Israel - Palestine news this week
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Israel-Palestine News 29th October - 4th 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. 
Hebrew News Sources

Israel Hayom: Advisers: Trump will move US Embassy to Jerusalem. Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump's top advisers on Israel, David Friedman and Jason Greenblatt, released an article on Wednesday detailing Trump's unequivocal support for Israel. The elaborate plan, which was posted on self-publishing platform Medium, includes recognition of Jerusalem as the indivisible capital of Israel and the lifting of any restrictions on U.S. defense aid to Israel. "The U.S. will recognize Jerusalem as the eternal and indivisible capital of the Jewish state, and Mr. Trump's administration will move the U.S. Embassy to Jerusalem," Friedman and Greenblatt wrote. The advisers stated that "the U.S. should cut off funds for the U.N. Human Rights Council, a body dominated by countries presently run by dictatorships that seems solely devoted to slandering the Jewish state. "UNESCO's attempt to disconnect the State of Israel from Jerusalem is a one-sided attempt to ignore Israel's 3,000-year bond to its capital city, and is further evidence of the enormous anti-Israel bias of the United Nations."

Times of Israel: Red tape, blunders keep Balfour Declaration away from the homeland it promised. Years after prime minister announced seminal Zionist document, issued 99 years ago today, would be displayed in Tel Aviv, dream of bringing it to Israel mired in renovations and bureaucratic snafus. It took decades to bring the Balfour Declaration, which enshrined London’s support for a Jewish homeland in Palestine, to fruition. Bringing the actual document to Israel for a second visit may take even longer. Plans to bring the Balfour Declaration to Tel Aviv for its second-ever display in Israel were announced by the Israeli government six and a half years ago, but they are held up in a dust of renovation rubble and bureaucratic misunderstandings, with no horizon for getting it to Tel Aviv for at least another year. The document, which was issued exactly 99 years ago Wednesday, is now expected to arrive in Israel in 2018. That is just in time for the country’s 70th anniversary — but one year after the declaration’s centennial in 2017.

Jerusalem Post: Initial report: Attempted terrorist stabbing in West Bank; attacker shot dead. A soldier was lightly injured from shrapnel after being shot at a military checkpoint near Tulkarm, the IDF spokesperson stated Thursday night. The soldier was being treated on the scene. Earlier Thursday, A Palestinian assailant who attempted to stab soldiers guarding at a bus stop near the Ofra settlement, in the West Bank, was shot and killed by Israeli security forces. No Israelis were injured in the attack. Security forces were further investigating the incident. Thursday's incident came after a Palestinian policeman shot and wounded three soldiers at the Focus Checkpoint that leads to Ramallah on Monday. Security forces at the scene shot and killed Muhammed Turkman, a 25-year-old Palestinian police officer from the village of Kabatiya. Both attacks occurred in the Binyamin region of the West Bank, near and on Route 60. In Washington on Wednesday, US State Department spokesman John Kirby spoke out against Palestinian violence and incitement.

Haaretz: Instead of Escorting Palestinian Kids Home From School, Israeli Soldiers Throw Stones. Using a slingshot here, luring two Israeli women to a forbidden road there - this is the Israeli army in its element. The footage captured two stone-throwers. Around 18 or 19 years old, faces exposed. We won’t keep you in suspense any longer: we can tell you right now that they’re both Israel Defense Forces soldiers and were throwing stones at some Palestinian girls dressed in their school uniforms. The IDF spokesman says the stones were not thrown at the children. That’s open to interpretation, because at least one of the soldiers is standing in front of the children, and his stones force them to stop in their tracks. This was last Thursday, October 27, around 1:30 P.M. The place: Between the villages of Tuba and Twaneh in the South Hebron Hills, on the road that passes beneath the illegal and unauthorized outpost of Havat Ma’on. The two stone-throwers, in IDF uniform, stood next to an armored vehicle that contained at least two more soldiers. The soldiers also used a slingshot, to increase the range.

Arabic News Sources:

Ma’an News Agency: Palestinian killed by Israeli forces after alleged attempted stabbing near settlement. A Palestinian was killed by Israeli forces on Thursday afternoon after allegedly attempting to stab an Israeli soldier in the central occupied West Bank district of Ramallah. An Israeli army spokesperson told Ma'an that a Palestinian "armed with a knife attempted to stab an Israeli soldier guarding a bus stop" near the illegal settlement of Ofra. She said that Israeli forces shot at the Palestinian, "resulting in his death." The army spokesperson said that she was not aware of any Israelis being injured in the case. Israeli forces reportedly prevented Palestinian medics from approaching the scene, eyewitnesses said, adding that Israeli medical teams did not treat him, leaving him to bleed to death. The Palestinian Ministry of Health identified the slain youth as Maen Nasser al-Din Abu Qaraa, 23, from the village of al-Mazraa al-Qibliyaa in the Ramallah district. Locals told Ma'an that Israeli forces closed the entrances and the roads to the nearby villages of Silwad town and Ein Yabrud following the killing, preventing Palestinians from going in and out of the two municipalities.

PNN: Israeli mayor calls for banning Muslim call for prayer in Jerusalem. The Hebrew Radio on Thursday said that the Israeli mayor of Jerusalem, Nir Brakhat, has issued a resolution to Israeli officials and police, calling for halting Adhan (Muslim call for prayer) in Jerusalem because it is “noisy.” According to the radio, Brakhat sent a letter to the head of the Israeli police in Jerusalem, Major General Yuran Helevi, asking him to cooperate on the issue to find a solution to stop what he called “the noise”, adding that he received several complaints about it. This morning as well, a group of Israeli settlers from Pisgat Ze’ev settlement held a demonstration outside Brakhat’s house, complaining about the Adhan sound. This is not the first time such call is made. In March, Israeli right-wing MK, Moti Yoges, had proposed a vote to restrict the Adhan on loudspeakers, an idea that was presented in previous years as well.

