Israel - Palestine news this week
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Israel-Palestine News 23rd - 29th 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. 
Hebrew News Sources (English Version):
Haaretz: Solving the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict, One Phone Number at a Time
300 Palestinians and Israelis gathered by Rothschild Boulevard in Tel Aviv to discuss a solution to the conflict. The meeting, called the Public Israeli-Palestinian Congress for Negotiations, consisted of 20 large tables stretched along the boulevard where people were able to share their views in an ordered and respectful manner. Participants discussed a general solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict followed by a debate on how to implement it. Dr. Sapir Handelman, founder of the Minds of Peace Organization and head of the Centre for Diversity and Multiculturalism at Achva Academic College, initiated such meetings during his studies as part of an experiment to create a model for engaging the public in conflict resolution. Handelman’s goal is to build a public congress of 1,000 participants from both sides and generate negotiations that will spur internal leadership. However, the nature of the event did mean that differences in political orientation, residency and language caused dispute. Yet at the end of the event, a positive energy of allegiance and dedication was in the air with one participant saying, “The most important thing was the understanding that there is hope. We understood that there were people across from us. We managed to understand that we are not facing an enemy, but rather people.”
The Jerusalem Post: Saudi delegation to Israel: Ending Palestinian conflict critical for ties with Arab states
Led by Saudi general Anwar Eshki, businessmen, academics and politicians met in Israel to promote the 2002 Arab Peace Initiative or the Saudi initiative that aims to build diplomatic relations between Israel and Arab states in return for a withdrawal to the pre-1967 lines. Over the past months, Netanyahu called for an amended version of the Peace Initiative with requests such as the offer offers to normalise ties with its moderate Arab neighbours first, believing that this would help push Palestine to arrive at a peace deal and to combat extremist terrorist threats, but was rejected by Arab League. Throughout his visit, Eshki set a clear message to Israel that ‘without any advancements in the Palestinian arena, there won’t be any rapprochement between Israel and the Arab nations.’ However, on Facebook, Palestinian Islamic Jihad’s political chief criticised the visit, arguing that these meetings were ‘useless’ and ‘will cause damage to the kingdom and its people’.
The Times of Israel: Checkpoint guards shoot knife-carrying Palestinian woman
A Palestinian woman was shot in the leg by Israeli security guards at the Qalandiya checkpoint, north of Jerusalem on Tuesday. The woman, aged 18 from the neighbourhood Aqab in East Jerusalem, ran towards the security guards, ignoring their calls to stop. After the shot was made, the woman was lightly injured and Magen David Adom paramedics treated her at the scene. A police bomb disposal expert was called and discovered a knife inside the woman’s bag. Following the incident, a riot broke out at the site, leaving the police to respond with riot-control munitions. Defense officials speak of a ‘trend’ among some young Palestinian women who, often due to personal problems, have attempted to commit suicide through staged knife attacks against Israeli officials presuming to be shot.
The Times of Israeli: Israel: Hamas digs 6 miles of tunnels each month
Hamas in digging more than six miles of tunnels every month toward Israel, which has no guaranteed technique for detecting them. Politicians and bereaved families of victims to the Hamas tunnels that killed many before and during the 2014 Gaza War are in argument since Israel is aware that Hamas continues to extend its underground network but officials say, ‘we have no perfect solution’ to the threat. Israel located and destroyed two Hamas attack tunnels in April and May that were discovered in the southern Gaza Strip and ran into Israeli territory. The tunnels were used by Hamas fighters to penetrate Israel and commit deadly attacks on troops during the 2014 conflict. Following the 50-day conflict with Hamas in the Strip, Israel invested NIS 1 billion ($250 million) in
developing a detection system to locate more tunnels.

