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Academic Newsletter N°68 (March 2021)

Israeli Court Sentences Palestinian Lawmaker Khalida Jarrar To 2 Years In Jail.

« Picture Israeli Labor Party Leader Michaeli in Prison »

Gideon Levy

(Haaretz, March 6, 2021)


Spotlight (9) -- Actions & Webinars (10) -- Academics (6) & Students (2) -- Analyses (6) -- BDS (3) -- COVID-19 (5) -- International (3) -- Israel (6) -- Palestine (10) -- Prisoners (4) -- Refugees (2) -- Resources (6) -- Videos (5)


« The International Criminal Court opens

investigation of the situation in Palestine »

« Statement of ICC Prosecutor, Fatou Bensouda, respecting an investigation of the Situation in Palestine »

International Criminal Court, 3 March 2021.

Today, I confirm the initiation by the Office of the Prosecutor (''Office'') of the International Criminal Court (''ICC'' or the ''Court'') of an investigation respecting the Situation in Palestine. The investigation will cover crimes within the jurisdiction of the Court that are alleged to have been committed in the Situation since 13 June 2014, the date to which reference is made in the Referral of the Situation to my Office.  

Israeli artillery guns shell targets in the Gaza Strip during the 2014 Gaza-Israel war, a conflict now under ICC investigation. Credit: JACK GUEZ - AFP.

« A State That Has Nothing to Hide Has No Reason to Fear an ICC Investigation »

Haaretz Editorial, March 5, 2021:

A country that considers itself an honored member of the family of nations and boasts of being "the only democracy in the Middle East" has to prove that it has clean hands precisely because it isn't Syria, Iran or Sudan - countries Netanyahu frequently cites to prove the "hypocrisy" of Israel's critics, and especially of the International Criminal Court. Netanyahu won't cooperate with the court, won't allow its investigations to be conducted in Israel and will recruit other countries to undermine its legitimacy. The prime minister has a wealth of experience in running smear campaigns and inciting against courts, and he will surely demonstrate his talents against anyone he views as trying to "fabricate a case" against Israel. Continue...


« Justice for Palestine: Historic Day for Palestinian Victims of Israeli Crimes »

(Press Release, Al Mezan, 3 March, 2021)

Al-Haq, Al Mezan Center for Human Rights, the Palestinian Centre for Human Right and Al Dameer Association for Supporting Prisoners and Human Rights (the Coalition) acknowledge and welcome the 3 March 2021 announcement by the Office of the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court (ICC) on the opening of a full criminal investigation into the Situation in Palestine. This is a historic day in the decades long Palestinian campaign for international justice and accountability for Israel's apparent atrocity crimes in the Palestinian territory. 

2014, Anadolu Agency.

"Israel/OPT: Historic breakthrough as Prosecutor confirms initiation of ICC investigation in Occupied Palestinian Territories "

Amnesty International
(March 3, 2021):

Matthew Cannock, Head of Amnesty International's Centre for International Justice said: "Today's confirmation by the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court that she has opened an investigation into crimes under international law committed in the Occupied Palestinian Territories is a momentous breakthrough for justice after decades of non-accountability for war crimes and crimes against humanity... The decision sends a clear message to all perpetrators of crimes under international law in the OPT - you shall not escape justice."  

Michael Sfard (Photo: Yossi Gurvitz).>

« La CPI : une épine dans le pied d'Israël »

par Michael Sfard

La Cour Pénale Internationale s'est déclarée compétente pour enquêter sur d'éventuels crimes de guerre israéliens. Une décision importante, au point que le gouvernement israélien a récemment renoncé à déplacer de force des villages bédouins, explique l'avocat israélien et militant des droits humains Michael Sfard, qui confie son analyse à Mondoweiss.

(EuroPalestine, 2 mars, 2021)

Le britannique Karim Khan, qui va succéder à Fatou Bensouda au poste de procureur général de la Cour Pénale Internationale, pourrait choisir de ne pas poursuivre Israël pour les crimes de guerre commis à Gaza par exemple, et ce au motif que l'occupant est doté des instances juridiques adéquates pour enquêter lui-même sur ces faits, ce qu'il prétend d'ailleurs faire. Cependant, il n'en va pas de même concernant les colonies. Illégales au regard du droit international, elles font partie de la politique officielle israélienne, qui n'a donc pas les outils juridiques pour sanctionner ce crime, qui n'est pas considéré comme tel dans le droit israélien. Ainsi, la CPI ne peut se défausser de la responsabilité de l'enquête. Continue...

Advocate Michael Sfard serves as the legal council of the Israeli human rights NGO Yesh Din.

