the council was surprised by the military order, and added that the council was officially informed about the annexation by the Palestinian District Coordination Office after the latter was informed by its Israeli counterpart. Ma’ali said the Israeli order is illegal, adding that the council will counter it with all possible means.
Israeli forces evict settlers in West Bank land dispute case
NETIV HA’AVOT, West Bank (Reuters) 12 June by Dedi Hayun — Israeli security forces on Tuesday began evicting Jewish settlers from 15 homes which Israel’s highest court ruled were built illegally on privately-owned Palestinian land in the occupied West Bank. Under a Supreme Court order, the 15 dwellings are to be demolished within the next few days. Hundreds of young pro-settlement activists gathered on Tuesday in several of the homes slated for demolition. Some of the protesters climbed onto the roof of one dwelling and hoisted Israeli flags. A few scuffles ensued with police but for the most part, demonstrators offered passive resistance and were carried away by officers who grabbed hold of their arms and legs. In one home, an Israeli policeman hugged a weeping man as he escorted him out … The entire Netiv Ha’avot settlement was built without official Israeli authorization, but the government has retroactively agreed to allow the rest of the community to stay once the 15 homes built on private Palestinian land come down …
Palestinians dismissed the dismantling of a small number of homes as an empty gesture. Wassel Abu Youssef, a Palestine Liberation Organization official, said: “All settlement is illegal and must be removed. Israel is trying to fool world public opinion by removing some homes here and there while it continues to build settlements.” The Israeli government has announced a plan to pay compensation to the families whose homes are to be razed and rehouse them on adjacent tracts not owned by individual Palestinians.
Israel to pay $16.7m to settlers after demolishing their illegal homes
MEMO 12 June — Israel will pay 60 million shekels ($16.7 million) in compensation to illegal settler families whose houses are being demolished today. Fifteen buildings in the illegal Israeli settlement of Netiv HaAvot, south of Bethlehem in the occupied West Bank, are due to be demolished by the Israeli government because they are built on private Palestinian land. The structures will be rebuilt nearby on land that is “not privately owned” but still within the occupied West Bank. The move to demolish the houses has been widely protested by the settlers and right-wing Israeli ministers, including Israel’s Education Minister and leader of the orthodox Jewish Home party, Naftali Bennett….
Why Israel refuses to complete West Bank security fence
Al-Monitor 10 June by Mazal Mualem — Israeli settlers and right-wing political parties fear that the West Bank security fence will serve as a proposed border line in future negotiations with the Palestinians — On June 6, the Knesset voted down for the third time a proposed bill by opposition lawmaker Omer Barlev of the Zionist Camp mandating completion of the barrier between Israel and the West Bank, which he views as vital for terrorism prevention. Opposition to the bill was led by the three main coalition parties: Likud, HaBayit HaYehudi and Yisrael Beitenu….
RealNews 10 June — Omar Shakir, director for Human Rights Watch in Israel-Palestine discusses an investigative report on the illegal role of International and Israeli banks in the West Bank — … So our report documented the role of Israel’s seven largest banks, who are directly and substantially involved in activities and settlements … And the case of banks, they’re involved in four sets of activities in the West Bank that raise significant concern, and put it in violation of its international legal obligations. First of all, as you mentioned, they operate bank branches in settlements. But that actually might be the least of their violations. More substantially, actually, they provide loans to settlement regional councils. So they’re directly providing loans to the governing authority that oversees settlements, which again is used to further establish settlements. In addition, they actually provide mortgages to homeowners, to settlers, to purchase homes on Palestinian land. So again, this is Israelis purchasing homes on land confiscated, taken from Palestinians, which Palestinians cannot access. And maybe most significantly, they’re actually directly partnering in construction projects. So you have banks that actually will take ownership of territory after it’s taken by the Israeli authorities, and will play a direct role in the process of providing finance, mortgage, et cetera, and taking ownership of the land before it’s eventually sold to an Israeli settler. So that makes it a really substantial and direct connection, and makes it a contributor to war crimes, and other serious violations of international law and human rights….
