Israel - Palestine news this week
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Israel-Palestine News 20th - 23rd 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. 
Hebrew News Sources (English versions):

Haaretz: Over 20 arrested as hundreds of Israeli officers raid East Jerusalem
Over 23 people were arrested early on Thursday as hundreds of Israeli officers raided East Jerusalem as part of what the police described as its ongoing battle against violent crimes and terrorism. Officers raided the neighborhoods of Shoafat and Isawiyah in search of arms and suspected violent offenders of both criminal and nationalistic nature, a police statement said. "Officers and Border Patrol forces conducted targeted searches which led them to confiscate illegal munitions, including parts of a Glock-type pistol, arms cartridges, holsters, clubs and different types of ammunition," the police said. "Some 23 people were arrested for their role in rioting, popular terror, illegal possession of fire arms, drugs or property," it said. The raid comes after a string of terror attacks shook Israel and the West Bank this week, prompting Israel to close a number of Arab shops. The Israeli military also increased its presence in the Hebron area, deploying another battalion to the sector after an uptick in attacks in the area in recent days.

Israel Hayom: IAF intercepts Hamas drone over Israel-Gaza border
The Israeli Air Force on Tuesday shot down a Hamas drone spotted flying over the Israel-Gaza Strip border. According to the military, the incident took place at around 10 a.m.  "The drone was under IAF surveillance from the moment of takeoff and never breached Israeli airspace prior to being intercepted," a military statement said. "The IDF will not tolerate any breach of Israeli airspace and will act decisively against any such attempt." In a video of the incident released by the military on Tuesday night, an IAF F-16 fighter jet is seen engaging the drone, and firing an interceptor missile at it. A loud explosion is heard, and the pilot is heard saying, "Fired, explosion noted." The command center is then heard over the jet's communications saying, "Destroyed. Fell, now hitting the water." The defense establishment is aware of the attempts made by the Gaza Strip-based terrorist group to build drones, and Tuesday was not the first time Hamas had tested an unmanned aerial vehicle. Hamas drone tests are usually contained to Gazan airspace and the IAF usually suffices with monitoring them closely. In this case, however, the drone's path prompted interception, as it was moments from breaching Israeli airspace, the military said.
The Jerusalem Post: Report: Israeli textbooks view piece as ultimate goal, do not incite against Palestinians
Israeli textbooks aim for peace, maintain messages of tolerance and coexistence with Palestinians and do not incite against them, according to a study released by IMPACT-se. The report, conducted by Dr. Yael Teff-Seker from the University of Haifa, evaluates the treatment of Palestinians, Arab Israelis and the Israeli-Palestinian conflict in Israeli textbooks. “The Israeli curriculum meets UNESCO-derived standards of peace and tolerance in education,” Marcus Sheff, CEO of IMPACT-se, told The Jerusalem Post on Thursday. IMPACT-se, founded in 1998 and based in Jerusalem, is a research center that monitors and analyzes education around the world and determines compliance according to UNESCO standards for tolerance. The study examined 123 Israeli textbooks recommended by the Education Ministry for grades 7-12 from the state [secular] and state-religious school systems in the 2000- 2017 academic years. According to the findings, Israeli textbooks “see peace as the ultimate goal, and depict it as highly desirable and achievable, while war is considered a negative event, though at times necessary.” The study further found that textbooks acknowledge a Palestinian presence in Israel before 1948, as well as various aspects of the Palestinian narrative and experience. This is evident, for example, by the inclusion of a poem by the Palestinian national poet Mahmoud Darwish in the new civics textbook. The findings also indicated that Israeli textbooks recognize Palestinian territories and cities and clearly mark them on maps.

The Times of Israel: Police arrest brothers of East Jerusalem man who stabbed cops
Israeli police on Monday arrested the three brothers of an East Jerusalem man who stabbed and wounded two police officers outside the capital’s Old City earlier in the day. The three were suspected of expressing support for the stabbings, and police were investigating whether they helped their brother plan and carry out the attack. The assailant, 20-year-old Ayman Kurd, a resident of the Ras al-Amoud neighborhood, was shot and critically wounded during the attack, police said. A 38-year-old policewoman was seriously wounded in the assault, and a 45-year-old policeman sustained moderate injuries. Channel 2 television reported Monday night that the policewoman was in very serious condition, and had undergone a series of operations on her neck and spine. She was expected to remain in serious condition in the coming days, the report said. Her colleague was in stable condition with moderate wounds. Footage from a security camera at the scene shows Kurd approaching the officers from behind, and stabbing them repeatedly before being shot by the male officer.