IDF soldiers rush towards a target during the 2014 Gaza war, known in Israel as Operation Protective Edge, on August 4, 2014. (IDF Spokesperson's Unit).

« Israel livid over "anti-Semitic" ICC war crimes probe; PA and Hamas cheer »

(The Times of Israel Staff, March 3, 2021)

Israeli leaders on Wednesday denounced the International Criminal Court after its top prosecutor opened a probe into alleged Israeli and Palestinian war crimes, while the Palestinians and rights groups hailed the move... Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Israel was "under attack" and condemned the "absurd" decision as "undiluted anti-Semitism and the height of hypocrisy." "This court, that was established to prevent the repetition of the Nazi horrific crimes committed against the Jewish people, is now turning its guns against the one and only state of the Jewish people. It's targeting Israel, the only democracy in the Middle East. But of course it turns a blind eye to Iran, Syria and the other dictatorships that are committing real war crimes left and right," he said in a video statement.  Continue...

« Why the Biden Administration is Dead Wrong to oppose Int'l Criminal Court War Crimes inquiry in Occupied Palestine: A Betrayal of the Rule of Law »

Juan Cole
(Informed Comment, March 4, 2021):

The Rome Statute that acts as a charter for the ICC defines Apartheid as a war crime, such that Israel flooding its own citizens onto Palestinian land as grabby squatters may well be part of the court's brief. Israeli actions contravene the 1949 Geneva Conventions on occupied territories...
The US Secretary of State Antony Blinken denounced the court's decision, saying "the United States firmly opposes and is deeply disappointed by this decision. The ICC has no jurisdiction over this matter. Israel is not a party to the ICC and has not consented to the Court's jurisdiction, and we have serious concerns about the ICC's attempts to exercise its jurisdiction over Israeli personnel." He added that the US "will continue to uphold our strong commitment to Israel and its security, including by opposing actions that seek to target Israel unfairly."  

« EU backs ICC after Netanyahu's "anti-Semitism" smear »

Ali Abunimah

(The Electronic Intifada, 4 March 2021)

The European Union appears to be rejecting Benjamin Netanyahu's smears against the International Criminal Court after Chief Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda confirmed on Wednesday that she would be launching a formal investigation into war crimes in Palestine. 
Asked by The Electronic Intifada for the EU's reaction to Netanyahu's comments, the bloc's spokesperson Peter Stano did not respond directly regarding the Israeli leader. However, Stano affirmed that the "ICC is an independent and impartial judicial institution with no political objectives to pursue." He also reiterated that the EU "respects the court's independence and impartiality" - an implicit rebuke of Israel's outlandish charges of anti-Jewish bias... Notwithstanding the EU's support for the ICC,
Israel lobbyists are taking comfort from how some individual EU member states, notably Germany, are opposing a war crimes probe. 


A demonstration against annexation of the West Bank in Tel Aviv, last year. Credit: Ofer Vaknin.

« Israel's Apartheid Debate: Smash the Mirror or Fix Reality? »

Oren Yiftachel*

(Haaretz, Feb 5, 2021)

B'Tselem's "apartheid document," published in January, and the International Criminal Court's decision soon after to investigate Israel's potential war crimes in the occupied territories have stirred much debate on the nature of the Israeli regime. The subject was also the focus of the online Haaretz Conference on Democracy on Wednesday.
However, despite this important debate, a majority of Jewish-Israeli reactions preferred to smash the mirror rather than think about fixing the reality. With
the election coming up, this reality should be confronted head-on, leading to the question "What next?" to which I turn below. 

* Prof. Oren Yiftachel is a co-author of the B'Tselem report mentioned in this piece. He is a founding member of the 'A Land for All' peace movement.

Actions, Calls & Webinars : 

« 35 Palestinian Women Yearning for Freedom on International Women's Day »

Addameer, Prisoner Support and Human Rights Association

Report, March 8, 2021

Today, as the world commemorates International Women's Day, 35 Palestinian women are yearning for freedom in Israeli prisons and detention centers. Amongst whom are 11 mothers, six wounded prisoners, and three administrative detainees. Palestinian women are subjected to many forms of physical and psychological ill-treatment throughout the process of their arrest leading up to their incarceration. The Israeli Occupation Forces brutally arrest Palestinian women during night raids, snatching many from their children and families...
On International Women's Day, Addameer Prisoner Support and Human Rights Association honors Palestinian women for their integral role in throughout the history of Palestine, recognizes their persistent achievements, and acknowledges the injustices and prejudice. We urge the international community to demand the release of all Palestinian female political prisoners held arbitrarily in Israeli prisons and detention centers. Continue...