A Muslim among Israeli settlers – Wajahat Ali
The Atlantic June 2018 — What happens when a Pakistani-American writer goes deep into the West Bank? — I was here to report on Jewish settlers, the 600,000 citizens of Israel living beyond its pre-1967 borders. My main concern was whether the normally guarded and cautious settler community would open up and talk to me: a brown-skinned, practicing Muslim from the United States … The Muslim Leadership Initiative didn’t turn me into a Zionist “interfaith Trojan horse” — as I’ve been described by a few Muslim and Arab American activists. Quite the opposite — my experience in Israel underscored for me the urgency of working out how Palestinians could emerge from under the often-brutal Israeli occupation. I also remain committed to keeping this conflict from continually leaching into America, poisoning the relations between the religions and inspiring the worst, drunk angels of Jewish and Muslim communities to rise and fight in a Pyrrhic battle. But what my first trip with the initiative did for me was this: It turned the Jews into complicated humans. It exposed me to their narratives. On my first trip, I was overwhelmed by the reality that this mess seemed unfixable. But I was also overwhelmed by what I discovered was a gap in my knowledge … For my most recent trip, I wanted to go where the deepest fault lines — and what I believe is the biggest impediment to peace — lie: the settlements in the West Bank, the home of the several hundred thousand Jews who have moved to the heart of what is, legally, Palestine…
VIDEO: Israeli settlers in the occupied West Bank by Wajahat Ali
The Atlantic 10 May – Some of Ali’s trip: interviews with a variety of people, ending with the leader of Roots, which brings Israelis and Palestinians together for dialogue.
Court actions / Prisoners
State appeals for harsher punishment for border cop who killed Palestinian
Times of Israel 10 June by Judah Ari Gross — State prosecutors on Sunday called for the High Court to extend the sentence of a Border Police officer who shot dead a teenage Palestinian protester in the West Bank in 2014 in what was ruled to be criminal negligence. Seventeen-year-old Nadeem Siam Nawara was shot during a Nakba Day demonstration in the West Bank village of Beitunia, near Ramallah, on May 15, 2014. In April, border guard Ben Deri was sentenced to nine months in prison after being convicted of “causing death by negligence.” Deri used live ammunition instead of rubber bullets, and the court ruled he unnecessarily opened fire at Nawara, who did not represent a threat at the time. The Jerusalem District Court ruled that the two months Deri had already spent in jail counted towards time served, meaning he will leave prison in approximately seven months — unless he is granted an early release by a parole board at the end of August, when he will have served two-thirds of his sentence. In addition to his prison sentence, Deri was ordered to pay NIS 50,000 ($14,000) to Nawara’s family in damages.
In its appeal to the High Court of Justice, the state prosecution argued that the Jerusalem District Court’s sentence “does not sufficiently reflect the severity of the incident for which Deri was convicted.” The appeal alleged that the Jerusalem court also did not take into account the “significant consideration” of Deri’s punishment serving as a deterrent to others against committing similar crimes. “The lower court needed to set a much harsher sentence than it did,” lead prosecutor Yosef Esh wrote….
