Israel - Palestine news this week
View this email in your browser

Israel-Palestine News: 29th September - 5th October

Read Later
Purpose: to provide a varied selection of articles from Arabic, Hebrew and English mainstream media outlets so readers get a flavour of what is being read by the general public about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict from different perspectives. The aim is to shine a spotlight for readers on the polarised narratives and constant one-sided messaging that appears in the media of each society, and often also in the international media. Solutions Not Sides makes no attempt to reconcile or support any of these narratives, but we believe it is important to understand each side’s perspective and the way that their society presents events if a negotiated solution is to be reached. 

We do not currently have the capacity to provide translations of actual Hebrew and Arabic media, so bear in mind that news agencies that issue articles in those languages may not produce the same content as the English versions of their outlets provided here (e.g. Al Jazeera Arabic and Al Jazeera English do not simply produce the same content in both languages). The content and opinions of these articles do not reflect our aims or opinions. Our main educational point about media sources on this issue is that they are almost always biased and should never be trusted in isolation. Please BE RESOURCEFUL and research for yourself a diversity of sources for everything you read or hear about Israel-Palestine.
One story, Two sides: Relations between Fatah and Hamas strained since U.N. meeting
Jewish News Syndicate: Abbas Planning to Impose Additional Sanctions on Gaza
Palestinian Authority leader Mahmoud Abbas plans to impose additional sanctions on the Gaza Strip, Palestinian officials were quoted by Arab media as saying on Wednesday. According to the reports, Abbas, who is currently in New York to attend the 73rd U.N. General Assembly, plans to convene his government upon his return to Ramallah and outline a series of new financial sanctions against Hamas, the terrorist organization that rules Gaza... Abbas also hopes the sanctions on Hamas will pressure Israel to resume the Israeli-Palestinian peace process, deadlocked since 2014, the media reports suggested.
Read more:

Al-Monitor: Palestinian factions weigh options after Abbas’ threats

Gaza Strip citizens and factions are keeping a wary eye on Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, who has threatened to take measures in October against Hamas. On Sept. 27, Abbas said during his speech before the United Nations General Assembly that If Hamas continues to refuse reconciliation, “We would refuse to accept any responsibility [for Gaza] moving forward.”... Contributing to the most recent failure were Hamas' efforts, also via Egypt, to sign a truce with Israel without including Fatah. Abbas and Fatah are adamantly against those efforts, claiming the PLO is the only party authorized to sign agreements with foreign countries. Abbas threatened Aug. 17 to stop transferring any money to the Gaza Strip should Hamas sign a truce with Israel. This very threat led the negotiations between Hamas and Fatah to falter once again, but Egypt has once again agreed to pick up the effort. Hamas parliament members in Gaza met Sept. 26 to discuss “the end of President Mahmoud Abbas’ mandate.” Ahmed Bahr, first deputy speaker of the Palestinian Legislative Council, said at the beginning of the session, “Abbas, who is starving our people while seeking to disarm the resistance and coordinate security with Israel, does not represent the Palestinian people. He only represents himself.”
Read more:

i24 News: Hamas official accuses Abbas of endorsing Israeli operation in Gaza

As Egyptian-led peace negotiations continue, senior Hamas official claimed Sunday that Abbas favors an Israeli operation in the Gaza Strip for his own political interests, local media reported. “Abbas wants to control everything in Gaza, war is good for him,” said Mahmoud al-Zahar... He accused the Palestinian Authority President of working in conjunction with several Arab countries to persuade Israel to launch another large-scale operation into the Gaza Strip. Meanwhile, Israel’s Education Minister Naftali Bennett slammed the government's policy on Gaza on Sunday, directing criticism towards Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman for what he deemed as an inadequately aggressive approach towards Hamas... Palestinians in the West Bank have also protested the measures, calling on Abbas to lift the sanctions, which he has only offered to do in exchange for Hamas' ceding control of the Gaza Strip. Over the weekend, an Israeli official said that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu asked Egyptian President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi to put pressure on Abbas to remove sanctions on Gaza, labeling them "the final blow' to an already dire economic situation there.
Read more:

The Palestine Chronicle: Fatah seeks full disengagement with Israel
Secretary of Fatah’s Central Council Jibreel Al-Rajoub said on yesterday that his movement “has a strategic decision” to disengage with Israel, stressing “this is the time to implement the PLO’s National Council and Fatah’s Central Committee,” Al-Wattan Voice reported. Speaking to Palestine TV, Al-Rajoub said: “We, Fatah movement, are heading towards a full disengagement with the occupation in order to persuade the international community to protect the Palestinian people.”... The senior Fatah official also said that his movement is to propose a partnership with the Palestinian factions based on ending the occupation, establishing a Palestinian state, reiterating the popular resistance, having one weapon and one law through elections. Al-Rajoub called for Hamas to stop its “incitement campaign” against Fatah and PLO President Mahmoud Abbas, stressing: “We will never allow anyone to insult out leadership or national symbols on top of whom is Mahmoud Abbas.”... The world, he added, now recognises that the safety and stability of the Middle East cannot be achieved without establishing a Palestinian state.
Read more:

Hebrew News Sources:
The Jerusalem Post: Anti-Israel group calls on E.U. to cancel Israel-Palestinian gathering
The anti-Israel Palestinian Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel (PACBI) has called on the EU to cancel a program to bring together young Israelis and Palestinians in December under the pretext that the event promotes normalization between the two people. The group said that it sent a letter last month to Ralph Tarraf, Head of the EU delegation in the West Bank and Gaza Strip, protesting the planned event, which is scheduled to be held in the context of a program called “Israeli and Palestinian Young Leaders at the European Parliament.” The campaign targeting the EU program is likely to prompt some of the Palestinian participants to withdraw from the events out of fear of facing a shame campaign on social media. Palestinian activists regularly target meetings between Israelis and Palestinians, claiming that such encounters promote normalization between the two sides... The PABCI letter claimed that the EU program “violates the relevant BDS guidelines agreed upon by the vast majority of Palestinian civil society.” The letter also accused the EU of being “highly complicit in Israel’s violations of Palestinian rights and international law.” It urged the EU to “end all forms of complicity and to halt all its normalization programs.”
Read more:

The Times of Israel: UNRWA evacuates most international staff from Gaza to Israel amid death threats 

The Palestinian refugee agency UNRWA evacuated most of its international senior officials from the Gaza Strip Monday due to fears for their safety. The overseas staffers had received death threats and threats of violence after the announcement of cuts and planned layoffs by the organization in the wake of the US decision that it would no longer fund the agency. The officials were said to have been harassed by employees of the agency. The Israeli Defense Ministry unit that oversees the crossing said a number of foreign employees from the agency known as UNRWA “were evacuated from the Gaza Strip to Israel.”... UNRWA confirmed later Monday it had “decided to temporarily withdraw part of its international staff from Gaza following a series of worrying security incidents affecting its personnel in the Strip.” The agency’s statement said that “earlier today, a number of staff were harassed and prevented from carrying out their duties.” It called on the authorities in the enclave run by Islamist terrorist movement Hamas “to respond to its repeated demands to provide effective protection to its employees and facilities.
Read more:

Ynet News: IDF to send reinforcements to Gaza border amid high tensions
IDF Chief of Staff Gadi Eisenkot decided Thursday to send reinforcements to the Southern Command amid the high tensions on the Gaza border. As the security situation on the Gaza border continues to deteriorate, Eisenkot held a situation assessment with the IDF's top generals as well as senior Shin Bet officials, at the end of which it was decided on a wide-scale deployment of additional troops in the south over the next few days. The IDF said in a statement that the decision was made "to continue the determined policy to thwart terror attacks and prevent infiltrations into Israel in the border fence area of the Gaza Strip. The IDF is prepared and ready for a variety of scenarios and considers the Hamas terror organization responsible for everything that happens in and from the Gaza Strip.".. In excerpts from an interview Hamas leader Yahya Sinwar gave Yedioth Ahronoth, he asserted that "A new war is in no one's interest, certainly not our interest. Who really wants to confront a nuclear superpower with four slingshots? War doesn't achieve anything." "I'm not saying I won't fight anymore. I'm saying I don't want any more wars," Sinwar told Borri. "What I want is an end to the siege. My first commitment is to act in the interest of my people; to protect them and to defend their right for freedom and independence."The full interview with Sinwar will be published in Yedioth Ahronoth's weekend supplement on Friday.
Read more:,7340,L-5363688,00.html

Arab News Sources:
WAFA: Palestine files lawsuit against US at the International Court of Justice
The State of Palestine has filed a lawsuit against the United States at the International Court of Justice (ICJ), the main judicial body of the United Nations, for violating international law by moving its embassy in Israel to the occupied city of Jerusalem, Foreign Minister Riyad Malki said on Saturday... Malki said that based on the procedures to file a lawsuit with the ICJ, he sent a letter last May to the US State Department asking it not to move its embassy to Jerusalem because this step would violate the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations and Security Council resolutions. He explained that due to failure of the US to respond to the letter and its non-compliance with international law, it was informed in a written memorandum dated July 4 of the existence of a legal dispute as per the rules and procedures of the ICJ... "We defend our rights and our people without hesitation and reject all forms of political and financial extortion," he said, expressing his belief that it is now possible to use the legal tracks that have been denied to the Palestinian people for decades.
Read more:
See also: U.S. withdraws from international accords, says U.N. world court 'politicized'

Al-Bawaba: Palestinians Stage Strike in Support of Israeli-Arabs Against ‘Nation-State’ Law
Businesses and schools closed doors across the occupied territories and Arab towns inside Israel. "I can say that there is a complete commitment to the strike,” Arab member of Knesset (Israel’s parliament) Massoud Ghanayem told Anadolu Agency. The action was staged in support of Israeli-Arabs, who called the strike in protest of the “Nation-State” law, which was passed by Knesset in July... "Palestinians throughout the occupied territories are taking part in the strike,” Ghanayem said. “This unity was necessary since the nation-state law targets all issues of the Palestinian people, whether refugees, their right to self-determination and presence of Arab citizens inside Israel,” he said... Monday's strike coincides with the killing of 13 Israeli-Arabs by Israeli police at the start of the 2000 Palestinian intifada, triggered by a controversial visit by then opposition leader Ariel Sharon to East Jerusalem’s Al-Aqsa Mosque compound.
Read more:

Al-Jazeera: Gaza: Teenager killed by Israeli tear gas canister

A Palestinian teenager was killed by an Israeli gas canister that was fired at a protest along the enclave's northern border with Israel, Gaza's health authorities said. Ministry of Health spokesperson, Ashraf al-Qidra, said that Ahmed Abu Habel, 15, died on Wednesday when the tear gas canister hit him in the head near a checkpoint between Israel and the Gaza Strip. Twenty-four others were injured, al-Qidra added. Israel's military did not comment on the specific incident but a spokesperson told AFP news agency that soldiers had "fired live rounds in accordance with the rules of engagement" as protesters massed along the border... Last Friday, seven protesters were killed by Israeli gunfire, including a 12 and 14-year-old. This was the bloodiest day since May 14 when more than 60 Palestinians were killed in Gaza during protests against the inauguration of the US embassy in Jerusalem.
Read more:

International News Sources:
The Independent: Angela Merkel will cancel Israel visit if Palestinian village demolished, says Army Radio
German chancellor Angela Merkel might cancel her trip to Israel if a Bedouin village in the West Bank is demolished by Israeli forces, the country’s Army Radio has claimed. Ms Merkel and a number of her ministers are scheduled to arrive on Wednesday evening for yearly meetings with Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his cabinet... But overshadowing the visit is the expected demolition of Khan al-Ahmar, a Palestinian village located between two Israeli settlements of Kfar​ Adumim and Ma'ale Adumim... The UK, Germany, France, Italy and Spain issued a joint statement last month saying it could threaten the prospect of a contiguous Palestinian state, at a time when the peace process has stalled. On Tuesday Palestinian children in Khan al-Ahmar staged a protest urging Ms Merkel to save their homes and their school. Ms Merkel is not scheduled to meet any Palestinian leaders but is due to hold meetings with Mr Netanyahu and his government. A spokeswoman for the German embassy in Tel Aviv told The Times of Israel that “a cancellation was not considered at any point in time”. However, Israeli ministers responded angrily to the reports. “If this is true, it’s a blatant, serious, and dangerous intervention,” Economy and industry minister Eli Cohen said.
Read more:
See also: 
Merkel: Khan Al-Ahmar demolition is an Israeli decision

Al-Monitor: Israel opens school in mainly Palestinian East Jerusalem
In an unprecedented move, Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat on Sept. 4. inaugurated an Israeli-run public school in the heart of predominantly Arab East Jerusalem, near Herod's Gate. The Ula Primary School for Boys and Girls replaces what had once been a Palestinian-run school at that location. Barkat posted a video on Facebook from the opening day, which included a Palestinian girl delivering a welcome speech in Hebrew and other Palestinian students singing songs in Hebrew. Barkat describes the new school as the “first primary school for Jerusalem students who wish to study for the Israeli bagrut [matriculation exam] early on.” ... Rawan Jamjoum, a former student at the secondary school for girls, has viewed the video Barkat posted. “I felt as if something was taken from me and from the history of Jerusalem,” she told Al-Monitor. “It hurts. The Refugee Girls school has a history, which now will be forgotten.” Ibtisam al-Rajbi, who attended the secondary school 14 years ago, told Al-Monitor that she still remembers how students used to sing the Palestinian national anthem. She's saddened to see her old school turning into an Israeli school, albeit still for Palestinians... Hassan Khater, director of the International Jerusalem Center, told Al-Monitor, however, “Despite Palestinian attempts to resist Israeli schools in Jerusalem through awareness campaigns, Palestinian parents have not stopped sending their children to these schools.” He asserted that this is understandable, given the PA's neglect of the education sector in Jerusalem. According to Khater, about 1,200 additional classrooms would be needed in schools to accommodate all the Palestinian students in Jerusalem, by which he meant all those currently attending Israeli-administered schools.
Read more:

NPR: Israel Defends Interrogations Of Left-Wing Activists At Airport

Israeli authorities are defending a recent series of interrogations of left-wing activists at Israel's airport and borders, saying the practice is necessary to prevent violence and terrorism. But a prominent civil rights advocate in the country called the government's justification "shameful and dangerous." In recent months, several critics of the Israeli government — most prominently U.S. journalist Peter Beinart — complained that Israeli border agents questioned them about their pro-Palestinian activism and political beliefs. The testimonies made headlines and rekindled a debate about whether Israel is stifling dissent and liberal views... In a letter Thursday to Israeli groups protesting the practice, Deputy Attorney General Dina Zilber said the interrogations were not intended to block demonstrations but rather "to thwart and prevent illegal activity, whether on a nationalist basis or with a connection to terror."
Read more:

Dave Harden interview with Fathom Journal: Trump’s cuts are dangerous for Israelis and Palestinians
In this interview with Fathom’s Daniel Tuhrim, Harden explores the range of possible consequences of the Trump administration’s decision to cut all funding to UNRWA, as well as to East Jerusalem hospitals and people-to-people coexistence projects, warning ‘if that funding gap isn’t filled by other donors, it will certainly be filled by Hamas and other rejectionists.’ He calls instead for a planned 10-year phase out of UNRWA that avoids harm to the Palestinian and to the prospects for peace.
"I propose a 10-year ‘phase out’ of UNRWA. We have to look at the Palestinian diaspora in the region on a country-by-country basis and develop appropriate solutions for each. For example, alleviating the situation in Jordan, where two million Palestinian refugees have political, economic and social rights (and are therefore more integrated) is easier to do than in Lebanon where the refugees are without rights and unintegrated. And both of those cases are different to the situation of refugees in the West Bank, Gaza and Syria. It is more complicated than simply saying no to UNRWA."
Read more:

Orly Azoulay for Ynet News: UK Jewish leaders’ failure to expose Corbyn

The most terrifying prospect facing UK Jewry is the possible rise of Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn. Since he took the reins in 2015, Jews have suspected that he may be an anti-Semite. Almost four years later, the media has been saturated with headlines proving beyond any doubt that the softly-spoken and self-proclaimed peacenik has associated himself over the years with people with the darkest of reputations. Each time he is confronted about inexcusable actions, he claims ignorance and protests his innocence... Barring incidents that involve explicit anti-Semitism, Corbyn has mainly caused offense among the UK’s mainstream Jewry by associating himself with people who despise Israel, who have supported terror attacks on Israel, who are openly and proudly committed to obliterating Israel and its citizens... Mainstream UK Jewry rightly complains that this man is predisposed to a hostile attitude toward Jews, even as he claims to love them, to embrace them and implores them to join his party. However, the Jewish leadership in the UK have still, to this very day, failed in their task of exposing Corbyn. They have failed to target the fundamental factor that so clearly highlights his anti-Semitic colours. They have almost exclusively focused anti-Semitic remarks made by often, albeit not always, obscure Labour party members and asked the same question over and over again: “What is Jeremy Corbyn doing about it and why isn’t he doing it faster?”
Read more:,7340,L-5361149,00.html

Anas Iqtait for Foreign Policy: The Taming of the Palestinian Authority
When U.S. President Donald Trump announced that he would unilaterally recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital last December, Palestinian officials promised swift retaliation. Refusing to meet with U.S. officials, they threatened to withdraw recognition of Israel by the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) and promised to halt security coordination with the Israeli government. But months after Trump’s decision the Palestinian Authority (PA) has failed to make good on the majority of its threats. In fact, the PA has been backing off a lot of its promises lately. In the years since it was established in 1994 to bring a measure of statehood to the Gaza Strip and the West Bank, the authority has been able to build some limited capacity for governance under the tight control of the Israeli military in most Palestinian population centers. Recently, though, it has failed to halt security and economic cooperation with Israel or prevent the relocation of the U.S. Embassy to Jerusalem—both very popular demands among Palestinian people and their political parties... In turn, PA credibility has taken a hit among Palestinians. According to exclusive data from the Arab Center for Research and Policy Studies, only 9 percent of Palestinians surveyed in 2017-2018 trusted their government, 94 percent viewed the PA as financially and administratively corrupt at various levels, and 64 percent disagreed with its economic policy. When asked about the PA’s response to Trump’s embassy decision, 72 percent considered it below expectations. 
Read more:

Forget BDS: Denied entry to Israel, just because of a last name

Over the past two years, the Israeli army has revoked Palestinian workers’ permits to enter Israel simply because they share a last name with someone who carried out a violent attack against Israelis. The move has already dealt a severe blow to over 2,000 workers in the West Bank, many of whom have been working inside Israel and the settlements since they were teenagers.

Copyright © 2018 Solutions Not Sides, All rights reserved.
Solutions Not Sides is the education programme of OneVoice Europe

You are receiving this email because you signed up to our mailing list

Our mailing address is:
Solutions Not Sides
Unit 4, Benwell Studios
11-13 Benwell Road
N7 7BL

Want to change how you receive these emails?
You can update your preferences or unsubscribe from this list