Arabic News Sources (English Version):
Ma’an: Israeli forces storm East Jerusalem neighbourhood, beat and detain Palestinians
A number of Palestinians have been injured by Israeli forces who raided a neighbourhood of the Old City in East Jerusalem after an altercation broke out on Sunday afternoon between a group of Israelis and Palestinians. The dispute was triggered after one of the Israelis pushed a Palestinian local. In an attempt to break the fistfight that arose, Israeli troops entered the scene, beating residents with rods and rifle butts. Four of the detained individuals were reportedly wounded when Israeli forces took them away. Israeli forces then began to raid houses belonging to al-Salayma, al-Rishiq and al-Daya families. The Israeli police spokesperson office did not respond to a request to comment on the matter and the Israeli army spokesperson commented that no information on the events had been received.
Ma’an: Israel announces new resettlement plan for Negev Bedouins
Israeli authorities announced plans to build a new township for the Bedouin community in the Negev desert. The township is arranged to be built south of another Bedouin township, Segev Shalom, transferring at least 7,000 Bedouins from an unofficial village, Wadi al-Naam. The village will be made up of 2,224 acres and provide housing for 9,000 residents. Israel’s National Planning and Building Council advised the court to begin construction in January in cooperation with Wadi al-Naam residents, who have reportedly not been consulted about approved plans. Wadi al-Naam is one of the 35 Bedouin villages deemed “unrecognised” by the Israeli state. While Bedouins of the Negev are accounted as Israeli citizens, villages considered unrecognised by the government face expulsion from Israeli authorities to make room for official housing. According to the Association of Civil Rights in Israel, over half of the 160,000 Negev Bedouins reside in unrecognised villages. Since these villages are classified as illegal by Israeli authorities, Bedouins are unable to develop or expand their communities and over the past six years villages such as al-Araqib have been demolished at least 100 times by Israeli forces. Unrecognised Bedouin villages have also been refused of connecting to water and electricity grids as well as exclusion from access to health and education services and basic infrastructure such as telephone and road networks. The Bedouin semi-nomadic lifestyle means that relocation to permanent Israeli townships, often in unstable environments, disrupts their traditional lifestyle.
Albawaba: Israel accuses Ma’an News Agency of incitement, bans channel in prisons
Israeli Prison Services (IPS) have claimed that the Ma’an TV channel was inciting Palestinians prisoners against Israel and has accordingly banned the channel from prisons. Ma’an TV is one of the most popular media channels in Palestine and, according to Editor-in-Chief of Ma’an News Agency Dr, Nasser Lahham has ‘never considered pleasing Israel or any other side’ and so this decision by Israeli authorities was illogical and a larger part of Israel’s war against Palestine. Ma’an News Agency has also covered extensively and supported three hunger-striking prisoners currently held in administrative detention. Tensions rose further in prisons across Israel as the number of hunger strikers in prison reached 100 participants on Wednesday.


US/UK News Sources:
BBC: Palestinians plan to sue Britain over 1917 Balfour act
Palestinian officials have announced that they plan to file a lawsuit in an international court against Britain over the 1917 Balfour Declaration that designed a vision for a Jewish homeland in Palestine and pledged Britain’s support for its establishment. The document formed the groundwork for the British Mandate for Palestine which was officially approved by the League of Nations in 1922. The consequences, as stated by Palestinian FM Riad Malki, was mass Jewish immigration ‘at the expense of our Palestinian people’. From the 1920s to 1940s, Jewish immigration into Palestine significantly increased as a result of Nazi persecution and the Holocaust in Europe. Malki was speaking at an Arab League summit in Mauritania on Monday when he labelled the UK as responsible for all Israeli crimes since its declaration of independence, after the mandate expired in 1948. Britain is yet to publicly issue any statement. Israeli Public Security Minister, Gilad Erdan says that he suspects the ‘goal is to de-legitimise Israel’. 

