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Israel - Palestine news this week
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Israel-Palestine News 11th - 17th March
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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. Aljazeera Arabic and Aljazeera 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. 
Arab News Sources
Palestine News Network: Israel strikes Gaza strip midnight after alleged attack
Israeli warplanes on Wednesday night bombed some areas of the Gaza Strip at the pretext that a Palestinian rocket fell in an empty field in Sdot Negev regional council. According to the Palestinian Information Center (PIC) in Gaza, two Israeli air-to-surface missiles struck a resistance post located to the west of Deir al-Balah City in central Gaza. Luckily, no one was hurt during the Israeli air raids. http://english.pnn.ps/2017/03/16/israel-strikes-gaza-strip-midnight-for-alleged-attack/

Ma’an News Agency: Gaza military court orders 10 PA intelligence officials to turn themselves in
A Gaza military court gave 10 officials affiliated to Palestinian Authority (PA) intelligence services ten days to turn themselves in to authorities in the blockaded coastal enclave on Tuesday. The statement identified six of the wanted officials as PA intelligence majors Sami Nasman, Jamal Hassouna, Shabaan Abdullah al-Gharbawi, Sabri al-Mazen Askari, Muhammad Sami Abd al-Aziz al-Bardini, and Ibrahim Abu Taha Askari. The court did not specify what the ten officials were wanted for.
https://www.maannews.com/Content.aspx?id=775974

Al-Jazeera: Palestinians protest over PA-Israel security ties
On Sunday, protests rocked the city of Ramallah, in front of a court that was due to put Basil al-Araj and his friends on trial, against the policy of security coordination between the PA and Israel, the killing of al-Araj, and the court's decision to put the six Palestinian men on trial. PA security forces arrested Basil al-Araj, 34, in April 2016, with five of his friends, accusing them of carrying unlicensed weapons and planning to carry out an attack on Israeli targets. Under the Oslo agreements signed between Israel and Palestine in 1993, the PA is obliged to share information with Israel about any armed resistance to the Israeli occupation in a practice known as "security coordination". Araj and his friends were released after five months in PA prisons. While four of his friends were immediately re-arrested by Israeli forces, Araj went into hiding for more than two months in an old house in Ramallah. On March 6, the Israeli army found Araj and killed him, causing outrage among Palestinians. PA security forces responded to the protests with force, beating unarmed protesters with batons, firing tear gas and rubber-coated steel bullets, which only added fuel to the fire.
http://www.aljazeera.com/indepth/features/2017/03/palestinians-denounce-pa-israel-security-coordination-170313103710942.html
 
Al-Arabiya English: Palestinian leader Abbas: Trump brings hope for ‘peace’
Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas said Thursday he hopes recent meetings with US President Donald Trump’s team lead to “peace” between Israelis and Palestinians. Trump called the Palestinian president on March 10 for the first time since his inauguration, inviting him to the White House. “We’ll decide on (the date of) this meeting as quickly as possible,” Abbas told a press conference at his presidential complex in the occupied West Bank. Abbas welcomed the visits to Ramallah of several US officials, including CIA chief Mike Pompeo in mid-February and Trump’s special representative for international negotiations, Jason Greenblatt, whom he met on Tuesday. “We have exchanged many ideas,” Abbas said. “Our hope is that those contacts result in the end in a peace that is led by the United States and the international community.”
https://english.alarabiya.net/en/News/middle-east/2017/03/16/Palestinian-leader-Abbas-Trump-brings-hope-for-peace-.html

Hebrew News Sources
UN chief requests report accusing Israel of ‘apartheid’ be pulled from web

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has requested the removal of a report accusing Israel of apartheid from the website of the UN body (UNESCWA) that published it, Reuters reported Friday, citing an unnamed official in the international body. The report remained available online Friday afternoon. The United States on Wednesday demanded that the report be withdrawn altogether. “The United States is outraged by the report,” US Ambassador Nikki Haley said in a statement. “The United Nations secretariat was right to distance itself from this report, but it must go further and withdraw the report altogether.” The report was compiled by Richard Falk, a Princeton professor emeritus with a long track record of vehemently anti-Israel rhetoric who previously was the UN’s Special Rapporteur for Human Rights in Palestine, and by Virginia Tilley, an American political scientist who authored the book “The One-State Solution” in 2005. Haley described Falk as “a man who has repeatedly made biased and deeply offensive comments about Israel and espoused ridiculous conspiracy theories.”
http://www.timesofisrael.com/un-chief-requests-report-accusing-israel-of-apartheid-be-pulled-from-web/
 
The Jerusalem Post: Italy Pledges to Affirm Jewish ties to Temple Mount at UNESCO
Italy renewed its pledge to Israel to oppose any resolutions at UNESCO that ignore Jewish ties to Jerusalem’s Temple Mount. Visiting Italian Foreign Minister Angelino Alfano delivered that message when he met Wednesday with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in Jerusalem. According to the Prime Minister’s Office, Netanyahu pointed out to Alfano “the absurdity of the recent UNESCO decision and asked Italy to oppose the next vote at the organization.” During their meeting, Alfano also “emphasized his obligation to defend the Italian Jewish community against incidents of antisemitism,” the Prime Minister’s Office said.
http://www.jpost.com/Arab-Israeli-Conflict/Netanyahu-asks-Italy-to-oppose-further-UNESCO-Jerusalem-resolutions-484246
 