Israeli rights group writes to attorney general over Umm al-Hiran killing
MEMO 12 June — Adalah–The Legal Centre for Arab Minority Rights in Israel has sent an urgent letter to the Israeli attorney general demanding “the opening of an independent, neutral examination into the critically-flawed investigation” of the Israeli police’s killing of a Palestinian citizen in Umm al-Hiran [in the Negev] in 2017. The move comes just days after Haaretz newspaper revealed what Adalah described as “a series of flaws, conflicts of interest, and obstruction of justice” in the original investigation. In January 2017, Israeli police shot and killed 50-year-old Bedouin math teacher Ya‘akub Abu al-Qi‘an during a large-scale house demolition operation in Umm al-Hiran, a village that is slated to be destroyed so that a new Jewish community can be built in its place. As Adalah relates, “eyewitness testimony from the scene and visual evidence – including a video released by Israeli police – all clearly indicate that officers opened fire on Abu al-Qi‘an as he drove through his village, despite the fact that he posed no danger to anyone”. In addition, “testimony also indicates that Abu al-Qi‘an lay wounded in his vehicle at the scene for three hours while police officers prevented paramedics from providing urgent care or evacuating him. As a direct result of this withholding of urgent medical care, Abu al-Qi‘an died in his vehicle”. Last month, Israeli State Prosecutor Shai Nitzan announced that the investigation revealed “no reasonable suspicion that police officers involved in the incident committed any criminal acts”.
Over 309 administrative detention orders issued since February
IMEMC/Agencies 10 June — Israeli Prison Services (IPS) has issued more than 309 administrative detention orders since the decision to boycott administrative trials by administrative detainees, last February, the Palestine Detainees Center for Studies reported Saturday. According to Al Ray Palestinian Media Agency, spokesperson for the center Reyad Al-Ashqar said in a press release, Saturday, that the occupation powers violate all the norms and limitations established by international treaties to limit the use of administrative detention policy and uses it as a collective punishment against the Palestinians. He noted that IPS has issued more than 4.000 administrative detention orders during the last three years, 456 of which were issued since the beginning of 2018, against ex-detainees who are again taken into custody. Al-Ashqar considers the issuing of administrative detention orders against detainees (i.e., without appearing for trial and without access to legal representation) is clear evidence of formalism, stressing that the trial has already fabricated, and Israeli intelligence stands behind the trials. Palestinian administrative detainees boycotted the administrative trials to shed light on the case, forcing the Palestinian Authority and international institutions to shoulder their responsibility toward their ongoing plight.
Total of 135 Palestinians killed by Israel since March 30, says Ministry of Health
RAMALLAH/GAZA (WAFA) 9 June – A total of 135 Palestinians were killed by the Israeli army in the West Bank and Gaza Strip since the start of the March of Return protests on March 30, according to the latest statistics by the Ministry of Health. Out of the 135, a total of 127 were killed in the Gaza Strip protests, including the four shot and killed on Friday, it said. In addition, said the ministry, 14,700 casualties with different injuries and gas suffocation were recorded in the Gaza Strip protests since March 30.
Data on the last Friday protests in Gaza showed that in addition to the four killed, 618 were wounded and suffered from gas suffocation including 48 children and 20 women. As for severity in injuries, the ministry said one is very critical, 8 serious, 125 medium and 120 minor. Cause of injuries: 117 live ammunition, 21 shrapnel, 56 other injuries and 60 from gas. Location of injury in the body: 10 in the neck and head, 23 in the upper limbs, 10 in the back and chest, 8 in the abdomen and pelvis, 122 in the lower limbs, 60 from inhaling gas and 21 in multiple places.
IDF confirms opening fire at Palestinians preparing explosive balloons in Gaza
Ynet 9 June by Yoav Zitun — The IDF confirmed Saturday that one of its aircraft fired warning shots at group of Palestinians working on preparing explosive balloons in Gaza. “The IDF views the use of explosive balloons and incendiary kites gravely and will act to prevent use of them,” the army said.
Israel limits entrance of helium into Gaza after balloons scorch south
Times of Israel 12 June by Judah Ari Gross — Defense Ministry warns supply of the gas, also used for medical purposes, will be cut off entirely if arson attacks continue — Israel on Tuesday announced it was limiting the entrance of helium into the Gaza Strip after Palestinians in the coastal enclave used the gas to fill incendiary balloons that were flown into southern Israel, sparking a number of large fires. The decision was implemented by Israel’s military liaison to the Palestinians, Maj. Gen. Kamil Abu Rokon, with approval from Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman. The liaison unit was not limiting the entrance of helium to a specific amount, but instead was planning to be more critical in assessing the requests made by hospitals and medical facilities in the Gaza Strip to ensure that the gas was being used for the correct purposes and not for arson balloons … The gas is used for a number of medical purposes, notably for magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) machines, which use a liquid form of helium for cooling.
