Israel - Palestine news this week
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Israel-Palestine News 5th - 11th November 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. 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. 
Arabic News Sources

Al-Jazeera: Israel 'arm-twists' artists to perform in settlements. Israeli arts companies had to fill out forms agreeing to perform in settlements, otherwise they would face a budget cut. Israel's far-right culture minister, Miri Regev, scored a significant victory last week in her self-declared war on the country's cultural establishment. Israel's national theatre company Habima, it was revealed, had agreed to perform for the first time in Kiryat Arba, a notoriously violent settlement next to the Palestinian city of Hebron in the occupied West Bank. The move was a blow to Israeli artists who oppose efforts by Benjamin Netanyahu's government to force them to treat the settlements as a "normal" part of Israel, said Ala Hlehel, a writer and cultural critic from Israel's large Palestinian minority. The settlements are illegal under international law and widely viewed as an insurmountable obstacle to a two-state solution.

Middle East Eye: Hundreds protest Israeli flag at UN climate talks. Hundreds demonstrated in the Moroccan capital on Wednesday against the Israeli flag being flown beside the colours of 195 other countries at UN climate talks being held in the central city of Marrakesh.  More than 200 people protested outside parliament in Rabat against Israel's flag being hoisted at the COP22 conference that opened on Monday. "The Israeli flag at COP22 means Morocco symbolically recognising the State of Israel. It's unacceptable," one protester told AFP. "Death to America, death to Israel!" demonstrators cried, burning the Israeli flag. Several pro-Palestinian associations took part in the protest after calling on authorities to take action about the flag earlier this week. On the first day of the COP22 conference, Moroccan human rights organisations criticised the display of the flag, saying it was “an Israeli presence on Moroccan territory”.

Ma’an: Committee pleads for cancer patient to be allowed out of Gaza to access treatment. The health of a former prisoner from Gaza has seriously deteriorated due to cancer, as a prisoners’ group urged on Wednesday for the Palestinian to be allowed to leave the besieged coastal enclave to access life-saving medical care. The Fatah movement’s prisoners committee in the Gaza Strip said that urgent action was needed to save the life of Sabr Suleiman Abd al-Qader Abu Laban, who has been waiting to travel to Egypt to receive medical care for his liver cancer for more than 7 months. The committee’s spokesperson, Nashaat al-Wahdi, called on the Gaza Ministry of Health, the Palestinian Committee of Prisoners’ Affairs, the Palestinian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and the Palestinian embassy in Egypt to act quickly to allow Abu Laban to travel to Egypt. Al-Wahdi said that 49 year-old Abu Laban was a father of six and a resident of the village of Simsim in northeastern Gaza. Abu Laban was first detained by Israeli forces for six months in 1982, when he was only 14 years old. He was imprisoned a second time a year later and spent 10 years in Israeli custody, before being released in 1994.

PNN: IOF weld-shut Palestinian prisoner’s room, kidnap 20 from West Bank.  Israeli Occupation Forces (IOF) have continued their daily raids and arrests in the West Bank, during which they weld-shut a Palestinian prisoner’s room in Yatta, southern Hebron Hills, and arrested 20 others from different areas. Local sources said that on Thursday after midnight, IOF broke into the family home of prisoner Younis Zain after surrounding it. Soldiers then weld-shut the prisoner’s room in the house by partially filling it with concrete, under the pretext of participating in plotting the Tel-Aviv shooting in which four Israelis were killed. After that, IOF arrested 20 Palestinians from their homes and on checkpoints and refugee camps around Hebron, Ramallah and Bethlehem areas.

Hebrew News Sources

Times of Israel: Palestinian tries to stab soldier with screwdriver, is shot — IDF. A Palestinian man, armed with a screwdriver, attempted to carry out a stabbing attack on an Israeli soldier in the northern West Bank on Wednesday morning and was shot, according to the army. The attempted stabbing took place in Hawara, south of Nablus, the Israel Defense Forces said. The soldier had been on guard duty in the area at the time of the attack, the army said. Troops on the scene shot the attacker, who received first aid at the scene, the IDF saidNo Israeli injuries were reported. The condition of the assailant was not immediately known. He was later identified by the Red Crescent ambulance service as Muhammad Amer, 32, from Tulkarem, according to the Palestinian Ma’an news outlet.

