Israel - Palestine news this week
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Israel-Palestine News 16th - 22nd July 2016
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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 said about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict from different perspectives. 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. Please BE RESOURCEFUL and research for yourself a diversity of sources for everything you read or hear about Israel-Palestine. 
Arabic New Sources (English versions):
Ma’an News: Palestinian shot by Israeli forces after carrying out attack succumbs to wounds
A Palestinian man dies from injuries at Jerusalem’s Shaare Zedek Medical Centre after being shot by Israeli forces on Monday at the entrance of al-Arrub refugee camp in the southern occupied West Bank district of Hebron. Mustafa Baradiya was shot in the abdomen after attempting an attack with a screwdriver at the military checkpoint on Route 60, lightly injuring two Israeli soldiers. Both Baradiya and the soldiers were attended to by the Palestinian Red Crescent Society before Israeli ambulances arrived to the scene. Baradiya, originally from the village Surif in Hebron had been working as a math teacher in Beir Fajjar. In April earlier this year, his brother, Ibrahim Baradiya was shot and killed by Israeli forces at al-Arrub refugee camp after attempting to attack a soldier with an axe. Prior to this event, Israel was experiencing the longest period without deaths since the rise of violence in October 2015. Yet since April, violence is again on a rise through a wave of small-scale attacks by Palestinian individuals focusing on Israeli military targets, leaving 32 dead and the majority of the attackers shot on site. In response to the unrest, Israeli authorities have been promoting a ‘shoot-to-kill’ policy, but have been accused by various rights groups, international leaders and Palestinian officials as legally unwarranted.

Aljazeera: Israeli closures: 'They're pushing us into depression'

Following a rise of attacks, Israel has sealed off several towns in Hebron, marking the most widespread lockdown since 2014. Younis, a checkpoint at the main entrance to the West Bank village of Sair, notorious for attack attempts by Palestinians on Israeli forces, was sealed earlier this month after gunmen targeted an Israeli vehicle, injuring the driver before escaping into the village. Since the start of this month several towns throughout the Hebron district have been fully or partially closed after two Israeli settlers were attacked by locals. Along with nightly detention raids, these actions have accordingly caused a great disruption of movement for an estimated 400,000 Palestinians. The policy has provoked widespread criticism including Gadi Eizenkot, the Israeli army’s chief of staff, who warned that closures could increase frustration and lead to future unrest.
Ma’an News: Israeli navy shoots and injures Gaza fisherman, bulldozers level land near border
A Palestinian fishing boat located northwest of the Gaza Strip was targeted with open fire from Israeli naval ships. The fisherman on board was hit in the hand and taken to hospital. Despite a ceasefire agreement, the Israeli army regularly open fires on Palestinian fishermen and farmers along the border. A spokesperson for the Israeli army claimed to be looking into the report of this incident as well as another episode that occurred in the Gaza Strip concerning six Israeli armoured bulldozers under military escort that entered and levelled land in eastern al-Bureji refugee camp. No gunfire was reported.
Albawaba News: Israel passes law condemned by critics as move to expel Palestinian lawmakers
Late on Tuesday night, the Knesset passed a bill into law that allows its members to vote MKs out of office. The ‘suspension bill’, passed by 62 to 45 votes, aims to dismiss any ‘incitement to violence or racism, support for armed conflict against Israel or rejection of Israel as a Jewish and democratic state’. However, critics argue that the bill targets Palestinian MKs and threatens Israel’s democracy. The expulsion of an MK requires the vote of 70 out of the total 120 MKs (10 of whom must be members of the opposition) to launch the expulsion process, followed by a majority of 90 MKs to vote for ultimate removal. Chairman of the Joint List Ayman Odeh criticised Netanyahu, arguing that the bill was another step towards the Prime Minister’s aim to silence Palestinian opposition and their criticism of the state. Additional laws recently passed including the intensity of penalties towards anyone who performs ‘offensive behaviour’ towards the Israeli flag on Monday, and the NGO bill last week, many argue, is a clear attempt to silence criticism and delegitimize left-wing groups.
Hebrew News Sources (English Versions):
Time of Israel: Hundreds attend funeral for Druze soldier killed by grenade
Following the tragedy that occurred on Sunday morning where two Israeli soldiers were killed and three others wounded when a grenade accidentally exploded, hundreds of people come together to pay their respects for the dead. Staff Sgt. Hussam Tafesh, 24, was buried in his hometown, Beit Jann in Northern Israel and Sgt. Shlomo Rindenow, 20, originally from Passaic, New Jersey, is to be buried at the Netzer Hazani cemetery in central Israel. The incident occurred when Tafesh went to talk to Rindenow while holding a grenade that unexpectedly exploded by a military outpost at the entrance to the northern Druze village of Majdal Shams, north of the Golan Heights. Three other soldiers who were sitting in the jeep Tafesh arrived in sustained moderate injuries. A special IDF committee has been selected to investigate the situation surrounding the explosion.
Israel Hayom: Terrorist attack on Jerusalem light rail thwarted
On Sunday morning, a security guard prevented an attempted terrorist attack by a Palestinian youth trying to board the Jerusalem light rail by King George Street and Jaffa Road, one of the city’s biggest intersections. The guard approached the young man to inspect the large bag he was carrying to which the man was unresponsive. On opening the bag, the guard identified what looked like an explosive device and alerted the police. Minutes later, a large police force arrived at the scene and upon further inspection, several pipe bombs and a collection of knives were discovered indicating that the suspect, in his 20s, was planning a combined attack on the light rail and, consequently was taken into police custody. The area was sealed off from the public and the explosives were neutralized by police sappers. The suspect was from the Palestinian village Beit Ula, near Hebron. Jerusalem Mayor, Nir Barkat praised the security guard’s actions and encouraged the public to ‘remain alert and not let terrorism disrupt the daily routine’.
The Jerusalem Post: Netanyahu at Lebanon War memorial: Israel's enemies will be met with 'an iron fist'
While attending a memorial ceremony at Mount Hertzl in Jersusalem for Israel’s fallen in the Second Lebanon War, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu addresses Israel’s stance if the peace between the two states was threatened. Since the war, now a decade ago, Netanyahu announced that Israel has been ready for ‘any scenario’. He highlighted the recent global terror attacks in Nice and Orlando as well as the targeting of Israelis in Tel Aviv's Sarona Market and the West Bank settlement of Otniel, stating that ‘radical Islam aspires to suppress life’. He reassured the people of Israel’s preparedness for any future conflict but emphasized that ‘if our peace is kept, those who stand against us will also enjoy peace’.