« Israel Breaks Up East Jerusalem Women's Day Event,
Claiming It's Affiliated With PA »

The police order was signed by Public Security Amir Ohana, who said the event was organized by the Palestinian Authority; organizers said was run by local women in East Jerusalem.
Nir Hasson (Haaretz, Feb 8, 2021).

« Palestinian feminist Khalida Jarrar sentenced to 2 years in prison by illegitimate Israeli military court »

(SAMIDOUN,  March 1, 2021):

In the latest injustice perpetrated in the illegitimate Israeli military courts, Palestinian feminist, leftist, parliamentarian and defender of prisoners' rights, Khalida Jarrar, was sentenced to two years in Israeli prison on Monday, 1 March 2021. This means she will be released at the end of October 2021, two years after her most recent arrest by over 70 armed Israeli occupation soldiers, who invaded her home on 31 October 2019.

Joint letter by 442 parliamentarians from 22 European countries to European governments and leaders against Israeli de facto annexation of West Bank (Feb 28, 2021)

Dear High Representative Borrell, dear Foreign Ministers,
The beginning of the Biden presidency provides a much-needed opportunity to address the Israeli-Palestinian conflict with renewed effort. The previous US administration left the conflict farther away from peace than ever. The Biden administration presents a chance to correct course and creates greater space for meaningful European engagement and leadership. In parallel, the announcement of Palestinian elections to be held in the coming months offers an opportunity for Palestinian political renewal and reunification




February 28, 2021

>> En ce moment charnière de la politique internationale de - et à l'égard d'Israël, nous voulons attirer votre attention sur la gravité de la situation dans laquelle une partie de la population palestinienne continue de se trouver. Nous voulons avant tout vous convaincre du caractère d'urgence qu'il y a à se prononcer sans délais et à mener une politique proactive pour un Israël démocratique qui abolisse son organisation étatique actuelle d'apartheid... Continue...

>> Op dit scharnierpunt in de internationale politiek van en jegens Israël, willen we uw aandacht vragen voor de ernst van de situatie waarin het Palestijnse deel van de bevolking zich blijft bevinden. Bovenal willen we u overtuigen van de dringende noodzaak om zich onverkort uit te spreken en een proactief beleid te voeren voor een democratisch Israël dat zijn huidig apartheidssysteem ontmantelt... Continue...

Lettre/Brief & signataires/ondertekenaars: cliquez-ici/klik hier. 

« Palestinian, international organizations support Samidoun against Israeli "terrorist" designation »

(6 March 2021)

Organizations and activists in Palestine and around the world have expressed solidarity with Samidoun Palestinian Prisoner Solidarity Network in response to the Israeli regime's designation of Samidoun as a "terrorist organization" for its public work advocating for freedom for the nearly 5,000 Palestinian political prisoners in Israeli jails.

In our response statement, Samidoun emphasized that "we will continue to organize and mobilize internationally in defense of Palestinian rights and liberation."...
In one statement,
Al-Qutob, the Democratic Progressive Student Pole at Bir Zeit University, "announced our full solidarity with the Samidoun Network, which supports the prisoners in occupation prisons, after being classified as a 'terrorist' organization by the so-called Occupation Ministry of War. In this regard, we affirm that the brutal occupation attempts repeatedly to suppress the spirit of commitment and struggle among Palestinian youth through killing, arrest and oppression, but we affirm that all of their attempts will not undermine our resolve and will only increase our insistence." 

"Le médecin canadien blessé par Israël relance L'ONU"

(EuroPalestine, 1 mars 2021)

Le médecin urgentiste, Tarek Loubani, blessé aux deux jambes par les soldats israéliens en 2018, alors qu'il prodiguait des soins aux blessés palestiniens pendant la Marche du Retour à Gaza, est retourné cette semaine devant le Conseil des Droits de l'Homme de l'ONU pour dénoncer l'impunité d'Israel qui s'attaque constamment aux soignants palestiniens.

« Trial Against the German Bundestag for its BDS Resolution »

On May 17, 2019, the German Bundestag passed a resolution that brands the BDS movement as anti-Semitic, denies any cooperation with BDS activists and supporters, and calls on states, municipalities, and cities to obstruct events that address BDS by denying them public space...
We are the Jewish, Palestinian, and German activists Judith Bernstein, Amir Ali and Christoph Glanz. We are the 'Bundestag 3 for Palestine (BT3P)'. Together, we stand for human rights in Palestine and Israel. What unites us as politically thinking and acting people is our unconditional commitment to human rights. We oppose all forms of racism (including anti-Semitism and Islamophobia), discrimination and oppression without exception.