IN PICTURES: Flaming kites in the eyes of Gaza-vicinity photographers
Yedioth Ahronoth 11 June — The camera can’t convey the smell of smoke, nor the feeling of anger, pain and helplessness, but it accurately perpetuates the reality of life in communities on the Gaza border: The yellow fields painted black, the scorched nature reserves, and the firefighters and farmers together trying to save what they still can.
Israel says it destroys land-to-sea Hamas tunnel
JERUSALEM (AP) 10 June by Ian Deitch — Israel destroyed a tunnel dug by Hamas leading from Gaza into the Mediterranean Sea intended for use by the Islamic militant group that rules the territory to carry out attacks, the military said Sunday. Military spokesman Lt. Col. Jonathan Conricus said that last week aircraft struck a position belonging to Hamas’ naval forces in northern Gaza that incapacitated its first-of-a-kind tunnel to the sea. He said it was designed to allow divers to slip out of Gaza and attack Israeli targets. The tunnel was dug about 3 kilometers south of the border with Israel and stretched dozens of meters (yards) into the sea, he said … A senior Israeli military official, speaking anonymously in line with protocol, said Hamas has dozens of frogmen and the assumption is that there are other undersea tunnels. He said they had diving gear that doesn’t leave a trace above water. Channel 10 TV’s military correspondent said the entrance point of the tunnel was inside a Gaza house enabling Hamas to evade suspicion by entering the building in civilian clothes and once inside put on their diving suits and gear up with weapons.
Israeli soldiers conduct a limited invasion into central Gaza
IMEMC 11 June — Several armored Israeli military vehicles invaded, Monday, Palestinian agricultural lands, east of the al-Boreij refugee camp in central Gaza, and bulldozed sections near the border fence while firing live rounds. Media sources said the invasion was carried out by four tanks and three D9 armored military bulldozers. They added that the vehicles advanced approximately 150 meters into the agricultural lands, east of the refugee camp. The soldiers bulldozed large sections of the invaded lands, and installed sand hills and barbed-wire fences, before firing live rounds at random while military drones flew overhead
Monetary Authority replaces damaged paper money in Gaza with new ones
RAMALLAH (WAFA) 12 June – The Palestinian Monetary Authority (PMA), which functions as a central bank, has succeeded in replacing damaged paper money notes of different currencies in Gaza with new ones, PMA Governor Azzam Shawwa said on Tuesday. “Extensive efforts exerted by the Monetary Authority with all concerned parties to meet the needs of the citizens in the Gaza Strip and alleviate their suffering resulted in the replacement of damaged currencies with new paper money notes, including small ones,” he said in a statement. He said damaged notes in US dollar and Jordanian dinar were removed from the market in Gaza. Gaza is under strict Israeli blockade since 2006 and entry of money into Gaza requires Israeli approval, which is usually difficult to obtain.