The Jerusalem Post: Danny Danon: Hamas exploiting humanitarian aide groups
Following reports that Hamas infiltrated a large international aid organization operating in Gaza and redirected tens of millions of dollars – 60 percent – of the organization’s budget to its “military”, Israel's Ambassador to the UN Danny Danon announced a new initiative hoping to battle humanitarian funds being diverted to Hamas.  According to Danon, Israeli intelligence has found a new trend in Hamas exploiting humanitarian groups. Danon explained, “We are initiating today a diplomatic battle against the diversion of humanitarian organizations’ funding towards Hamas’s terror infrastructure.”  “We will not relent until the UN and other aid organizations begin to track and follow every dollar that enters the Gaza Strip,” he continued. Danon stated that he also spoke with UN Secretary General Ban ki-moon asking that the UN work to implement comprehensive over sight mechanisms that would stop humanitarian aid funds from reaching the hands of terrorist organizations.  In early August a senior Shin Bet source explained that The World Vision organization, which operates in 100 countries and employs 46,000 people, fell victim to a complex Hamas takeover scheme. Danon had also personally contacted international organization that operates in Gaza, demanding that they work to insure that Hamas doesn't exploit their attempts to help Palestinian civilians.
Arabic News Sources (English versions):

Al-Jazeera: US aid deal 'significant reward' for Israeli right
The deal grants a boon to the Israeli army whose primary task is managing a long-running occupation, analysts say. The new military aid deal formalised by the United States and Israel on September 14 could serve to boost an intransigent, right-wing Israeli government that has already shown little appetite for substantial concessions to the Palestinians, analysts say. "The primary lesson that the increasingly extremist Israeli right will draw from this agreement is that there are no significant international consequences, but rather, significant rewards for their behaviour," Mouin Rabbani, a senior fellow at the Institute for Palestine Studies, told Al Jazeera. This behaviour, Rabbani added, has included not just "exponentially accelerating colonial expansion in the West Bank", but also "brazen interference in domestic American politics", citing Netanyahu's "open alignment" for Mitt Romney in the 2012 elections, and the more recent efforts "to mobilise the US Congress against the White House in the matter of the Iranian nuclear agreement". “Obama has clearly washed his hands of the Palestinians for some years now. Even if he makes a last-ditch attempt to save the vanishing two-state solution, this is likely to weaken- not strengthen- the Palestinians by eroding international law.
Middle East Eye: Palestinian-Israelis warn of bid to ‘criminalise’ political activity
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. Jamal Zahalka, leader of Balad’s parliamentary faction and one of the party’s three members of the Knesset (MKs), accused Israeli authorities of targeting the party because of its political activities on behalf of Palestinians in Israel. “This is a political move, not a legal one,” Zahalka told Middle East Eye. “It is part of a long-running campaign of persecution and efforts to criminalise political activity among Palestinians in Israel.”
Ma’an News Agency: Israeli forces detain 41 Palestinians in massive raids across occupied territory
Israeli forces detained at least 41 Palestinians during detention raids from Monday evening to Tuesday before dawn across the occupied Palestinian territory, Israeli and Palestinian sources said. The Palestinian Prisoner’s Society (PPS) reported 28 overnight detentions in both occupied East Jerusalem and the West Bank, whereas an Israeli army spokesperson told Ma’an they had records of a total of 27 detentions overnight in the West Bank, although they could not provide locations for three of them. According to PPS, at least 14 Palestinians, including three minors, were detained in occupied East Jerusalem during evening and predawn raids. The Israeli army spokesperson told Ma’an that Palestinian youth threw Molotov cocktails and rocks at soldiers in al-Duheisha, injuring two soldiers who were later taken to the hospital. She added that Israeli troops used unspecified “riot dispersal means” before firing at “the main instigators” of the clashes. The Israeli army listed one detention in Beit Fajjar, three in al-Duheisha refugee camp, and two in Aida refugee camp.

