Israel – Palestine Issue

Reversing Israel’s Deepening Annexation of Occupied East Jerusalem

Israel is pursuing new ways of cementing its grip on occupied East Jerusalem, further enmeshing the city’s Palestinians while maintaining a Jewish majority within the municipal boundaries. ICG These schemes could spark conflict. The new Israeli government elected in September should set them aside. What’s new? Israel is advancing new policies to entrench its de facto annexation of most of occupied East Jerusalem. Moreover, depending on what coalition government emerges from forthcoming parliamentary elections, it could shunt the… Reversing Israel’s ... Read More »

One million face hunger in Gaza after US cut to Palestine aid

UN relief agency warns of crisis next month unless donor countries provide $60m Jennifer Rankin The Guardian More than a million people in Gaza risk going hungry next month unless international donors fill a $60m (£46m) funding black hole largely created by cuts to Palestinian refugee aid by the Trump administration, a UN agency has said. The United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA), which provides food for more than 1 million people in the Gaza strip, is calling on ... Read More »

After Intense Fighting in Gaza, Israel and Palestinians Observe Ceasefire

JERUSALEM — Fighting between Israel and Gaza escalated rapidly on Sunday in the worst combat since the last full-blown war in 2014, with Palestinian rocket and missile attacks killing four Israeli civilians and… By David M. Halbfinger and Isabel Kershner The New York Times Gaza officials said the two-day death toll for Palestinians had reached 22. At least nine militants and as many civilians were killed on Sunday alone. The civilians included a pregnant woman, a 12-year-old boy and 4-month-old ... Read More »

Bernie Sanders: Israeli government ‘racist’

Manchester: US Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders is standing by his criticism of Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, saying Israel is “now run by a right- wing, dare I say, racist government.” McClatchy, AP WAtoday Sanders said on Monday, US time, at a CNN town hall in New Hampshire that he believed the United States should try to bring people together and deal with the Middle East on a level-playing-field basis, “not just support one country”. The senator from Vermont said ... Read More »

Israel faces old reality of Benjamin Netanyahu victory anew

Israel’s general election has put Prime Minister Netanyahu on track for a record fifth term in office, but not everybody is celebrating. Dana Regev (Haifa) Deutsche Welle The vote reflects a deep societal divide. Dana Regev reports from Haifa. The day after Israel’s general election, it’s hard to say the country has woken up to the dawn of a new day. In the northern port city of Haifa — known for its mixed Arab-Jewish population and left-leaning tendencies — the ... Read More »

Israel’s Upcoming Elections and the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict

Israel’s parliamentary elections on 9 April seem set to see Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu return to lead a fragile, more right-wing coalition, an outcome unlikely to prompt a dramatic change in the country’s policies in the West Bank and Gaza. Ofer Zalzberg ICG Who will win the upcoming parliamentary election? Current polls project that the governing Likud party will secure enough seats in the Knesset for Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to put together a new right-wing governing coalition, similar to ... Read More »

‘We can and must push back against the tide of fascism,’ says Arab-Israeli MK Tibi

As Israel’s General Election approaches on 9 April, MEMO interviews candidates, current and former, about their hopes for the future of Israeli politics. Rebecca Stead The Middle East Monitor Ahmad Tibi is, in many ways, the face of Palestinian politics within Israel. Boasting 20 years’ service as a Knesset Member (MK), he sees no reason why he shouldn’t one day become Israel’s Prime Minister. Yet with only days to go until the General Election, Tibi must battle anti-Palestinian rhetoric, an ... Read More »

Defusing the Crisis at Jerusalem’s Gate of Mercy

A standoff looms between Palestinian worshippers and Israeli police over a shuttered building at Jerusalem’s Holy Esplanade. ICG Israel and Muslim religious authorities should reopen the building to lessen tensions at the sacred site, where small incidents have blown up into prolonged violence before. What’s new? At Jerusalem’s Holy Esplanade (Haram al-Sharif/Temple Mount), Israeli authorities and Palestinian worshippers are struggling over control of a building next to the Gate of Mercy. Shut by Israeli authorities since 2003, Palestinians forcibly regained ... Read More »

‘The world stands disgraced’ – Israeli shelling of school kills at least 15

• UN condemns IDF attack on sleeping children as violation of international law • Strike on crowded market in Shujai’iya during ceasefire kills 17 • Death toll now more than 1,300 after three weeks of fighting Harriet Sherwoodin Jerusalem and Hazem Baloushain Jabaliya The Guardian United Nations officials described the killing of sleeping children as a disgrace to the world and accused Israel of a serious violation of international law after a school in Gaza being used to shelter Palestinian families was shelled on Wednesday. ... Read More »

Trump’s Green Light to Israel: First the Golan, Then the West Bank?