Gaza ‘souperman’ fills bellies, lifts spirits
GAZA (Gulf News) 11 June by Abeer Ayoub — In the eastern neighbourhood of Al Shuja‘iya, retired policeman Waleed Al Hattab ignites a large fire pit in front of his house to start preparing his speciality: groat soup. The 55-year-old begins adding the ingredients and stirs patiently over an enormous pot large enough to feed the neighbourhood. And this is exactly what Al Hattab does. Every day, he and his son Mohammad, labour over the soup and distribute it as charity for needy families who often cannot afford meals. The neighbourhood children line up every day around the same time with their empty bowls, hoping to get a taste of the delicious offering and bring some back for their families. After retiring, Al Hattab was struggling with boredom and searching for ways to fill his time. “One day I was sitting in the house with nothing to do and decided I wanted to help others in my neighbourhood,” he told Gulf News. “I brought some groats home and began cooking them. My children were shocked as I don’t usually cook, but I told them it was for the needy people around the neighbourhood.” He borrowed a large pot from a neighbour and bought a big quantity of groats from his own money. Others in the neighbourhood, inspired by Al Hattab’s act of kindness, began helping him by donating money, so he could sustain the soup charity throughout Ramadan. Once news of Al Hattab’s soup project spread, Palestinians from other neighbourhoods in Gaza began flocking Al Shuja‘iyah to get a taste. Manal Al Saeedi, a 50-year-old mother of 10, came all the way from Al Buraij camp in the south of Gaza to collect soup for her family….
Gaza students defy daily challenges to do well in Catholic-run school
JERUSALEM (Catholic News Service) 10 June by Judith Sudilovsky — Messelem Abu Mutlak, a 15-year-old student at the Rosary Sisters School in Gaza, fantasizes about being a champion goalkeeper and when he is not studying, he dedicates himself to improve his soccer skills. Abu Mutlak’s real dream though, is to study computer science at Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Boston. However, the reality of his life as a young man living in Gaza is that no matter how much effort he puts into his studies and getting good grades, he has about as much chance of going to MIT as he does of becoming a star goalkeeper … Though it can be “devastating” to hear about the situation along the border, the Rosary School students interviewed – all Muslims, as are the majority of the students at the school – said it was clear to them they can help the Palestinian cause by getting an education and contributing to society in the future. “You can’t really focus … when I know some people are getting killed on the border but I don’t go to demonstrations. I don’t want to go and my parents don’t want me to go. I can give more to my society alive than dead, though I can’t be sure of what my future will be. If the border is not open, where can I go?” said Jaafar Abu Cumboz, 15, who wants to be a surgeon….
Palestinian refugees – Jordan / Syria
Jordan charity gathers hotel leftovers to feed poor
AMMAN (Reuters) 12 June — At the end of a lavish Ramadan buffet in the banquet hall of one of Amman’s five-star hotels, a young Jordanian charity worker rushes to gather up left-over food that his team of volunteers will package and redistribute to needy families. Bandar Sharif began his ‘Family Kitchen’ initiative 10 years ago, angered by the amount of food thrown away by hotels during the Muslim fasting month of Ramadan, traditionally a period when consumption levels double across the region … His team of volunteers now works all year round to collect unwanted food from large wedding parties, bakeries and restaurants. This year the initiative has focused on the Palestinian refugee camp of Baqaa, one of the depressed areas in a country that has seen some of the biggest protests in years this month over steep price hikes, which are backed by the International Monetary Fund … Family Kitchen’s initiative this year provides ‘iftar’ meals – eaten by Muslims after sunset during the holy month of Ramadan – to 500 families in the impoverished refugee camp on the outskirts of Amman. A third of the camp’s 120,000 residents have an income below the national poverty line and around 17 percent are unemployed, the U.N refugee body says. “Our families are very poor, there is a lot of poverty in the community, so they need this support, they need these meals in order to ensure that they have food the next day,” said Kifah Khamis, who runs a charity in the sprawling camp….
Palestinian refugees face further displacements in Syria
MEMO 13 June — Palestinians who fled the besieged and now destroyed Yarmouk refugee camp in the outskirts of Damascus face further displacement as they have been ordered to leave the homes in which they took refuge in the surrounding towns. As displaced Syrians return to their homes, many have given the Palestinian occupants two weeks to vacate properties and find alternatives, leaving the refugees in a dire situation and risking homelessness. Fleeing Palestinians moved to Babbila, Yalda and Beit Sahem in the south of Damascus are unable to return to Yarmouk as the refugee camp has been completely destroyed, with the Director General of the Political Department of the Palestine Liberation Organization Anwar Abdul Hadi saying that the process of reopening roads and removing the rubble in the area will begin after the Muslim festivl of Eid this weekend.