The Jerusalem Post: Israeli security forces foil arms smuggling in Jericho
Two Palestinians, ages 29 and 35 have been arrested by Israeli authorities for attempted smuggling of weapons from Jordan into Israeli territory. Israeli security forces seized 20 handguns, 5 M-16 rifles, sniper scopes and ammunition near the Israeli town of Argaman in the Jordan Valley. According to the Police Spokesperson Unit, a police movement has recently been put in place to crack down on illegal weapons and block smuggling routes. Earlier this week the police completed a year-long undercover operation resulting in the arrest of 63 suspected illegal arms dealers in the Arab-Israeli region.
US/UK sources:

BBC News: Syria conflict: Rebels 'filmed beheading boy' in Aleppo

Videos have leaked online on Tuesday morning showing Syrian rebels tormenting and then beheading a boy, supposedly around 10 years old, who they claim to be a Palestinian pro-government fighter. The incident was said to have taken place in an area of heavy conflict in Handarat, north of Aleppo, where the official Palestinian refugee camp Ein El Tal is located, which, before its invasion by armed forces in 2013 housed 7,000 people. Previously, pro-government forces had been attempting a take-over of Handarat from the rebel-held regions, confining around 300,000 of its inhabitants. The boy was identified as ‘Abdullah Issah’ and in the video was said to be a fighter from Liwa al-Quds (The Jerusalem Brigade). The rebel group who captured him are members of the Nour al-Din al-Zinki Movement.

