Israel - Palestine news this week
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Israel-Palestine News 24th - 30th September 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 News Sources (English Versions)

Al-Jazeera: Palestinians call on FIFA to ban matches in settlements                       Call comes just days after Human Rights Watch asked FIFA to ban Israeli teams from playing in the occupied West Bank. An official from the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) on Tuesday called on football's ruling body FIFA to ban Israeli teams from playing matches in Jewish-only settlements across the occupied West Bank. The call comes two days after New York-based Human Rights Watch urged FIFA to act on the issue of six clubs who play in Israeli settlements in the occupied West Bank. FIFA is expected to discuss the issue at an October 13-14 meeting of its executive committee. Last year, the Palestinian Football Association (PFA) threatened to table a resolution calling on FIFA to suspend Israel over its restrictions on the movement of Palestinian players, in a move that also included a protest over the settlement teams. It withdrew the bid at the last minute and FIFA set up a monitoring committee to resolve the issue. The committee is due to submit its recommendations to the upcoming FIFA council meeting. Earlier this month, a group of 66 members of the European Parliament signed a letter calling on FIFA President Gianni Infantino to ban Israeli clubs based in settlements. Israeli settlements in the occupied West Bank and Jerusalem are illegal under international law and have been a major stumbling block in negotiations between Palestinians and Israelis.

Middle East Eye: Palestinian-Israelis warn of bid to ‘criminalise’ political activity      
Leaders of Balad party complain of 'long-running campaign of persecution' following arrests of senior party officials. Members of one of the main Palestinian parties in the Israeli parliament have accused authorities of seeking to criminalise their political activity following the arrest of more than two dozen party officials. Senior Balad members including secretary general Awad Abdel Fattah were among those detained by police in dawn raids on their homes on Sunday. Computers and documents were also seized. Balad is one of four Palestinian-dominated parties that make up the Joint List, the third largest faction in Israel’s parliament, or Knesset, which represents the fifth of Israel’s population who are Palestinian. Police said the Balad officials were suspected of involvement in irregular political funding, including the concealment of donors, some reportedly from overseas. Reports in the Israeli media suggested the party had been receiving undeclared donations from Qatar. The party denies those allegations. Both Salah and a former Balad MK, Said Nafa, are currently serving jail terms. Salah was found guilty of using a sermon to incite against Israel, while Nafa was convicted of meeting a “foreign agent” during a visit to Syria. At a press conference in Nazareth on Sunday, leaders of the Palestinian minority defended Balad.

Ma’an News Agency: Netanyahu- “I hope Obama won't seek to establish a Palestinian state”      
In an interview aired on Israel’s Channel 2 on Saturday, Netanyahu was asked if Obama had promised him that he would not seek to establish a state of Palestine without Israel’s cooperation before the end of his term in January. "If you’re asking if he spoke to me about this, the answer is no," The Jerusalem Post quoted Netanyahu as saying. “If you’re asking me if I am hoping that he won't do this, the answer is yes." The interview came two days after Netanyahu and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas made speeches at the 71st session of the United Nations General Assembly, during which they exchanged heated accusations regarding Israeli settlement building, the Balfour Declaration, and each other’s commitment to resolving the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Over the past several months, France has been leading renewed peace efforts between Palestine and Israel with the aim of solving the decades-long conflict between the countries. However, Netanyahu staunchly rejected the multilateral French initiative in April, saying the “best way to resolve the conflict between Israel and Palestinians is through direct, bilateral negotiations" without Palestinian preconditions. The Palestinian Authority has repeatedly expressed support for the French initiative, and in April shelved the submission of a new anti-settlement resolution to the UN out of fear that doing so could thwart progress of new French proposals, causing outrage among various Palestinian political factions. Israeli Minister of Defense Avigdor Lieberman and Netanyahu issued a joint statement in May expressing their support of reviving the Arab Peace Initiative for Israeli-Palestinian negotiations, which called for an Israeli withdrawal from the occupied Palestinian territory in exchange for full normalization of ties with Arab states.

PNN: IOF demolish Palestinian school for the fourth time                                                   
Israeli Occupation Forces (IOF) on Tuesday morning have demolished a new classroom made out of Zinc in The Abu Nuwwar school in Khan Al-Ahmar, occupied East Jerusalem. This is the fourth time the school is demolished by Israel, who refuses to give it permission to continue. The school is located in area C of the West Bank, between the illegal settlements of Ma’ale Adumim and Qedar: an area that has been marked by the Israeli authorities as Area E1, site of the planned expansion of Ma’ale Adumim in order to create territorial contiguity between the settlement and Jerusalem. According to B’Tselem rights group, the Abu a-Nuwar community consists of more than 100 families, with a total population of about 600, about half of them minors. On 6 January 2016, the authorities demolished five residential tents of families in the community. On 10 January 2016, the authorities returned to Abu a-Nuwar and confiscated the replacement tents donated to the community by humanitarian aid agencies. Residents of the community have been legally battling the plan to expel them for a number of years. In a petition filed in 2015, the HCJ issued an interim injunction prohibiting the demolition of some structures in the community. However, the caravans, like the tents the authorities destroyed since January, were not included in these.