« European Commission "Handbook" entrenches controversial IHRA definition of antisemitism »

11.11.11 - VECHT MEE TEGEN ONRECHT (1 March 2021)

On 7 January 2021, the European Commission released a "Handbook for the practical use of the IHRA Working Definition of Antisemitism". This Handbook entrenches the controversial IHRA definition across many policy areas and facilitates the political instrumentalization of the fight against antisemitism. Its publication is yet another indication of how Europe has turned into a battlefield of persistent efforts to delegitimize advocacy and activism for Palestinian rights and respect for international law. 
As documented in a
11.11.11 BRIEFING PAPER (pdf, 5p.), published 2 March 2021, the Israeli government and organizations affiliated with it have seized the IHRA definition as a tool to delegitimize and defund actors that criticize the Israeli government for its grave violations of international law, by conflating legitimate criticism of Israeli policies with antisemitism. 

Israeli Apartheid Week Webinar:
« Is Israel An Apartheid State? If So, What Must Be Done? »

March 21, 2021 @ 1:00 pm - 3:00 pm EDT

If Israel is an apartheid state, as many argue, how can we work to win equality and justice for everyone living in the region? Join us for this event to hear what four of the leading authorities on the 'Crime of Apartheid' have to say.

About the panelists:
Dr. Hanan Ashrawi is a distinguished Palestinian leader, legislator, activist, and scholar who served as a member of the Leadership Committee and as an official spokesperson of the Palestinian delegation to the Middle East peace process.

Gideon Levy is a renowned Israeli journalist and author. Levy writes opinion pieces and a weekly column for the newspaper Haaretz, that often focus on the Israeli occupation of the Palestinian territories.

Dr. Virginia Tilley is a professor of political science who has worked on the question of Palestine since the mid-1980s. She is author of The One-State Solution (2005), editor and co-author of Beyond Occupation: Apartheid, Colonialism and International Law in the Occupied Palestinian Territories (2012) and, with Richard Falk, the UN ESCWA report, Israeli Practices regarding the Question of Apartheid and Question of Apartheid (2017). 

John Dugard is a South African lawyer living in the Netherlands. During the apartheid era in South Africa, he directed a human rights research, litigation and advocacy centre in Johannesburg. From 2001 to 2007 he was UN Special Rapporteur on the Human Rights Situation in the Occupied Palestinian Territory,

Moderated by David Kattenburg, Independent Jewish Voices Canada.

Click here to register


Newsletter 2 March 2021

The ELSC has welcomed the opportunity to make a submission to the UN Special Rapporteur on the promotion and protection of the right to freedom of opinion and expression, Irene Khan, for her 2021 Human Rights Council report. This year's annual thematic report, to be presented to the Human Rights Council at its 47th session in June 2021, is focusing on disinformation and the human rights impacts of measures which different stakeholders - from states to online platforms and others - take to combat disinformation. Continue...

"Evidence for report on disinformation: Submitted to the Special Rapporteur on the promotion and protection of the right to freedom of opinion and expression. Disinformation, anti-BDS Motions in Germany and Austria and their impact on the right to freedom of expression for advocates for Palestinian rights" (pdf, 10p.)

The ELSC is the first and only independent organisation providing professional legal support and assistance to associations, groups and individuals advocating for Palestinian rights in EU and UK.

Subscribe to our Newsletter

Academia :

Pro-Palestine protesters gather outside Downing Street in London, UK on September 5, 2019.
[File: Reuters/Henry Nicholls].

« A war is being waged against academic freedom in Britain »

The accusations of anti-Semitism against David Miller aim to silence pro-Palestinian voices on university campuses.

Malia Bouattia
(Al Jazeera, Feb 28, 2021)

Over the past few weeks, David Miller, a professor of political sociology at Bristol University in the UK, has been the subject of a vicious smear campaign, alleging he has made anti-Semitic comments. Individuals and groups such as the Board of Deputies of British Jews (BoD), the Community Security Trust (CST) and the Union of Jewish Students (UJS), are queueing up to tarnish his reputation and demand his sacking.
For over a decade, Miller has done research on the increasing public attacks on the Palestine solidarity movement, as well as the surveillance and securitisation of Muslim communities as a result of the so-called "war on terror". It is notable that the accusations of "anti-Semitism" levelled at him arise from a lecture he gave on the Zionist movement's involvement in promoting Islamophobia, a well-known fact among scholars who study the Palestinian question.


University of Bristol lecturer David Miller. (YouTube screenshot).