Al Arabiya: Israeli settlements have grown during the Obama years
In his landmark speech to the Arab world seven years ago, President Barack Obama warned that Israeli settlements on occupied territories were undermining hopes for peace. “It is time for these settlements to stop,” he declared. As Obama heads into the home stretch of his presidency, he leaves behind an unfulfilled vision. Not only did he fail to stop it, but he watched Israeli construction in the West Bank and east Jerusalem thrive - despite repeated White House condemnations. According to Israeli government data obtained by The Associated Press, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu pushed a wave of construction during the Obama presidency that matched, and even exceeded, the amount of building that took place under his predecessors during the Bush years. The figures show the limits of US influence over its close ally and a reluctance to link financial support to Israel with policy differences. Despite the Israeli defiance over settlements and a long history of friction between Obama and Netanyahu, the two countries signed a deal this week giving Israel $38 billion in US military aid over 10 years, the largest deal of its kind in American history.

PNN: Ashrawi: Israel’s extra-judicial killings of Palestinians require urgent international intervention
PLO Executive Committee Member Dr. Hanan Ashrawi strongly condemned Israel’s extra-judicial killings of three Palestinians and one Jordanian today and yesterday in occupied Jerusalem and Hebron. Ashrawi said :“Israel is flagrantly employing a systematic and willful policy of summary executions against the Palestinian people; such provocative acts are in direct violation of international law and conventions. She added that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his right-wing extremist government are creating a culture of violence, intimidation and lawlessness that is destroying the chances for peace; their volatile actions threaten to plunge the entire region into further instability, extremism and chaos. We call on the international community to engage rapidly and effectively and to hold Israel accountable with punitive measures before it is too late.”
US/UK News Sources:

New York Times: Mahmoud Abbas: Out to Push Palestinian Cause Back to Top of Agenda
When Mahmoud Abbas, the president of the Palestinian Authority, attends sessions of the United Nations General Assembly, he enjoys many of the trappings of a head of state. He is invited to address other world leaders. Last year, the Palestinian flag was even raised over the United Nations for the first time. But he is not a head of state, no matter how much he wants to be, and that is the point Mr. Abbas is likely to make in yet another appeal to the world body to help make him one. With so much of the Middle East in turmoil, however, the challenge for Mr. Abbas is to push his cause back to the top of the international agenda amid fresh Palestinian attacks, which he attributes to frustration over Israel’s long occupation of the West Bank. There are only so many ways to draw attention to his issue — and he has already used many of them. Last year, after aides promised a “bombshell” in his annual speech, he declared that the Palestinians were no longer bound by the requirements of the Oslo peace accords since, he argued, Israel was not abiding by them. In effect, he seemed to be tossing aside two decades of economic, security and other arrangements, which would transform the situation on the ground. Except that he did not follow through, so it will be harder on Thursday to make any similar statement. Instead, he may use the forum to complain that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel, who will address the body the day before, has been an obstacle to peace, accusing him of refusing to meet in Moscow at the behest of the Russians. Mr. Netanyahu has said he will meet the Palestinian leader but only if there are no preconditions.

Reuters: Obama urges Israel end occupation and Palestinians accept Israel
Both sides would benefit if Israel recognised it cannot permanently occupy Palestinian land and if Palestinians rejected incitement and recognised Israel's legitimacy, U.S. President Barack Obama told the United Nations on Tuesday. Obama's efforts to bring about an Israeli-Palestinian peace agreement have failed over the nearly eight years he has been in the White House, with the latest push by U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry collapsing in 2014. U.S. officials have held out the possibility Obama could lay out the rough outlines of a deal - "parameters" in diplomatic parlance - after the Nov. 8 presidential election and before he leaves office in January, but many analysts doubt this would have much effect. “Surely Israelis and Palestinians will be better off if Palestinians reject incitement and recognise the legitimacy of Israel ...(and if) Israel recognises that it cannot permanently occupy and settle Palestinian land," Obama said.