Palestinian cultural groups urge Eurovision to boycott Israel
MEMO 12 June — Palestinian cultural groups and journalists are urging a boycott of the 2019 Eurovision Song Contest to be hosted by Israel, in a new statement published Tuesday. The statement, signed by the Palestinian Journalists’ Syndicate and network of Palestinian cultural organizations, “call on members of the European Broadcasting Union (EBU), participating states, contestants and the wider public” to boycott the event. “Would the Eurovision have held the contest in apartheid South Africa?” the statement asks. According to the groups, “Israel’s regime of military occupation, settler-colonialism and apartheid is shamelessly using Eurovision as part of its official Brand Israel strategy, which tries to show ‘Israel’s prettier face’ to whitewash and distract attention from its war crimes against Palestinians”. The statement notes that, while “Israel has announced that the mega event will take place in Jerusalem”, regardless of where the event is held, “this contest must be boycotted to avoid complicity and business-as-usual with this regime and to avoid irreversibly tarnishing the Eurovision brand with Israel’s egregious human rights record”….
US seeks UN vote on condemning Hamas over Gaza
UNITED NATIONS (United States) (AFP) 12 June — US Ambassador Nikki Haley slammed Tuesday a UN draft resolution condemning Israel for Palestinian deaths in Gaza as “fundamentally imbalanced” and instead proposed condemning Hamas for the violence. The General Assembly is set to vote on the Arab-backed measure on Wednesday after more than 120 Palestinians were killed by Israeli fire during protests near the border with Gaza since the end of March. In a letter sent to fellow ambassadors, Haley said the United States had presented an amendment to the draft resolution that condemns Hamas for firing rockets at Israel and “inciting violence” along the border with Gaza. The 193-nation assembly will vote on the US-drafted amendment before the vote on the resolution … The draft text condemns Israel’s use of “excessive, disproportionate and indiscriminate force” against Palestinian civilians, but also deplores the firing of rockets by Palestinian militants into Israel. However, it does not specifically mention Hamas….
Over 1,500 demonstate in Ramallah calling on Abbas to lift sanctions on Gaza
Haaretz 11 June by Amira Hass — Over 1,500 people demonstrated in the West Bank city of Ramallah on Sunday night calling for Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas to lift punitive sanctions imposed on Gaza in an attempt to weaken Hamas, the rival Palestinian faction that rules the Strip. Because of the measures put in place by Abbas, PA employees in the Strip experience delays in the payment of their salaries or outright cuts. April salaries, for instance, have only recently been paid and not even in full, while May salaries are yet to be paid. This wage freeze makes the situation of most families in the Gaza Strip even more problematic, and has coincided with the so-called “Great March of Return” which began at the end of March. The demonstration on Sunday night followed a call on social media by several artists, journalists and activists. It is the biggest popular show of solidarity toward Gaza seen in the West Bank since the beginning of the “Great March of Return” in Gaza. Several Palestinian residents of Jerusalem who came to Ramallah just for the occasion also participated to the march … Demonstrators chanted slogans in support of Gaza and carried posters with the image of Razan al-Najjar, a Palestinian paramedic who died after being shot in the chest on June 1. Some slogans targeted the Palestinian Authority accusing it of being a “contractor of the occupation” while the Gaza Strip is revolting, and calling for an end to security coordination with Israel….