Hebrew News Sources (English Versions)

Haaretz: Shimon Peres, 1923-2016: From nuclear pioneer to champion of peace       
Israel’s elder statesman Shimon Peres believed security and peace went hand in hand and that 'Dimona had paved the way for Oslo.' Peres was a Knesset member for nearly 50 years, from the Ben-Gurion government in 1959 through the Olmert administration in 2007. He served as a minister in 12 different governments, including twice as prime minister. He is the only Israeli to have served as both prime minister and president. With his entry into the security field in 1947, his life changed from one extreme to the other. Peres, who was then a 24-year-old party hack, was recruited to join Haganah headquarters in Tel Aviv, where he was involved in several missions. He was in charge of arms acquisitions abroad. The crowning glory of his security work was establishing Israel’s nuclear program. Many initially called him an irresponsible adventurer and said that there was no chance of bringing this program to fruition. After the 1993 Oslo Accords, Peres would draw a connection between security and peace. “Dimona paved the way for Oslo. I was once asked how I would want to describe my biography, and I said: From Dimona to Oslo,” he said. “A nation attacks another nation for two reasons – the desire to destroy the other nation and the capability to do so. Because we could not change the desire, we needed to convince them that they could not do it. Thus, Dimona pulled the rug out from under the legs of those who thought they could destroy Israel.” President Chaim Herzog said at the time, “Aside from Ben-Gurion, there is no politician that Israel needed more on the security front than Peres.”

Israel Hayom: Court rules to raze home of terrorist in Henkin murders                                
The High Court ruled Tuesday in favor of razing the home of terrorist Majed Aliwa, who gathered money and weapons toward the murders of Eitam and Naama Henkin in an Oct. 1 shooting attack. At the same time, the court ruled against demolishing the home of Bassam al-Sayeh, who approved the attack and also helped collect funds for it. According to the judges, neither terrorist was directly involved in carrying out the attack. Aliwa confessed to murder and received two life sentences, but in Sayeh's case, the state did not have irrefutable evidence against him. The panel of judges comprised Justices Yoram Danziger, Zvi Zylbertal and Anat Baron, with the latter giving the minority opinion that the demolition of Aliwa's home was a disproportionate punishment and should be prevented as his wife and their eight children live there. In their ruling, the judges wrote of Aliwa's case: "Since the last decision was made, Aliwa was convicted of intentionally causing the death of the Henkin couple, alongside other crimes. The significance of his conviction is, simply put, that Aliwa himself, by way of his own actions, caused acts of murder to be realized.

The Jerusalem Post: Saudi paper calls for Abbas to accept invitation to address Knesset        
Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas should accept Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's invitation and address Israel's Knesset, a Saudi newspaper argued in it's editorial on Monday. The English-language Saudi Gazette said that Netanyahu's invitation, issued during his speech to the UN General Assembly last week, was reminiscent of former prime minister Menachem Begin's invitation to former Egyptian president Anwar Sadat, which eventually led to the 1978 peace treaty between Israel and Egypt. While conceding the Palestinian contention that Netanyahu's decision may have been "designed to mask what they described as Israel’s intransigence on moving forward with the Mideast peace process," the paper's editorial board said that Sadat's address was preceded by similarly grim prospects. The editorial came amid signs that the Saudi media is softening its reporting on Israel, a development that has been linked to under the table contacts between the two countries.

The Times of Israel: Mahmoud Abbas hails ‘brave’ peace partner Shimon Peres                  
In condolence message, PA leader notes the late president’s role in the Oslo Accords; Hamas: Palestinians ‘happy’ at his death. Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas paid tribute Wednesday to the late former president Shimon Peres who died earlier in the day. Abbas hailed Peres as a “brave” partner for peace and sent his family condolences over his death, the official PA news agency Wafa reported. Abbas is expected to address Fatah members on Wednesday night and reports said he would say a few words about the the late Israeli leader. Earlier Wafa vilified Peres in an obituary, describing him as an architect of the settlement movement who was responsible for the deaths of Palestinians and committed “many crimes.” The article noted that Peres was also responsible for building the Dimona nuclear reactor. A PLO official said he believed a Palestinian delegation may attend Peres’s funeral. But according to Israel Radio, which cites Palestinian sources, the PA leadership will not “initiate coming without an invitation from the family.” In the Gaza Strip, the ruling Hamas terror group expressed happiness at Peres’s death. A spokesman for the movement said, “The Palestinian people are happy at the death of this criminal. In a contradictory statement, Army Radio cited Hamas media as praising Peres’s willingness to cede territory for peace.