Arutz Sheva: Netanyahu to request postponement for Normalization Law. Prime Minister Netanyahu will ask Jewish Home ministers to postpone presenting the Normalization Law next week. Prime Minister Netanyahu will meet Thursday morning with Jewish Home ministers Naftali Bennett (Education) and Ayelet Shaked (Justice). The meeting will also be attended by Defense Minister Liberman. Netanyahu will ask Bennett and Shaked to postpone presenting the Regulation Law on Sunday at the cabinet's legislative committee which is headed by Shaked. It should be noted that during the course of the Jewish Home faction meeting on Monday, Bennett announced that the Normalization Law would be brought to the legislative committee for discussion next Sunday. "It is time to grant the hundreds of thousands of residents of Judea and Samaria a normal life." Bennett said.

Israel Hayom: PM: Israel, US will continue bolstering alliance, ironclad bond. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Wednesday congratulated Republican Donald Trump on winning the 2016 U.S. presidential elections. "I congratulate Donald Trump on being elected the 45th president of the United States of America," Netanyahu said. "President-elect Trump is a true friend of Israel and I look forward to working with him to advance security, stability and peace in our region. I am confident President-elect Trump and I will continue to strengthen the alliance between our two countries and bring it to greater heights. The ironclad bond between the U.S. and Israel is rooted in shared values, buttressed by shared interests, and driven by a shared destiny." Many in the government expressed hope Trump would deliver on his campaign promises to Israel, which include recognizing Jerusalem as Israel's capital, moving the U.S. Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, increasing Israel's defence aid, and vetoing any United Nations resolution that targets Israel.

Ynet News: Water crisis looms as PA refuses to cooperate with Israel. The IDF has warned the international community that the water infrastructure in the West Bank and Gaza will collapse as long as the Palestinian Authority refuses to cooperate with Israel. According to Head of the Coordination for Government Activities in the Territories (COGAT), Maj. Gen. Yoav Mordechai, the joint Israeli-Palestinian water distribution council—which manages water infrastructure in the West Bank—hasn’t met since 2010 due to the Palestinians' refusal to approve water infrastructure upgrades in the West Bank settlements.,7340,L-4876000,00.html

US/UK News

Guardian: Yasser Arafat museum to open in his old West Bank headquarters. The Islamic Waqf in Jerusalem, which administers the Temple Mount, responded angrily on Tuesday to statements by Israeli ministers and MKs in favor of changing the status quo on the Mount, warning that any such change could inflame the entire Muslim world. It also urged the international community to intervene to prevent any changes in the status quo, under which Jewish prayer is barred entirely on the Mount and Jewish visits to the site are strictly limited. The Waqf — which is the custodian of Muslim holy sites — was responding to an event at the Knesset on Monday at which three ministers and three Knesset members launched a Temple Mount caucus to push for changing the status quo on the Mount. In its statement on Tuesday, the Waqf accused the Israeli government of embracing and encouraging radical groups that seek to undermine the status of the Al-Aqsa Mosque, which is located on the Mount.

Washington Post: The Latest: Israel minister: New settlement push with Trump. An Israeli Cabinet minister has called for a renewed wave of settlement construction now that President-elect Donald Trump is signaling an end to longstanding White House opposition to the settlements. Science Minister Ofir Akunis told Army Radio Thursday that, “We need to think how we move forward now when the administration in Washington, the Trump administration and his advisers, are saying that there is no place for a Palestinian state.” Earlier, Jason Greenblatt, one of Trump’s advisers on Israel, told Army Radio that Trump doesn’t believe settlement activity should be condemned and doesn’t view the settlements as an obstacle to peace with the Palestinians. Multiple U.S. administrations have condemned any construction on land captured by Israel in the 1967 war — land that Palestinians want for a future state.

New York Times: Court in Israel Sentences Palestinian Teenager to 12 Years for Stabbings. The two teenage cousins met after school, discussed the tensions surrounding the Aqsa Mosque and other issues angering the Palestinians. They decided to avenge their grievances with knives. The younger one, Ahmad Manasra, 13, took a decorative six-inch blade from a cupboard in his parents’ bedroom, according to newly released legal documents. Hassan Manasra, 15, armed himself with a large kitchen knife. The pair then set off for a neighboring Jewish area of East Jerusalem. Details of the case emerged on Monday when an Israeli court sentenced Ahmad to 12 years in prison for his role in the October 2015 stabbing attack that critically wounded an Israeli boy, who was 13 at the time, and an Israeli man. Hassan was fatally shot by police as he ran at them with his knife near the scene of the stabbings. Grainy security camera footage that partly captured those events provided some of the most enduring images of the wave of violence that began that month and has since largely subsided. The trial was not public because of the young age of the defendant. He was convicted in May of two counts of attempted murder.