« We must resist Israel 's war on British universities »

David Miller

(The Electronic Intifada, 20 Feb, 2021):

Britain is in the grip of an assault on its public sphere by the state of Israel and its advocates.
Meaningful conversations about anti-Black racism and Islamophobia have been drowned out by a concerted lobbying campaign targeting universities, political parties, the equalities regulator and public institutions all over the country... 
This month American commentator Nathan J. Robinson revealed how The Guardian fired him as a columnist for a mere tweet referencing US military aid to Israel.  At the same time, the celebrated film director Ken Loach was smeared by Israel lobby groups such as the Board of Deputies of British Jews, who attempted to prevent him speaking to students at the Oxford college where he studied. And this week, Israel's lobby in Britain has trained its guns on meContinue... 

BRICUP Statement: the Attacks on Professor David Miller

(February 25, 2021):

The British Committee for the Universities of Palestine (BRICUP) has expressed its deep concern to the Vice Chancellor of the University of Bristol over the renewed attacks on the integrity of one of the University's distinguished members of staff, Professor David Miller. It has also been in contact with Professor Miller to offer whatever support the Committee can provide. 

« Nearly 200 scholars back UK lecturer who called Jewish students Israel 'pawns' »

Cnaan Lipshiz (The Times of Israel, Feb 27, 2021):

JTA - About 200 academics from the UK and the US have signed a petition defending David Miller of University of Bristol who had called Jewish students on his campus "pawns" of Israel, "a violent, racist, foreign regime engaged in ethnic cleansing..." The signatories of the letter published Friday supporting Miller include linguist Noam Chomsky and gender theorist Judith Butler, both Jewish Americans. Continue...

David Miller is being smeared and attacked because of his opposition to Zionism. (BetterThanReal)

« Support for David Miller grows »

Asa Winstanley
(The Electronic Intifada, 6 Feb 2021)

More than 315 academics and public intellectuals have signed an open letter to the University of Bristol in support of Professor David MillerAmong the signatories to the open letter are Noam Chomsky, novelist and retired English professor Ahdaf Soueif, Palestinian scholar and activist Sami al-Arian, dissident Israeli historian Ilan Pappe, and writer Malia BouattiaAlso among the signatories are more than a dozen of Miller's Bristol university colleagues. "As public intellectuals and academics, we feel duty-bound to express our solidarity with Professor Miller and to oppose such efforts to crush academic freedom," the open letter states.

Letter from Jewish People in Support of David Miller (Google form, March 7, 16h: 2,753 have signed). A general petition in support of Prof. Miller now has almost 2,700 signatories. Continue...

Former Israeli military intelligence officer Yarden Ben Yosef in one of Act.IL's "media rooms." (Act.IL/YouTube)

« Israel backs campaign against David Miller »

Asa Winstanley

(The Electronic Intifada, March 3, 2021)

The Israeli government is directing one of its online armies to attack a British academic who supporters of Israel want to see fired. David Miller has been facing calls from the Israel lobby for the University of Bristol to sack him, because of his research into that lobby and his opposition to Zionism, Israel's racist state ideology.
But now we know the Israeli government itself is also involved in this smear campaign. On Monday
Act.IL - a troll army directed and funded by an Israeli ministry - issued an online "mission" calling on users of its app to attack an opinion piece published by Al Jazeera which defends Miller... A second investigation by The Electronic Intifada found that Act.IL's chief executive is a veteran of Israeli military intelligence. 

Academia Students :

The posters bore the title, "Graduation of the Islamic Bloc 2021," boasting of students being denied their right to education because of their involvement in student activity on campus, and hung on the gates of the university and gathering locations in and around the university.

« Palestinian students continue to face new Israeli attacks as the campaign to #FreePalestinianStudents grows »

(Samidoun, March 4, 2021)

The importance of this campaign is highlighted by the ongoing attacks on Palestinian students. At Al-Quds University in Abu Dis, occupied Palestine, Israeli occupation forces invaded the campus on 26 February in an attempt to launch a campaign of terror against Palestinian students, threatening students' education with a "hit list" of students targeted for arrest and political persecution. Armed occupation soldiers posted signs with the photos of arrested Palestinian students with a red "X" through each of their pictures, leaving blank outlines at the bottom with question marks to ask, "who will be arrested next?" Continue...

For the full campaign statement, resources, posters, photos and more, including translations in eight languages, please visit:

Members and supporters of Fordham Students for Justice in Palestine protest the university administration's refusal to register SJP as a student organization, in New York. Jan. 23, 2017. (Joe Catron/Flickr).