US/UK News

New York Times: Obama and Bill Clinton to Travel to Israel to Honour Shimon Peres    
World leaders made plans to converge on Israel to pay tribute to Shimon Peres, the Nobel Prize-winning former prime minister who died on Wednesday, focusing renewed attention on his quest for peace in a fractured land that fell well short of his dreams. Presidents, prime ministers and a prince accepted invitations to the funeral on Friday for Mr. Peres, who transformed himself from a polarizing figure to perhaps Israel’s most renowned elder statesman.  Mr. Peres, 93, who slipped away just over two weeks after what his doctor called “a massive stroke,” emerged as a symbol of what might have been, after the peace accords he helped broker in the 1990s failed to bring lasting change. The United States will send a delegation including President Obama, former President Bill Clinton and Secretary of State John Kerry, the Israeli Foreign Ministry said. But the ministry mistakenly reported that Hillary Clinton, the Democratic nominee for president and a former secretary of state, would attend. With just weeks until the election, Mrs. Clinton’s campaign said she would not attend. Mr Obama, who has been at odds with the current Israeli Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, over the log jammed peace process, made clear that he saw the moment as an opportunity to prod Israel to fulfil Mr. Peres’s legacy. Mr. Peres’s body will lie in state on Thursday at the Knesset, the Israeli Parliament, and a funeral will be held the next day at Mount Herzl, the national cemetery.

The Washington Post: As the West pays tribute to Peres, many Arabs recall a legacy of destruction                                                        
While Western leaders mourned the death of Israeli statesman and Nobel laureate Shimon Peres, many in the Arab world reacted with scorn, viewing him as a key architect of destructive Israeli policies toward Palestinians. In Saudi Arabia’s Sabq newspaper, the headline of his obituary read, “President of Israeli Colonialism Peres Dies.” On the Qatar-based Al Jazeera network’s Arabic-language website, Peres was described as: “The butcher of Qana who was awarded the Nobel Prize for Peace” — a reference to the Israeli bombardment that killed scores of civilians in the village of Qana during the 1996 war in Lebanon. Peres was prime minister at the time. The starkly different reactions to Peres’s death underscored the deep divides over the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and the plight of the Palestinian people, as well as the wide gulf in perceptions between the West and Arab countries. Even as President Obama and other leaders paid tribute to his legacy as a peacemaker, obituaries across the Middle East on Wednesday described Peres as playing a central role in Israeli assaults against Palestinians, dispossessing them of their lands and rights.

Guardian: As a peacemaker, Shimon Peres never won over the Israeli public                   
Two weeks ago, 13 September, was the 23rd anniversary of the signing of the Oslo agreement, Shimon Peres’ diplomatic masterstroke that was supposed to lead to a peace treaty between Israel and the Palestinians. In the early afternoon, a rocket streaked across the Mediterranean, clearly visible from the windows of his office in the Peres Peace Center near Jaffa’s coastline. It was carrying a spy satellite, made by the Israeli Aerospace Industry that Peres had founded over half a century earlier. The rocket was a civilian version of the Jericho missile, reported to be the launcher of Israel’s nuclear weapon, developed by the project founded by Peres in the 1950s. That evening, as he was being rushed to hospital in the early stages of a massive stroke from which he would not recover, a new $38bn military aid deal was announced in Jerusalem and Washington. It had been Peres who had signed the first arms deal with the United States in 1963. Shimon Peres, who has died at the age of 93, spent the first half of his public career building Israel’s military might and ensuring its security. The second half was focused on increasingly forlorn attempts to bring peace to his country. The sad irony of his life was that he had been much more successful in his first chapter. His efforts to reconcile the Jewish state with its Arab neighbours failed to achieve similarly lasting results.

Haaretz: Liberal Israel Will Feel Orphaned Without Shimon Peres                                         
The great patriotism he exuded, his deep certainty in the justice of our being here, brought him to dovish positions that he fought for relentlessly. As a young man seeking his political path, I viewed Peres as a representative of the Labor Party’s hawkish side. But he changed his positions as the years went by and became the beacon of peace – its ultimate marketer, for better or worse. He was unique because he was the synthesis of a man of vision and a first-rank doer. There haven’t been many prime ministers like him. I served as the Labor Party’s secretary-general in 1985, a time when Peres installed an emergency plan to save the economy. He did it relentlessly, energetically and with an amazing power of persuasion. He overcame all public opposition, from both left and right, and brought about historic change. His public standing grew steadily. He was at home in Europe, able to open every door, more European than American. He loved the culture, the style and the connection with that continent. It seemed more natural and real to him. Unlike many other people of action, who tend to sink into nostalgia in old age and glorify their past achievements, Peres spoke little of his past and his achievements. He preferred to speak of his path, his beliefs and his vision of the future.

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