President Donald J. Trump and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel at the United Nations General Assembly. Photo: White House
The Israeli newspaper Israel Hayom, owned by top Trump donor Sheldon Adelson, has published in Hebrew a leaked draft of the Trump administration’s “Deal of the Century” for the Israel-Palestine conflict. The draft was given to the newspaper by an official from Israel’s Foreign Ministry, which is currently headed by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. The plan, which has been drafted by President Donald Trump’s son-in-law Jared Kushner and Jason Greenblatt, is expected to be released this June after the conclusion of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan, according to Mondoweiss.
The draft plan published by Israel Hayom, while in keeping with many of the details that have been leaked to the press in past weeks and months, contains several new and troubling claims, including the Trump administration’s plan to force Palestinian leadership to accept the plan through threats of economic strangulation and military force. Continue reading →
The grandchildren of Holocaust survivors from world war ii are doing to the Palestinians exactly what was done to them by Nazi Germany. Photo: Mashahed’s Photos/flickr
Human rights groups demanded accountability and justice for victims on Thursday after United Nations investigators said Israeli troops may have committed war crimes during anti-occupation protests in Gaza last year.
“The Israeli security forces killed and maimed Palestinian demonstrators who did not pose an imminent threat of death or serious injury to others when they were shot, nor were they directly participating in hostilities,” the U.N. officials wrote in a new report (pdf), which relied on interviews, thousands of documents, and video footage showing Israeli soldiers using live ammunition against Palestinians—including children, journalists, and medical workers. Continue reading →
Israeli snipers killed at least 16 Palestinians and injured hundreds more as an estimated 20,000 gathered along the Gaza-Israel border for the launch of the six-week “March of Great Return” on Friday. “Dozens of signs have been set up across the border in Arabic, Hebrew, and English, saying ‘We are not here to fight; we are here to return to our lands.'”
An estimated 20,000 Palestinians marched along the Gaza-Israel border on Friday. (Photo: Ma’an News Agency)
UPDATE: Today’s death toll has risen to 16 with many hundreds more wounded.
With worries that numbers will continue to rise, Israeli snipers killed at least nine Palestinians and injured hundreds more as an estimated 20,000 gathered along the Gaza-Israel border for the launch of the six-week “March of Great Return” on Friday.
Having announced his intention to move the U.S. embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem in December of last year, reversing years of U.S. policy and violating international law, President Donald Trump seems determined to further rub salt in the wound.
He announced weeks ago that the new embassy would open on May 15. No more provocative a date could have been chosen.
May 15 marks 70 years since the state of Israel was established in a process that saw 750,000 Palestinians expelled from their homes and over 450 towns and villages destroyed. Continue reading →
Rather than heeding the warnings from the UN to open up Gaza’s blockade and allow vital aid, what we have witnessed over the course of the last decade is a periodic all-out Israeli assault on Gaza’s vital infrastructure.
Palestinian children fill their bottles with water from a UNICEF tap in Rafah in the southern Gaza Strip. Photo: UNICEF
Near the end of last month, Haaretz reported that, according to an expert hydrologist, 97 percent of Gaza’s drinking water has been contaminated by sewage and salt. The UN also confirmed that this was the case early last year, and clearly, the situation has remained unchanged even up until 2018. Robert Piper, the UN’s local coordinator for humanitarian and development activities, has called the situation “really very serious” and stated that “[w]e are falling far behind the demand for clean drinking water for Gazans.”
This kind of mistreatment is part and parcel of an overall package of deprivation that continues to plague the Palestinian people. There are some 2 million residents in Gaza affected by this egregious policy, famously one of the most densely populated areas on the planet. Gaza’s water resources are fully controlled by Israel and the division of groundwater is something that was provided for in the Oslo II Accord. However, despite the fact that under the Accord Israel is allocated four times the Palestinian portion of water resources, it has been revealed that Israel has been extracting 80 percent more water from the West Bank than it agreed to. Continue reading →
Palestinian teens protesting the murder of Mohammed Abu Khdeir. Photo: Flash 90
Israeli police are officially permitted to use deadly force against stone-throwing Palestinian teenagers, according to updated regulations made public on Tuesday by an Israel-based human rights organization.
The new open-fire regulations, revealed by Adalah, a rights organization and legal center that defends Palestinians living in Israel as well as the occupied territories, state that “an officer is permitted to open fire [with live ammunition] directly on an individual who clearly appears to be throwing or is about to throw a firebomb, or who is shooting or is about to shoot fireworks, in order to prevent endangerment.” Continue reading →
An Israeli tactic deemed “ineffective” at preventing civilian causalities by a United Nations commission has now been adopted by the United States in its fight against ISIS, according to a U.S. military official.
Air Force Maj. Peter Gersten, the deputy commander for operations and intelligence for the U.S.-led coalition, explained at a press briefing Tuesday that the tactic dubbed “knocking on the roof” was, in fact, used during a strike in Mosul, Iraq against a “major distributor of funds to Daesh fighters.” A woman the military had seen come and go with her children from the building died in the strike—”an unfortunality,” as Gersten called it. Continue reading →
The British government’s move to outlaw boycotts, including those aimed at Israel, is being likened by critics to former Prime Minster Margaret Thatcher’s support for apartheid South Africa.
Under the new plan, publicly-funded institutions that refuse to purchase goods and services from “unethical” companies will face “severe penalties,” senior government sources told the Independent. The prohibition protects any company that is signatory to the World Trade Organization government procurement agreement, including those “involved in the arms trade, fossil fuels, tobacco products or Israeli settlements in the occupied West Bank.” Continue reading →
A section of the wall in the West Bank. (Photo: hjl/flickr/cc)
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has proposed a plan to encircle his entire country with a fence as protection against “wild beasts,” referring to those in neighboring Arab states.
He made the comments Tuesday while visiting an 18-mile stretch of fence already under construction on the Israel-Jordan border.
“At the end of the day, in the State of Israel as I see it, there will be a fence like this one surrounding its entirety,” he said, according to a statement on the Prime Minister’s website.
“They tell me: Is this what you want to do, defend the villa? The answer is yes. What, are we going to surround the entire State of Israel with a fence, a barrier? The answer is yes, unequivocally. In the environment in which we live we must defend ourselves from the wild beasts.”
He added that it would be a multi-year project, multi-million dollar project.
“Perhaps the most notorious of Israel’s walls built for ‘security purposes’ runs within the occupied West Bank,” as Al Jazeera reports. It was deemed illegal by the International Court of Justice in 2004.
Haaretz columnist Asher Schechter argues that “Israel is already not even trying to function like a democracy,” and writes that Netanyahu’s statement is “a display of everything wrong with Israel under his leadership. Israel circa 2016 is fearful, hateful, and paranoid, self-involved to a degree even Donald Trump would find distasteful, and soon it might have big walls surrounding it from every which way, quarantining it, and a political system where only Jews need apply.
On Wednesday Netanyahu also spoke to the Israeli parliament and referred to the existing fence along the border with Egypt, saying that it prevented Israel from being “overrun” with migrants.