Haaretz: In Precedent-setting Ruling, Israel's Top Court Recognizes East Jerusalem Arabs as 'Native-born Residents'
In a precedent-setting ruling, High Court justices have ordered the Interior Ministry to restore the residency rights of a Palestinian man born in East Jerusalem who was denied permission to live in the city after being away for many years. The ruling challenges a ministry policy of denying residency to many Palestinians born in the city once they're away for more than seven years. A three-justice panel ruled that residents of East Jerusalem "have a strong affinity" to the city which must be taken into consideration with respect to residency rights.
 http://www.haaretz.com/israel-news/.premium-1.777750

Ynet: Israel intercepts missile fired at IAF jets by Syria
IDF reported on Friday that it has shot down one of numerous anti-aircraft missiles launched Thursday night by Syria at Israeli F-15 fighter jets that had hit designated targets within Syria. Israeli Arrow anti-aircraft missiles were used to intercept a Syrian S-200 missile and protect its jets. Syria, in the meantime, described the Israeli strike in Syria as a "blatant Israeli act of aggression."
http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-4936732,00.html
                                                                 
International
Middle East Eye: Jordanian killer of Israeli girls released to hero's welcome
A Jordanian soldier who killed seven Israeli schoolgirls in 1997 was released from prison to a hero's welcome on Sunday after serving a 20-year sentence. Ahmed al-Daqamseh was working as a soldier when he opened fire on a group of girls aged 13 and 14 who were visiting the Israel-Jordan border on a school trip, in what has since become known as the Island of Peace Massacre after the site where it was committed. Following the attack, the Jordanian army declared that Daqamseh suffered from antisocial personality disorder. As a result, he did not face the death penalty but was sentenced to 20 years in prison.
http://www.middleeasteye.net/news/jordanian-soldier-who-killed-7-israeli-schoolgirls-released-after-20-year-sentence-1690974211
 
The Independent: Israel is imposing 'apartheid regime' on Palestinians, UN agency says
A UN agency has accused Israel of imposing “an apartheid regime that oppresses and dominates the Palestinian people as a whole,” and said it was the first time a UN body had clearly made the charge. It was authored by Richard Falk, a former UN human rights investigator for the Palestinian territories, and Virginia Tilley, professor of political science at Southern Illinois University. Israel's Foreign Ministry spokesman likened the report, which was published by the UN Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia (ESCWA) on Wednesday, to Der Sturmer—a Nazi propaganda publication that was strongly anti-Semitic. “The report as it stands does not reflect the views of the secretary-general (Antonio Guterres),” said Mr Dujarric.
http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/middle-east/un-israel-report-apartheid-palestinians-gaza-a7632336.html

The Palestinian Chronical: Israel Shuts Down ‘Arab Society’ in Jerusalem, Arrest Its Chairman
Khalil Tufkaji, Director of Cartographic Section of the Arab Studies Society in Beit Hanina town, north of occupied Jerusalem, was arrested by Israeli forces, which stormed his office on Tuesday morning and ordered its closure, the PIC reported. The decision to shut down the office was issued by the Israeli Minister of Public Security, Gilad Erdan. The Israeli police issued a statement stating the office “threatens Israel’s settlement ambitions” as it was dedicated to the research of land in the Palestinian territories, including settlement monitoring, soil surveys, land confiscation. It further threatens “Israel’s sovereignty over Jerusalem”, according to the statement. http://www.palestinechronicle.com/israel-shuts-down-arab-society-in-jerusalem-arrest-its-chairman/

Opinion
Al Jazeera: Walled Off Hotel - The struggle for decolonisation
The British street artist known as Banksy is no stranger to controversy and the recent debate over his new installation in the town of Bethlehem, the Walled Off Hotel, does not come as a surprise. Some critics have accused Banksy of Pale-ploitation - of making profit off Palestinian suffering, normalising the occupation, beautifying the wall, and even worse, some have claimed that the hotel installation is an international conspiracy meant to represent the Israeli colonisers and the colonised Palestinians as equal sides in the struggle. Quite the opposite. The new installation hotel is a powerful anticolonial statement about British imperialism, the Zionist colonial project, Israeli occupation and apartheid politics in Palestine.
http://www.aljazeera.com/indepth/opinion/2017/03/walled-hotel-struggle-decolonisation-170312143224959.html

+972 Magazine: Israel has an incitement problem
In Israeli public discourse, the phrase “Palestinian incitement” makes an appearance time and again. One can hear it in the news by members of both the coalition and the opposition, it is seen as an immutable fact by pundits, and it is highly prioritized by analysts at various think tanks. Suffice it to say that much of this incitement focuses on delegitimizing Israel and rejecting its existence. Let’s take a look at Israel for a moment. One can easily find quotes from academic studies that focus on Israeli denial of both Palestinian reality and history. However, instead of deepening the discussion on studies conducted on “Palestinian incitement,” I will provide a few tangible examples of Israeli denial that caught my eye. It is no coincidence that these examples represent major institutions and figures in the government.
https://972mag.com/israel-has-an-incitement-problem/125819/

Arutz Sheva: Israel's anti-BDS supporter law was way overdue
The BDS campaign, as openly affirmed by its originators, aims for the gradual elimination of Israel and its replacement by an Arab-dominated state by means of economic, diplomatic and social ostracism of Israel and Israeli institutions and enterprises. Its basis is the alleged illegal occupation of Palestinian-Arabs by Israel and Israeli measures to which they are subject. The problem with this is that it is utterly false and rewrites history... It is right and proper that foreign BDS advocates be identified in these terms and excluded where necessary with the force of law, as would be the case with activists seeking to enter any country whose independence they were seeking to subvert and destroy. http://www.israelnationalnews.com/Articles/Article.aspx/20280
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