« This university claims to be pro-justice. So why is it banning Palestine activism? »

After a four-year legal battle, Fordham University is still refusing to allow a Palestinian rights club on campus. But students are not letting up.

Alex Kane
(+972, February 25, 2021):

Veer Shetty wants what hundreds of other college students have: a school club that speaks out for Palestine on campus. Shetty grew up in Ann Arbor, Michigan, with a close Palestinian friend who told him horror stories about the Israeli occupation. So when he started school at New York's Fordham University, he was determined to get active in the struggle for Palestinian rights. 
For the past year and a half, the college senior has had the chance to do so. As vice-president of
Fordham's Students for Justice in Palestine club, Shetty has helped to organize various Palestine-related cultural and political events for his fellow students

Analyses : 

The so-called 'Container Checkpoint' is an 'internal checkpoint'. Situated east of Abu Dis, it controls Palestinian travel between the northern and southern West Bank. Includes traffic lanes, access roads, road spikes, traffic lights, and road signs. B'Tselem.

« The Extrajudicial Execution of Ahmad Erekat »

On 23 June 2020, Ahmad Erekat, a 26-year-old Palestinian, was shot by Israeli occupation forces after his car crashed into a booth at the 'Container' checkpoint between Jerusalem and Bethlehem in the occupied West Bank. According to his family, he was driving to run errands for his sister's wedding taking place on the same day. Working in collaboration with the Palestinian human rights organisation Al-Haq, Forensic Architecture's Palestine Unit was asked by the Erekat family to examine the incident. Using 3D modeling, shadow analysis and open-source investigation, we established the circumstances of the crash of Ahmad's car, the use of lethal force, the denial of medical aid that followed, and the degrading treatment of Ahmad's body. Our analysis raises major questions about Ahmad's killing that raise doubts in the Israeli army's claims and call for further investigation. Continue...

« Onderzoek wijst uit: Israël executeerde Ahmad Erekat »
(The Rights Forum, 5 maart 2021)

In juni 2020 botste een Palestijnse jongeman met zijn auto tegen een Israëlisch checkpoint, waarna hij door Israëlische militairen werd doodgeschoten. Onderzoekers concluderen dat sprake was van een buitengerechtelijke executie. Continue...

« That's the point of the checkpoint, to remind you they're always there. »

The scariest thing about 'The Container,' which divides Palestinian areas from each other, is not knowing when - or if - you will make it to the other side.

Mya Guarnieri Jaradat (+972, July 6, 2020).


AURDIP's Webinar by Dr. SARA ROY :
« Scarcity as a Form of Control : How Does Gaza Live ? »

Dr. Sara Roy, senior research scholar at the Center for Middle Eastern Studies at Harvard University, gave AURDIP's Webinar on February 2, 2021.

Full transcript here. For the video see below.


« The Demise of Palestinian Productive Sectors: Internal Trade as a Microcosm of the Impact of Occupation »

Ibrahim Shikaki*
(Al-Shabaka - The Palestinian Policy Network, Feb 7, 2021):

The Israeli occupation has consistently inflicted disastrous economic costs on the Palestinians, costs that economists have examined for decades. One dimension that has been missing in these examinations, however, relates to the distortions in the structure of the Palestinian economy, and the detrimental impacts of these distortions. The term 'economic structure' refers to the contribution of different economic sectors, including agriculture, manufacturing, construction, and trade, to the key macroeconomic variables of output (GDP) and employment. Whereas a comprehensive study of these structural distortions is beyond the scope of this brief, we zoom in on one particular economic sector that has been playing an increasingly dominant role in the Palestinian economy: internal trade. Continue...

Al-Shabaka policy analyst, Ibrahim Shikaki, is ass. professor of economics at Trinity College, Hartford, CT. His recent writings include an upcoming chapter on the political economy of dependency and class formation in Palestine, and a brief on the economic aspects of Kushner's Bahrain Plan.

Mahmoud Darwish (L) [Cohen Magen/AFP via Getty Images] / Ghassan Kanafani graffiti (C) [Wikipedia] / Mourid Barghouti (R)[Wikipedia]

« Imagining Palestine: Barghouti, Darwish, Kanafani and the language of exile »

Dr Ramzy Barghouti
(Middle East Monitor, Feb 23, 2021):

For Palestinians, exile is not simply the physical act of being removed from their homeland and their inability to return. It is not a casual topic pertaining to politics and international law, either. Nor is it an ethereal notion, a sentiment, a poetic verse. It is all of this combined.
death in Amman of Palestinian poet Mourid Barghouti, an intellectual whose work has been linked intrinsically to exile, brought back to the surface many existential questions: are Palestinians destined to be exiled forever? Can there be a remedy for this perpetual torment? Is justice a tangible, achievable goal?
Barghouti was
born in 1944 in Deir Ghassana, near Ramallah. His journey in exile began in 1967, and ended, however temporarily, 30 years later. 