The Guardian: Palestinian boy, 12, killed on outskirts of East Jerusalem

Following a clash with Israeli troops in the West Bank on the outskirts of East Jerusalem, Muhey al-Tabakhi a 12-year old boy has died from injuries after being struck in the chest by a projectile causing heart failure. The conflict was said to have broken out at al-Ram after a petrol bomb was thrown at paramilitary border officers to which they responded with teargas and stun grenades, according to an Israeli police spokeswoman. While Palestinian leaders claim that the recent acts by assailants are clear signs of desperation following the failed peace talks in 2014 and Israeli settlement expansion and occupation, Israel claims that Palestinian media and issues in the home have encouraged, particularly young people, to behave violently.
The Washington Post: An Arab, a Jew and a Facebook post: How similar words are treated differently
As part of an experiment conducted by an Israeli news station last week, an Arab and a Jew from Israel posted messages on Facebook claiming they were going to kill someone from the opposing side of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Its intention was to observe the responses of the public as well as the Israeli authorities whose responsibility it is to monitor social media posts that have the potential to instigate terrorist attacks. Shadi Khalileh, the Arab citizen, received calls from family and friends as well as Israeli Arab members of parliament questioning whether his account had been hacked after he posted that he was inspired to kill Jews. Daniel Levy, the Jewish citizen, posted that he wanted revenge after a Palestinian killed a young Jewish girl in her bed. While Khalileh received 12 likes on his post, Levy’s post got around 600 likes, 25 shares and comments, some giving positive affirmation while others warned him to take it down due to risk of getting arrested. Khalileh was taken into question by Israeli police but Levy’s post was not identified by the authorities and neither post was flagged by Facebook. Gilad Erdan, Israel’s minister for public security stated that Facebook should take responsibility for any dangerous content that comes up on the site and only 23 out of the 74 requests sent by security authorities for Facebook to remove dangerous content were carried out. Many take the opinion that social media has played a massive role in the recommencing of violence over the past eight months in which 34 Israelis and two UC citizens have either been stabbed, shot or faced vehicular attacks by ‘lone-wolf’ Palestinians. Nearly 200 Palestinians have been killed in the recent wave of violence and while the majority were killed carrying out attempted attacks on Israeli forces, there have been cases where innocent people have been mistakenly killed. On Tuesday, Erdan and Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked presented legislation allowing Israeli law enforcement to petition for the courts to be able to remove any content that could endanger state security but Facebook has not yet responded.


Aljazeera: Israel-Palestine: A way to end the occupation
Mark LeVine, a professor of Middle Eastern History at the University of California reflects on a statement made by the Quartet in 2003 that the creation of a Palestinian state was an objective of the United States for the Middle East. Yet, to this day, despite a plethora of continuous attempts by Palestinians (through political, civil and violent means) nothing has changed. LeVine highlights how the Quartet’s opinion that ‘only direct negotiations’ between Israel and Palestine is the most effective way to achieve peace is inconceivable. The UK’s departure from the European Union could increase the chances for the EU to support Palestine against the US. Growing support from BDS ( Boycott Divestment and Sanctions movement), Palestine’s status to a ‘non-member observer state’ at the United Nations and the joining of the International Criminal Court has done very little for Palestine’s case. LeVine proposes a range of options available for Palestine such as dissolving the Palestinian Authority and demanding citizenship and full rights in the Israeli State but argues that Israel has strategically for the past 50 years suggested the possibility of Palestinian independence causing the PA and Hamas to invest in the status quo rather than working for an effective alternative. He finishes by asking what it will take for Palestinians to work for independence and how far Israel will go before it is forced to re-imagine the political landscape of the Middle East.
Haaretz: Make Secular Israel Great Again: How Israel's Left Echoes Trump
Gershom Gorenberg comments on the growth of conflict in Israeli culture of secular versus religious and Ashkenazi versus Mizrahi. He explains how this culture war came about from the release of the Biton Report. Supported by the government and lead by poet Erex Biton on bringing Mizrahi history and culture into the mainstream through means such as education and television. The 350-page report sparked a stream of responses including a Facebook post by film critic Gidi Orsher addressing Mizrahim with comments such as, "Next time you curl up in a sealed room because missiles are falling on your head, ignore Iron Dome and recite psalms." Many right-wing politicians criticised his overt racism and Orsher was suspended from Army Radio. Gorenberg then brings into question the matter of political correctness in this modern age and whether a person’s social media persona should affect their professional life. Additionally, he warns the reader not to generalise cultural groups from the singular representation the public have access to. Thus members of society like Orsher do not represent all secular Ashkenazim, just as Rabbi Yigal Levinstein whose anti-gay comments have caused recent scandal , doesn’t represent everyone religious. Those who associate themselves as being left-wing orientated are in support of the LGBT people and are for the two state solution but when it comes to Israeli and especially Jewish culture, the left is less unified. On the other hand, the right seek to repress criticism of the occupation, proclaiming itself as the defenders of Jewish cultural diversity. Gorenberg argues that as long as the left focus on making Israel secular and Eurocentric rather than making peace and economic equality, they will always remain the minority.

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