Al-Jazeera: Palestinians mourn final Cremisan Valley olive harvest. The rocky terraces of the Cremisan Valley are mostly overgrown and wild these days, as local landowners say they have lost all hope of keeping control over the more than 300 hectares of olive trees and orchards along the sloping mount, confiscated by the Israeli government earlier this year. "I haven't been here at all this year. Look how the weeds have grown over, and trash from the street has piled up," Ricardo Jaweejat said, motioning towards the vast olive grove that has belonged to his family for generations. "What's the point? When we learned the Israelis were taking the land, I avoided doing anything with it. It's a little bit dangerous to be here now." Beit Jala olives are known by Palestinians around the world for producing the finest olive oil, and the oil from the city's Cremisan Valley is considered to be the best of Beit Jala, a district of the Bethlehem municipality in the southern occupied West Bank. This year is expected to be the last chance to harvest olives from the valley, which will soon be blocked off by an extension of Israel's separation wall.

Middle East Eye: Israeli army kills Palestinian near West Bank settlement. Israeli troops on Thursday shot dead a Palestinian who tried to stab a soldier near the West Bank settlement of Ofra, the army said. "A Palestinian assailant armed with a knife attempted to stab an Israel Defence Forces soldier guarding a bus stop near the community of Ofra," a statement in English said. "Responding to threat, forces at the scene shot the assailant, resulting in his death," it said. The Palestinian health ministry named him as Maen Abu Qaraa, 23, from an area northwest of Ramallah in the occupied West Bank. Also on Thursday, "a Palestinian gunman opened fire" at soldiers near the northern West Bank town of Tulkarem, lightly wounding one of them, an army statement said. "Forces are searching the area for the perpetrator, who fled the scene," the military said.  And on Monday, a Palestinian man was killed by Israeli troops after shooting and wounding three soldiers at crossing point close to Ramallah, the Israeli army said. A Palestinian security source said the dead man was a member of the Palestinian police. "[A] Palestinian gunman arrived at a [military] crossing at the entrance to Ramallah and opened fire at forces at the scene, injuring three soldiers. In response to the immediate threat, forces shot the assailant," an Israeli army statement said.


Guardian: Palestinian who tried to stab soldier shot dead by Israeli troops in West Bank. Israeli troops have shot dead a Palestinian who tried to stab a soldier near the West Bank settlement of Ofra, the army said. “Palestinian assailant armed with a knife attempted to stab an Israel Defence Forces soldier guarding a bus stop near the community of Ofra,” a statement in English said. “Responding to threat, forces at the scene shot the assailant, resulting in his death,” it said. The Palestinian health ministry named him as Maen Abu Qaraa, 23, from an area north-west of Ramallah in the occupied West Bank. On Thursday night “a Palestinian gunman opened fire” at soldiers near the northern West Bank town of Tulkarem, lightly wounding one of them, an army statement said. “Forces are searching the area for the perpetrator, who fled the scene,” the military said. A wave of Palestinian knife, gun and car-ramming attacks began a year ago, but the violence has significantly declined in recent months.

The Wall Street Journal: Anti-Semitism goes to parliament. Modern-day Holocaust denial went on full display last week—in the seat of Britain’s government. Europe’s descent into a new kind of anti-Semitism hit a new low last week in, of all places, the Palace of Westminster. There, at an event in the House of Lords, Jews were blamed for the Holocaust, Israel was compared to Islamic State and Zionists were said to have power over Parliament.

Middle East Eye: No matter who wins the US election, the door stays shut to Palestinians. Presidential elections offer a brief but critical window to examine the different and often competing visions over which direction the country should take regarding the economy, foreign policy, and key domestic issues. The 2016 presidential elections are perhaps the most divisive in the country’s modern history, a probable consequence of the extreme polarisation between the Republican and Democratic parties. Despite these rising tensions, in the realm of foreign policy, the approach to Israel, Palestine and the Palestinians is arguably one of the most inflexible and entrenched positions in Washington. While there are differences between the parties’ beliefs on how to achieve their objectives, Democrats and Republicans share a common vision: Israel is to be provided with unconditional financial, military and diplomatic support, Palestine is a word that is rarely (if ever) articulated publicly or addressed substantially, and the Palestinians - their lives, concerns, and rights - are invisibilised and, if recognised, only so in the shadow of Israel’s security interests.

The Telegraph: Anti-Semitism in Britain directly hurts our efforts towards peace in the Middle East. Two events took place last week in two places as far apart as you can imagine, but they had something in common.
The first took place in the House of Lords where Jenny Tonge from the Liberal Democrats hosted a meeting calling on the government to apologise to the Palestinians for the Balfour Declaration of 1917, in which Her Majesty’s government recognised the right of the Jewish people to a national home in the land of Israel.
During the event it was argued that Jews were to blame for the Holocaust, Jews suggested the Final Solution to Hitler (the fact that the Jews were the victims was strangely omitted), the State of Israel was compared to Isil and one of those who spoke claimed that “the Jews are the real anti-Semites.” To my knowledge none of those present bothered to tell him that his statement was absurd at worst, and actually still absurd at best.

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