Israel - Palestine news this week
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Israel-Palestine News February 18th  - 24th February
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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 read by the general public 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
Arutz Sheva - Ayatollah: We will liberate 'Palestine', remove cancer of Israel
Iran’s spiritual leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, called for the “complete Liberation of Palestine” on Tuesday, and slammed the Jewish state as a “cancerous tumor”. The comments were made at the Sixth International Conference in Support of the Palestinian Intifada, a government-sanctioned event held in Tehran. According to the Mehr news agency, representatives of 80 countries joined the event, which glorifies terrorism and acts of wanton violence against Jews and advocates in favor of the destruction of the Jewish state.

Ynetnews/Yedioth Ahronoth - Sgt. Elor Azaria sentenced to 18 months in prison
Sgt. Elor Azaria has been sentenced to a year and a half in prison Tuesday during a sentencing hearing at the Kirya base in Tel Aviv. The special military court handed down the sentence after Azaria was found guilty of manslaughter in January. Azaria will begin serving his sentence on Mar. 5, when he must report to prison. The sentencing brings an end to a trial and national saga that lasted almost a year and thrust the debate of the IDF's combat ethics and soldiers squarely into the public discourse.,7340,L-4925261,00.html

Jerusalem Post: Bennett orders closure of Hamas-run east Jerusalem school
Following a protracted joint probe by the Education Ministry, Israel Police and Shin Bet (Israel Security Agency), a Hamas-funded east Jerusalem elementary school teaching a violent, anti-Israel curriculum was ordered to close immediately on Thursday. According to a statement from Education Minister Naftali Bennett, the al-Nukhaba Elementary School, located in Sur Baher, is actively indoctrinating its impressionable young students to join the terrorist organization’s mandate to destroy Israel.

Arab News Sources
Ma'an News Agency - Israel imposes heightened security measures in Ramallah district
Israeli forces imposed maximum security procedures at main Israeli military checkpoints in the central occupied West Bank district of Ramallah on Monday morning, causing a major traffic jam, local sources said. Israeli forces "caused chaos" and backed up traffic while conducting thorough searches at the Qalandiya checkpoint that leads to northern Jerusalem, as well as at the nearby internal West Bank checkpoint of Jaba.  Extensive searches were also conducted on vehicles leaving Ramallah at the Beit El checkpoint, northeast of the city. Israeli police also closed Route 443 at the western outskirts of the Ramallah district, after a Palestinian pedestrian was run over and killed by a speeding car in an apparent traffic accident.

Al Araby: Israel releases Palestinian journalist without charge after ten months
A senior Palestinian journalist was released after 10 months in an Israeli jail without charge, he told AFP on Tuesday. Omar Nazzal, 55, was released on Monday after nearly a year in prison and following 13 hearings in an Israeli military court, he said. Despite this, he never received specific allegations, he added, only a "general accusation" that he was threatening "regional security". "When my lawyer asked for details, he got only rejections from judges and military prosecutors," Nazzal, a member of the general secretariat of the Palestinian Journalists Syndicate said.

Al Jazeera: Elor Azaria gets 18 months for killing Palestinian
An Israeli soldier who shot and killed a wounded Palestinian, who was incapacitated having already been shot, has been sentenced to 18 months in prison for manslaughter. Judge Maya Heller of the military court in Tel Aviv delivered the sentencing on Tuesday in a case that has stoked passions, debate and protest. Analysts had expected Elor Azaria, who was convicted of manslaughter one month earlier, to be jailed for fewer than the maximum sentence of 20 years for killing Abed al-Fattah al-Sharif.

Washington Post: Jordan, Egypt back 2-state solution for Israel, Palestinians
Jordan and Egypt are reasserting support for a Palestinian state, days after U.S. President Donald Trump said that peace in the Middle East does not necessarily depend on a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. In a statement issued Tuesday during a meeting in Cairo with President Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi, King Abdullah II says that the two sides agreed that any proposals not based on a two-state solution would have serious implications for the region. They say the peace process must be relaunched with the two-state solution as the “only solution for ending the conflict.”