The Washington Post: Palestinian leader says he is proud to be branded a ‘global terrorist’ by U.S.
GAZA CITY — Fathi Hammad said that he is pleased to be named a “global terrorist” by the United States. On Friday, the State Department branded the senior Hamas leader a “specially designated global terrorist.” That is a rarefied list of international enemies belonging to organizations such as al-Qaeda, Boko Haram, Hezbollah, the Taliban, the Jewish Kahane group, Algerian Salafists, the Islamic State and Hamas, among others. On Saturday, Hammad told The Washington Post: “The decision only makes me more confident about my path. The threat of killing or arrest? It doesn’t freak me out, not at all. I am looking forward to it.” Hammad said, “I feel proud that I managed to anger America.” Then he added, “I don’t know why they picked me.” The United States charged that Hammad, 55, a former interior minister for the Hamas government in the Gaza Strip, coordinated terrorist cells. No evidence was presented. The designation also said that Hammad is a director of Al-Aqsa TV, “which is a primary Hamas media outlet with programs designed to recruit children to become Hamas armed fighters and suicide bombers upon reaching adulthood.” Why the State Department decided to name Hammad as a global terrorist now is unclear. It is well known that Hammad founded the TV station, but it went on the air soon after Hamas, an Islamist militant group, took control of the coastal enclave in 2007. The Times of Israel in 2015 called Hammad “one of the most radical figures in Hamas today.”
The Guardian: Want peace between Israel and Palestine? The Iran deal is a good guide.
President Obama met with the Israeli prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, in New York today, with the goal of pressing him to move toward reconciliation with the Palestinians. This comes on the heels of his approval of Israel’s $38bn military aid package, the largest in US history, which many regard as a means to placate Netanyahu over the nuclear agreement the US signed with Iran. Ironically, it is that very deal, a symbol of the power of international diplomacy, that should serve as an example of how to craft a successful peace agreement between Israelis and Palestinians. The Iran deal was a historic effort that mitigated Iran’s chances of obtaining a nuclear bomb, a dangerous development many believed was imminent. In exchange for lifting longstanding US and international sanctions, which had crippled Iran’s economy, leaders allowed increased inspections of nuclear facilities, removed two-thirds of the country’s centrifuges and dismantled its plutonium reactor. For the first time in a decade, Iran did not have sufficient enriched uranium to create a nuclear bomb. The deal also created the space to free five US citizens who were being held hostage there and dramatically increased international peace and security. It worked because the US and Iran understood that to move forward, both had to put something on the table. In addition, the involvement of the other P5+1 countries (France, Russia, United Kingdom, China and Germany) and the European Union was instrumental, since each had their own political and economic relationships with Iran and the US and could obtain buy-in from their national legislatures to ensure the deal’s implementation. Additional partners also increased pressure on Iran to be accountable. The nuclear agreement with Iran was seen as a long shot by many. But it ended up becoming a successful modern-day example that bombs and bullets cannot create enduring peace and security the way diplomacy can. The Israeli/Palestinian conflict is no different. With a building of mutual trust, concessions from both sides, international support and economic incentives, it is certainly possible to finally resolve the conflict for good.
Haaretz: There won’t be peace until Israel accepts responsibility for the Nakba
The government of Israel confirms once again: War crimes were committed in 1947-1948; there were acts of slaughter, there was expulsion, there was ethnic cleansing – there was a Nakba, a Catastrophe as the Palestinians call their experience in those years. How do we know? The government is about to extend the confidentiality of one of the major files in the Israel Defense Forces Archive that deals with the creation of the Palestinian refugee problem. Sixty-eight years have gone by and Israel is concealing the archival truth from itself – could there be any clearer proof that it has something to hide? A senior official explained to Haaretz diplomatic correspondent Barak Ravid (“Panel led by Shaked likely to keep ‘Nakba file’ in IDF archive sealed,” September 20): “When peace comes, it will be possible to open those materials to public viewing.” Peace is not going to come before the Israelis know about and understand how it all began. Peace is not going to come before Israel accepts responsibility, apologizes and compensates. There is no peace without this. Perhaps there could be truth and reconciliation commissions like in South Africa, or a bended knee and reparations like in Germany. This could be the expression of an apology to the Palestinian people, partial return and partial compensation for the property stolen in 1948 and ever since. Just not denial and shirking of responsibility. Peace is not going to be prevented because the Palestinians are insisting on the right of return. It will be prevented mainly because Israel is not prepared to internalize the historical starting point: A people without a country came to a country with a people, and that people experienced a terrible tragedy that continues to this day. What happened to the Palestinian people in 1948 and continued after the establishment of the state, cannot be repressed forever.

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