Prince Hassan bin Talal of Jordan.

"What Prince Hassan Fails to Recognize: Palestinian Struggle is an Advance Guard of the Arab Liberation Movement"

It's time for a fresh start for Palestine, as Prince Hassan says, but a truly fresh start, not a variant mutation of the toxic past.

Rima Najjar

(Medium, February 28, 2021)

It's déjà vu time for Palestine; we have lived through the same fiasco before only to get bogged down in the Oslo poisoned swamp. Déjà vu washed over me as I read a letter by Prince Hassan bin Talal of Jordan addressing Israelis, published in Yedioth Ahronoth (Feb 26, 2021), the largest Israeli newspaper (Hebrew). Continue...

 © Reuters / Mussa Qawasma.

« 'Big Brother Israël': al wie Palestijns is, is gezien »

Tine Danckaers
(MO*, 4 februari 2021)

"We adviseren u om de app Al Munasiq niet te downloaden. Het is een gevaarlijke app, gelanceerd door Israël in de bezette Palestijnse Gebieden. Hij schendt de privacy van Palestijnen en kan leiden tot andere schendingen van de mensenrechten." Die boodschap, gericht aan Palestijnen, komt van de Palestijnse Coalitie voor Digitale RechtenEén van de ondertekenaars is Nadim Nashif, directeur van 7amleh - Arab Center for Social Media Advancement Continue...

BDS - Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions :

Houses under construction in the Israeli settlement of Eldad, south of Bethlehem, December 2019. Israel's colonization of Palestinian land in the occupied West Bank is a war crime. (Trocaire)

« New Zealand state pension fund divests from Israeli banks »

Ali Abunimah
(The Electronic Intifada, 3 March, 2021):

New Zealand's $33 billion national pension fund has excluded five Israeli banks from its portfolio because of their role in financing Israeli settlements in the occupied West Bank.
assessment by the NZ Super Fund concludes that holding shares in Israel's biggest banks would violate its responsible investment policy.
The document cites New Zealand's 2016 vote for
UN Security Council resolution 2334 which reaffirms the illegality of the settlements, as well as statements by Israeli PM Netanyahu that he intends to proceed with large-scale annexations of occupied Palestinian land. Israel's construction of settlements is a war crime

Alan Leveritt, publisher of the Arkansas Times.

« Federal Court strikes down Arkansas' attempt to Punish proponents of Boycotting Israel over its treatment of Palestinians »

Juan Cole 
(Informed Comment, Feb 2, 2021)

The alternative print monthly the Arkansas Times carried advertising from the University of Arkansas - Pulaski Technical College. When the Arkansas law (requiring contractors with the state to sign a pledge not to boycott Israel) was passed, the university demanded that owner Alan Leveritt sign the pledge not to boycott. Leveritt does not boycott Israel, but he absolutely refused to sign any such constraint on his and his reporters' freedom of speech, which had the effect of abrogating their First Amendment rights. UA-PTC thus pulled their advertising and Leveritt sued them with the help of the American Civil Liberties Union. The 8th Circuit has upheld Leveritt's right to freedom of speech.  Continue...

Palestinians hold banners during a protest outside al-Shifa hospital, in Gaza City on March 19, 2018. (Photo: Ashraf Amra/APA Images)

« International Christian network launches virtual BDS resource for advocates and activists »

Jeff Wright
(Mondoweiss, Feb 3, 2021)

In spite of initiatives to criminalize the 2005 Palestinian call for Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions, or BDS, the movement for justice and equality continues to grow. To further pressure on Israel to end its 72 years of injustice and oppression, Global Kairos for Justice has launched an online BDS Toolkit "Resisting Apartheid & Racism."
Global Kairos for Justice GKJ is an international network of Christians who have organized around the 2009 document, 'Kairos Palestine: A Moment of Truth', which expresses support for the BDS campaign.  Continue...

COVID-19 in the oPt:

A Palestinian Arab woman gives a COVID-19 vaccine at a vaccination center in Petah Tikva, January 27, 2021. (Miriam Alster/Flash90)

« Israel denies COVID vaccine to Palestinian student at Tel Aviv University »

The student, who lives in the West Bank, was barred from receiving a vaccine after traveling for hours to the university for a campus-wide vaccination drive.