Israeli law allowing deduction of money paid to families of prisoners is outright theft, says official
RAMALLAH (WAFA) 11 June – An Israeli law that allows the government to deduct welfare payments to families of Palestinian prisoners and those killed by Israelis is outright theft, Monday said Hanan Ashrawi, member of the Executive Committee of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO). Ashrawi condemned the Israeli parliament’s adoption on Monday in the second and third reading of a draft law that would allow Israel to deduct the amount of the welfare payments from custom revenues transferred to the Palestinian government by Israel. “Such a bill is an egregious violation of international law and international humanitarian law and constitutes a collective punishment of the Palestinian people other than being outright theft,” she said in a statement. Israel, which controls all borders and movement in and out of the occupied Palestinian territory, collects customs on behalf of the Palestinian government on imported goods through its ports and destined to the Palestinian areas. It charges in return an excessive amount of 3% of the total. It is required by the Oslo agreement to transfer the money it collects, which amounts to more than $100 million a month, to the Palestinian Authority. However, it often gives itself the liberty to deduct from it whatever it deems as debt by Palestinians to Israelis….
Israel: Social media monitoring nabs would-be attackers
JERUSALEM (AP) 12 June by Josef Federman — Israeli authorities have foiled over 200 Palestinian attacks by monitoring social media and sifting through vast amounts of data to identify prospective assailants ahead of time, according to Israel’s public security minister. These pre-emptive actions put Israel at the forefront of an increasingly popular — and controversial — trend used by intelligence and law enforcement agencies around the world that use big data technology to track would-be criminals. While the technology appears to be effective, its tactics drew angry Palestinian condemnation and have raised questions about civil liberties. Public Security Minister Gilad Erdan, who oversees the national police force, said Israel’s use of algorithms and other technology has been an important factor in lowering the number of knife and shooting attacks in Israel in recent years. He planned on sharing Israel’s knowledge with counterparts at an international security conference he is hosting that begins Tuesday … But Hanan Ashrawi, a senior Palestinian official in the West Bank, called the Israeli profiling techniques “horrific” and an “added dimension” to Israeli control over Palestinian lives. “They are trying to justify the various ways in which they violate the Palestinian people’s rights, including the right to due process and the right to privacy, using Facebook and using social media as a means of gleaning information to prove people’s guilt ahead of time,” she said … There were no figures on how many innocent people were misidentified as potential suspects. But Erdan’s office said in such cases, the people are quickly released. Both the Justice Ministry and Shin Bet did not respond to requests for comment. Ashrawi, the Palestinian official, questioned the claims that suspects had confessed, saying anyone can be pressured into confessing to anything. She also noted that Palestinians are subject to Israel’s military court system, which has a near 100 percent conviction rate. “What is incredible to me, the rest of the world is not horrified by what is happening here,” she said….
Mufti calls for watching for the new moon on Thursday evening
JERUSALEM (WAFA) 12 June – The Grand Mufti of Jerusalem and the Holy Land, Sheikh Muhammad Hussein, called on the public on Tuesday to be on the watch for the birth of the new moon as of Thursday evening. If the new moon is seen, it means the end of the holy fast month of Ramadan and the start of the three-day Eid al-Fitr holiday. Muslims follow the lunar calendar, which means each month is decided when it starts and ends based on the birth of a new moon. Even though the public is called upon to watch for the new moon, Palestine, as most Arab and Islamic countries, normally follows what Saudi Arabia decides on this matter. The Palestinian government has already declared a five-day holiday marking Eid al-Fitr starting Thursday and ending Monday.
West Bank city becomes shopper’s paradise for Palestinians living in Israel
RAMALLAH, West Bank (Al-Monitor) 12 June by Ahmad Melhem — After years of stagnation following extensive damage and destruction by the Israeli military during the second intifada (2000-2005), Jenin currently finds itself in the midst of an economic renaissance, having emerged as a thriving retail shopping hub. Each year, hundreds of thousands of Palestinians from Israel cross the Green Line to frequent businesses and shops there, along with Palestinians from elsewhere on the West Bank. Both are attracted primarily by the affordable prices. Palestinians living in Israel access the West Bank city through the Jalama checkpoint … In 2017, Mohammed Kamil, the director general of the Jenin Chamber of Commerce and Industry, cited Israeli figures in announcing that Palestinians living in Israel spent $365 million on the other side of the Green Line in 2016….
