Sheren Khalel


Nasser al-Qudwa, spokesperson for the Palestinian party Fatah, said that if the Trump administration follows through on the congressional effort to shut down the PLO mission in Washington, D.C., “there will be a serious repercussion” — possibly the collapse of the efforts by Trump’s negotiating team of Jared Kushner and Jason Greenblatt to restart peace talks between Israelis and Palestinians.

Salwa Salem-Copty hopes to someday return to live in her family’s village in the north of Israel, but at 70 years old, she thinks it is unlikely. Instead she has one request — she would like to be allowed to visit the grave of her father, who was killed when a bus full of workers traveling to Haifa was attacked in April 1948. Salwa was never allowed to visit her father’s grave. Today, now a grandmother, she is still fighting for that right.

United States Rep. Betty McCollum (D-MN) introduced on Tuesday a bill to the U.S. House of Representatives that seeks to bar U.S. government aid and funding from supporting Israeli military detentions of Palestinian children and their prosecution under Israel’s military court system. The legislation is said to be the first time a bill on Palestinian human rights has ever been introduced to U.S. Congress.

Israeli authorities announced on Sunday evening that Israeli forces recovered the bodies of five missing Palestinians who had been trapped, without access to rescue crews, in a tunnel bombed by Israeli forces on Oct. 30. Adalah, the Legal Center for Arab Minority Rights in Israel and the Gaza-based Al Mezan Center for Human Rights had filed a petition with the Israeli Supreme Court demanding official Palestinian emergency responders be allowed to carry out a rescue mission but never received a response. Adalah Attorney Muna Haddad said preventing rescue crews from entering the bombed area when people were known to be trapped in rubble, could constitute a war crime.

As the hundred year anniversary of the Balfour Declaration takes way, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah, as well as various other Palestinian politicians are calling on the United Kingdom to not only apologize to the Palestinian people for the “suffering” caused by the declaration, but to also recognize Palestine as a state. Meanwhile, the UK is planning quite the opposite, as Israeli Prime Minister heads to a state dinner organized by UK Prime Minister Theresa May to celebrate the centennial.

Israeli border authorities on Monday denied entry to Raed Jarrar, an American citizen and the advocacy director for the Middle East and North Africa at Amnesty International USA. Jarrar was on his way his way to be with family and grieve the recent death of his father, but was instead turned back to Jordan, as Israeli authorities refused to allow him entry. In a statement released by Amnesty condemning the denial, the group said Jarrar’s refusal was a “retaliation against the organization’s human rights work.” Meanwhile, Israel’s Foreign Ministry told local media that Jarrar, whose family is originally Palestinian, was denied on a personal basis due to his alleged “BDS activities.”

Israeli cabinet members on Sunday will vote on a bill seeking to annex large swaths of land into the Jerusalem municipality. The bill, coined the “Greater Jerusalem Bill,” will go to Knesset vote after what is expected to be an approval by the cabinet, however moving through the Knesset could prove difficult, as religious hardliners fear a change in the Jewish Israeli demographics of the city. The controversial Likud-backed bill would bring at least 19 illegal Israeli settlements and outposts under Jerusalem jurisdiction and sever three Palestinian communities from the municipality.