PNN: Balfour Declaration: Why Britain cannot continue to avoid its responsibility. In 2015, Tobias Ellwood, Britain’s foreign and commonwealth affairs minister for the Middle East and Africa, said that the United Kingdom was going to mark 100 years since the Balfour Declaration. But what does it mean to mark such an event if the U.K. is unwilling to repair the damage it caused to the national and human rights of the Palestinian people? The Balfour Declaration was a letter sent by a British lord, on behalf of the U.K., to a British banker and politician representing the Zionist movement in 1917. It promised the establishment in Palestine, a land that did not belong to them, of a national home for the Jewish people. When Palestine came under British administration a few years later, London made sure to include this letter as part of the British Mandate. When the Balfour Declaration was issued, the area known as historic Palestine was inhabited by over 700,000 people, the overwhelming majority indigenous Arabs. Rather than a “land without a people for a people without a land,” Palestine in fact had an Arab population entitled to the same rights as those in the rest of the region, namely a natural right to self-determination and an independent state recognized in Article 22 of the Covenant of the League of Nations.

Ma’an News Agency: The infamy of the Palestinian elites: an imminent split within Fatah? The Fatah movement is involved in a massive tug-of-war that will ultimately define its future. Though the conflict between current Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas and once Gaza strongman Muhammad Dahlan is in no way motivated by ending the Israeli Occupation, their war will likely determine the future political landscape of Palestine. The issue cannot be taken lightly, nor can it be dismissed as an internal Fatah conflict. The latter is one of the two largest Palestinian factions, the largest within the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO), and has single-handedly pushed Palestinians into the abyss of the 'peace process' and the great Oslo Accords gamble, which has come at great cost and no benefits. Moreover, Fatah embodies Palestine's ruling elites. True, Abbas' mandate expired in 2009 and Dahlan has been accumulating massive wealth since he fled the West Bank in 2011 (following his public feud with Abbas) but, sadly, both men wield substantial authority and influence. Abbas runs the Palestinian Authority in Ramallah with an iron fist and with the full consent and support of Israel and the United States, while Dahlan is being actively groomed by various Middle Eastern governments, and possibly Israeli and US powers, as the likely successor of the aging Ramallah leader.

Israel Hayom: They defeated Obama. A large majority of Israeli journalists, commentators and television hosts hoped Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton would win. The transparent hope of the Israeli left and its representatives in the media was to see a continuation of President Barack Obama's legacy in the White House. They couldn't hide the agony, the regret and the pain they felt when, to their surprise, Donald Trump came out the big winner. Their sadness and melancholy reminded me of the looks on their faces on the night of the elections in Israel, when Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and the Right defeated their orchestrated campaign. They immediately accused Trump voters of lacking intelligence, racism and stupidity. Just as they had crowned those who voted for the Right in Israel "mezuzah kissers. "No doubt, scholars will try their best to explain the election results in the U.S. Trump beat the Democrats, the Republican establishment, the print media, TV stations and the pollsters. Never before in a U.S. election cycle has everyone enlisted against one candidate, under the slogan "Never Trump." From the initial analysis, we can already determine that the American media, like its Israeli counterpart, is detached from reality. You can't truly know American society when you live in a Manhattan bubble. Just as you cannot really know Israeli society from the "State of Tel Aviv." When the media is in the tank for a political party, it will necessarily mislead and deceive instead of reporting the objective reality.

Arutz Sheva: Trump, Israel and the Middle East. Any attempt to assess Donald Trump's Middle East policy faces real difficulties as it is reasonable to assume that he lacks the requisite knowledge, deep understanding and most certainly the experience for dealing with the Middle East, its history, religions, ideologies, trends, the powers that move it, wars that tear it apart, Israel and its issues, and Russian involvement in the terrible catastrophe that is Syria, whose waves are flooding Europe's shores and crossing the Atlantic Ocean. In addition, the fact is that all through last year's campaign, Trump did not give a clear indication of a comprehensive Middle East policy, with the exception of three pronouncements: his plans to move the US Embassy to Jerusalem, his plans to open the Iran Agreement and his insistence on stopping Islamic migration to the US, including Syrian refugees. These pronouncements may have simply been aimed at attracting voters, mainly Jews, but they may also express his real intentions.
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