Yahoo News: Hamas 'summer camp' trains young Gazans for war
Young people aged between 15 and 20 are taking part in a summer training camp for the military wing of Hamas, Ezzedine al-Qassam Brigades. Routines such as entering hidden underground tunnels, considered a major strategic asset for Hamas, and practicing kidnapping fake Israeli soldiers is frequently carried out by the young people who attend. At the Yarmuk base of the Al-Qassam Brigades, east of Gaza City, young men climb down a 66ft tower on ropes while others navigate burning roadblocks. Al-Qassam says it can train up to 30,000 young people in basic fighting techniques, a central part of Hamas’ attempts to prepare the population for ‘the battle of liberation of Palestine’. Hamas official Khalil al-Haya claims that ‘there is no choice but the gun’ and it is comments like this that greatly concern rights activists Issam Younis, head of the Gaza-based Al Mezan Centre for Human Rights who stands ‘completely opposed to children’s participation in military camps’. In order to gain interest, rows of weapons such as rockets, missiles and drones marked with the ‘Qassam Manufacturing’ symbol are presented as well as debris from tanks and Israeli drones that were shot down or captured from the 2014 war are displayed to hundreds.
Haaretz: We in the Palestinian Solidarity Movement Have a Problem With anti-Semitism
Having campaigned in the Palestinian Solidarity Movement for over 10 years, Gary Spedding raises concern over the casual anti-Semitism that takes place among fellow activists. He claims the issue lies in the common belief that every point raised in regards to anti-Semitism is a false accusation designed to damage the movement for Palestinian rights. For example, during a meeting at a UK branch, an audience member stated that since ‘Arabs are also Semites’ they have the right to ignore anti-Semitism accusations, to which many showed signs of agreement. Spedding highlights the danger of toying with the meaning of anti-Semitism since the term specifically denotes animosity and prejudice against Jewish people. While Israel advocacy groups attempt to suppress debate and criticism of Israel, it is important for the Palestinian Solidarity Movement to have a clear definition of anti-Semitism to protect themselves from any false accusations as well as reassure the Jewish community at large that the activists are identifying, tackling and campaigning against anti-Semitism. Social media plays a significant role in this problem and Spedding often observes comments and posts criticising Israel often containing anti-Semitic undertones. This is most common when the subject covers Zionism and the ‘Good Jew’ vs ‘Bad Jew’ paradigm. Spedding stresses that there are numerous strands of Zionism in varying political directions – not all Zionists are racist ultra-nationalists. Some activists choose to hide under semantics, choosing to replace the word “Jew” with “Zionist” so as not to appear anti-Semitic but anti-Zionist and will then go on to say that “real Jews” reject Zionism. Whereas other activists will carelessly share offensive posts out of ignorance rather than malicious intent towards Jews. This is damaging the legitimate struggle for Palestinian rights and the communication of Palestinian grievances and criticism of Israel should be redirected towards activists taking direction from Palestinians rather than speaking for them. Spedding encourages activists to gain a more nuanced education on what anti-Semitism and Zionsim is, to acknowledge and challenge any anti-Semitism within the movement and to engage with Jewish communities to gain a better understanding of their concerns, fears and diversity of opinion.
Aljazeera: Israel, the UN's Sixth Committee and International law
Israel has recently taken over chairmanship of the General Assembly’s Sixth Committee as part of the United Nations. The position is dedicated to issues and questions of international law, something that writer and researcher Tallha Abdulrazaq argues is damaging due to Israel’s regular and repeated violations of international law against Palestinian rights. He uses the example of Israel’s construction of illegal settlements after their victory in the 1967 Six-Day War that now inhabits over half a million Israeli-Jews on land meant for a future Palestinian state. Abdulrazaq then speaks of Israel’s war crimes of collective punishment when forces used ‘disproportionate and indiscriminate’ violence against Palestinians despite any knowledge of whether they were involved in Hamas. For example, in 2014, during Operation Protection Edge, 2,100 Palestinian civilians were killed. He then goes on to criticises Netanyahu’s appointment of Danny Danon for the Sixth Committee who is against the UN-sponsored two-state solution and was feared by former Israeli ambassador to the US, Michael Oren, for being too ‘extreme’. Abdulrazaq stresses that Israel takes on the role, measures should be taken to resolve the human rights of Palestinians and issues regarding illegal settlements.




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