Birzeit University ranks as one of the top universities worldwide
RAMALLAH (WAFA) 11 June — Birzeit University (BZU), located north of the West Bank city of Ramallah, was ranked by Quacquarelli Symonds (QS), in its 2019 World University Rankings, in the top 2.7% of universities worldwide, making it the only Palestinian university to be included in the 2019 rankings, according to a BZU press release. This is the second year in a row BZU is ranked as one of the top universities worldwide and one of the leading universities in the Arab world. Last year it was classified in the top 3% of higher education institutions in the world. QS World University Rankings is known as one of the top three most respected international university rankings. It is published annually both in regional and international formats by Quacquarelli Symonds – a prominent British company specializing in higher education. Per the 2019 edition of the rankings, Birzeit University was able to claim a leading spot among the 26,000 universities surveyed, securing a position in the 801-1000 range, which included universities from 85 countries around the world….
Turkish aid body opens language lab in West Bank
JERICHO, Palestine (AA) 11 June by Qays Abu Samra & Hamdi Yildiz — Turkey’s state aid agency on Monday opened a facility in the West Bank to help Palestinian military personnel communicate better on the world stage. Keman Ozdemir, the head of the Turkish Cooperation and Coordination Agency’s (TIKA) Middle East and Africa Department, attended the opening ceremony in Jericho, the West Bank, along with other TIKA and Palestinian officials. Citing TIKA’s more than 500 projects in Palestine since 2005, Ozdemir said he hoped the multilingual facility may help Palestinian officers communicate more effectively to world media. Yousuf al-Hilu, the head of Palestine’s military training committee, thanked Turkey and TIKA, saying that the lab will enhance the soldiers’ careers.
EU provides around €15 million to support families in need in Palestine
JERUSALEM (WAFA) 11 June — The European Union (EU) made a contribution of €15 million to the Palestinian Authority payment of social allowances to poor families in the West Bank and Gaza Strip, according to an EU press release. It will contribute to payments made to around 65,839 families of which 80% live in the Gaza Strip.
Poll shows deep divisions between Israelis and American Jews
JERUSALEM (AP) 10 June — An opinion poll published Sunday shows deep divisions between Israelis and American Jews, particularly in relation to President Donald Trump, highlighting the growing rift between the world’s two largest Jewish communities. The survey of the American Jewish Committee showed 77 percent of Israelis approved of the president’s handling of U.S.-Israel relations, while only 34 percent of American Jews did. Fifty-seven percent of U.S. Jews disapproved, while only 10 percent of Israelis did. The polarizing Trump recently recognized Jerusalem as Israel’s capital and relocated the American Embassy there, upending decades of U.S. foreign policy and an international consensus that the city’s fate should be decided through peace negotiations. The Palestinians, who claim east Jerusalem as their future capital, were outraged by the move and cut all contacts with the U.S. in response. Eighty-five percent of Israelis supported the embassy move, while only 46 percent of American Jews did … Experts have been warning for years that the two communities are drifting in opposite directions politically, undermining the kinship between the two groups, which make up the vast majority of Jews in the world. The poll showed 59 percent of Americans favoring the establishment of a Palestinian state alongside Israel but only 44 percent of Israelis supporting the idea….
US official eyes Israel’s Egypt border for Mexico wall ideas: radio
JERUSALEM (Reuters) 12 June by Dan Williams – U.S. Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen inspected Israel’s fenced-off border with Egypt on Tuesday for ideas for the U.S. border with Mexico, where President Donald Trump has pledged to build a wall, Israel Radio reported … Nielsen confirmed her visit in remarks to an international homeland security conference in Jerusalem later in the day. “Border security is national security. Our Israeli partners know that better than anyone and I was fortunate today to see the incredible work they’re doing to keep their territory and citizens safe,” she said….