ABC News: Netanyahu visit: Israel PM praises Malcolm Turnbull for calling out UN
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has praised his Australian counterpart Malcolm Turnbull for calling out the "hypocrisy" of the United Nations. Mr Turnbull rebuked the UN for adopting what he labelled "one-sided" resolutions that are critical of Israel's settlements in Palestinian territories. Mr Netanyahu also hit out at calls by former Labor luminaries Bob Hawke, Kevin Rudd and Bob Carr, who urged for Australia to recognise Palestine as a state. Mr Rudd responded to Mr Netanyahu's claims on Wednesday afternoon, claiming the Israeli Prime Minister had repeatedly "torpedoed" negotiations with Palestinian authorities. "But to support the state of Israel does not mandate automatic support for each and every policy of Mr Netanyahu."

The New York Times: Gaza Is Outwardly Rebuilding, but Inwardly Fearful
Gaza seems at a loss for what might be next. After so many years of isolation, residents of Gaza find themselves ever further from Palestinians in the West Bank, their future clouded by rising doubts that they could ever unite and work toward a lasting peace. Two million tons of rubble have been cleared — about a ton for each person who lives in this cramped coastal strip. Two-thirds of the 160,000 damaged homes have been rebuilt, as have half of the 11,000 that were destroyed. Roads are better, travel faster. People gawk at their first real mall, with a food court and 12 escalators, both rarities in Gaza. But they are not buying much. Unemployment is high, especially among the many young people graduating from college. In all, 50,000 people remain displaced.
 "I have been a supporter of Israel all my life and a public campaigner against any form of anti-Semitism," he said in a Facebook post.

Financial Times: A US embassy shift to Jerusalem would right a historic wrong
If Donald Trump fulfils his promise to move the US embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, the decision would be a long-awaited recognition of Israel’s historic capital by its closest ally. And although the proposed relocation is accompanied by some risks, smart and co-operative diplomacy can mitigate the dangers. Opponents of the US president’s proposal note that it risks obstructing the Israeli-Palestinian peace process, would cause the deterioration of Israel’s relations with its Arab neighbours and could incite Muslim terror groups worldwide. All these warnings are overblown.

Al Jazeera: How factionalism is killing the Palestinian struggle
In the first month of 2017, Gazans hit the streets to protest against the daily electricity cuts in the strip. Despite the evident cry for action from the streets, political leaders seized the opportunity to blame each other, turning it into a Hamas v Fatah debate. While politicians hijacked the issue, Palestinians in Gaza reported a brutal crackdown on protesters by Hamas, similar to the ones the Palestinian Authority would customarily inflict on protesting residents of the West Bank. Like everything in Palestinian politics, even protests are marred by factionalism. In fact, the Palestinian struggle has become a hostage of factionalism, which has prevented the Palestinian youth from taking a leadership role in it.

The Guardian: Could Trump’s radical approach bring peace to Israel and Palestine?
In Trump’s press conference with the Israeli prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, he was correct to say that the two-state solution used to be the “easier” route to peace between Israelis and Palestinians. Trump’s affirmation that there is no alternative to peace was a dramatic, if largely unrecognised, repudiation of Netanyahu’s policy. Netanyahu, with broad support within his coalition government, rejects peace, while paying lip service to it. Avoiding a direct clash with Netanyahu, Trump nevertheless made his rejection of that policy clear. He would be happy, he said, to support a one-state or a two-state solution, whichever was agreed to by both Israelis and Palestinians. By advancing more than one image of what peace could look like, the president has broken new ground.

The Solutions Not Sides online programme on Israel-Palestine aims to provide young people and students interested in the conflict with a range of engaging material and a forum in which to discuss various key issues faced by the region in more depth. The programme takes the format of two-hour sessions, in which up to 10 young people from around the world, as well as an Israeli and Palestinian peace activist, will meet on Google Hangouts to debate the issue or topic of the month, and discuss the various articles and essays participants will have read prior to the session.

The sessions are for anyone, aged 15+, although we prioritise young people and students. You do not need any prior knowledge of the conflict to participate in of the sessions - everyone is welcome!

We will aim to run at least 1 session per month, with the topic/issue to be discussed according to the schedule below, and students are welcome to apply for as many sessions as they're interested in.

Topics/issues 2017:
March: Refugees
April: Water
May: Borders
June: Jerusalem
July: Solutions

To apply, please complete the form by following this link to our website: and we will be in touch to confirm your space and the date of the session.
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Solutions Not Sides is the education programme of OneVoice Europe

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