Nazareth. When President Donald Trump moved the US embassy to occupied Jerusalem last year, effectively sabotaging any hope of establishing a viable Palestinian state, he tore up the international rulebook. Jonathan Cook CounterPunch Last week, he trampled all over its remaining tattered pages. He did so, of course, via Twitter. Referring to a large piece of territory Israel seized from Syria in 1967, Trump wrote: “After 52 years it is time for the United States to fully recognize Israel’s Sovereignty ... Read More »

Stopping an Unwanted War in Gaza

As in 2014, Hamas and Israel appear close to a conflagration that neither party desires – though now a shaky ceasefire seems to have taken hold. Tareq Baconi Crisis Group’s Israel/Palestine analyst Tareq Baconi explains how the parties got to the brink and how they can step back. What happened? In the early morning of 25 March a rocket fired from the Gaza Strip landed in Mishmeret, north of Tel Aviv, destroying a family house and wounding seven Israelis, including ... Read More »

In major shift, Trump says time for U.S. to recognize Israeli sovereignty over Golan

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. President Donald Trump said on Thursday it was time to recognize Israeli sovereignty over the Golan Heights that Israel seized from Syria in 1967, marking a dramatic shift in U.S. policy and giving a boost to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in the middle of his re-election campaign. Steve Holland , Matt Spetalnick Reuters The disputed area was captured by Israel in the 1967 Middle East war and annexed in 1981 in a… Netanyahu has pressed ... Read More »

Even if Netanyahu goes, the Israeli-Palestinian conflict will continue

After a decade in office, Benjamin Netanyahu’s long tenure as Israel’s prime minister may soon be ending. Dov Waxman The Conversation Whether his Likud Party loses power following Israel’s election on April 9, or he’s forced to resign the premiership after being indicted on multiple corruption charges, Netanyahu’s downfall appears imminent. Without the hawkish Netanyahu – who opposes full Palestinian statehood – at Israel’s helm, what are the chances for peace between Israelis and Palestinians? Not good. Even an Israel-friendly ... Read More »

Why is Turkey’s presence in Afrin, Syria any different than the West Bank?

Turkey’s continued role in Afrin, a year after military occupation began in March 2018, is under spotlight as US State Department and UN highlight abuses. Seth J. Frantzman JPost Military occupation. Stolen olives. Checkpoints. Accusations of theft of property, land confiscation, demographic change and settlers. These are claims usually leveled at Israel’s role in the West Bank, but in the last year Turkey and Syrian groups it backs have been accused of similar violations in northwestern Syria. The area of ... Read More »

The Golan Heights Should Stay Israeli Forever

At least one of Israel’s occupations will be permanent, whether anyone else likes it or not. Steven A. Cook FP Should the United States recognize Israeli sovereignty over the Golan Heights? The question has come up in the last few weeks, because Israel is having an election in April. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has reportedly been lobbying the Trump administration on the idea of formally acknowledging Israel’s 1981 annexation of Syrian territory. There’s plenty of reason to suspect this diplomatic ... Read More »

Netanyahu says Israel is Arabs’ ‘ally’ against Iran

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Monday that Arab countries viewed Israel as an “indispensable ally” fighting Iran and the Islamic State group. Al-Monitor AFP That evaluation, he told Brazil’s Globo TV during a visit to Rio, has caused “a revolution in relations with the Arab world.” The comments came as Israel has stepped up air strikes on Iranian positions in neighboring Syria, and as Israel digested an abrupt decision by President Donald Trump to withdraw US troops from Syria. Netanyahu ... Read More »