Meron Rapoport
(+972, March 3, 2021)

Israel's Health Ministry barred a Palestinian woman from the occupied West Bank who studies at Tel Aviv University from receiving the COVID-19 vaccine during a campus-wide vaccination drive last month... The Palestinian student left her home at 4 a.m. "I passed seven checkpoints, switched transportation eight times, walked in crazy weather, and reached the university at 9:30 a.m."...
Despite requests from human rights organizations in Israel, the Israeli government has refused to procure vaccinations to  Palestinians in the West Bank and has even
tried to prevent the transfer of vaccines to Gaza. Continue...

Israeli PM Netanyahu meets the 4,000,000th person who had been vaccinated in Israel on February 16, 2021 [Alex Kolomoisky/Pool via Reuters].

"Israel's 'Dan David Prize' and vaccine apartheid"

Samah Sabawi & Nick Riemer
(Al Jazeera, March 2, 2021):

When we circulated an open letter calling on Australian Professor Alison Bashford to reconsider accepting Israel's Dan David Prize, we expected there would be overwhelming support for our call from academics around the world. We were right. More than 300 academics and researchers have signed so far and the list of signatories keeps growing. 
Bashford is one of seven recipients of the prize, which this year was given out for scholarly contributions to the fields of public health and medicine. The award's $3m windfall will be shared among the seven...
As with other scientific achievements Israel has celebrated, this one comes against the backdrop of Palestinian oppression. As the Israeli government is already boasting about a sharp drop in COVID-19 cases, in the Israeli-occupied West Bank, they are skyrocketing. Palestinians there are going into yet another lockdown in an attempt to control the outbreak, as there has been no steady supply of vaccines for them. 

If you didn't do so already, please sign the open letter to Prof. Alison Bashford.

A Palestinian woman, wearing a protective mask amid the COVID-19 pandemic, walks past graffiti with a slogan in Arabic reading: "protect yourself and your family" in Gaza City, Feb 27, 2021. Majdi Fathi / NurPhoto via Getty Images.

"Under Israeli Apartheid, There Are Two Different Pandemics"

Alice Rothchild

(Truthout, Feb 28, 2021)

There is growing concern regarding the inequitable distribution of COVID-19 vaccine, nationally and internationally... There is also serious discussion of a global approach, lifting patents for vaccines that were largely developed using governmental funding. The pandemic has revealed the glaring contradictions when both public health and medical care are allocated along racial, economic and geographic lines.
One of the most glaring contradictions during the pandemic is in Israel/Palestine, where approximately 5 million Palestinians living under a 53-year military occupation are being left behind. Israel, a developed country with top-notch health care facilities and universal health care access for its citizens through large health maintenance organizations, has been an example of a successful vaccination rollout, despite its challenges reaching Palestinian citizens and ultra-Orthodox Jews Continue...

People stand in line at a vaccination facility at the Qalandiyah checkpoint on TuesdayCredit: Emil Salman.

"Israel Opens Vaccination Center at Checkpoint to Reach Palestinian East Jerusalem Residents"

COVID vaccinations start at Qalandiyah checkpoint as cases jump and inoculations lag in predominately Arab East Jerusalem

Nir Hasson (Haaretz, Feb 24, 2021):

...The problem is that while Kafr Aqab is indeed a neighborhood of Jerusalem, it is also a suburb of Ramallah and within the village and in its environs there are tens of thousands of people who aren't eligible to get an Israeli vaccine. As the day advanced more and more people gathered at the compound who weren't able to get the shot. For example, there were Palestinian teachers who work at schools in East Jerusalem but who themselves are residents of the West Bank; they came to the vaccination center at the invitation of their principals. The first group of teachers got the vaccine, but when the second group came, they were told that there was no approval from the Health Ministry to vaccinate them and they waited on the side for a long time. "In the West Bank you can't get the vaccine and we're afraid they won't let us into the schools without the vaccine," said one teacher. In the end, only a hundred teachers were vaccinated of the 300 teachers who had arrived. Continue...

A Palestinian worker gets vaccinated by Israeli Magen David Adom staff at the Sha'ar Efraim checkpoint in the West Bank, March 4, 2021 (COGAT).

« After delay, vaccination of Palestinian workers in Israel to kick off Monday »

Military liaison confirms program to inoculate 120,000 Palestinians who are legally employed in Israel and West Bank settlements set to begin.

(The Times of Israel, March 7, 2021)

Around 87,000 Palestinians hold work permits in Israel, and an additional 35,000 work in Israeli settlements, according to Defense Ministry figures. Palestinian workers will be eligible to receive the shots by appointment and with the presentation of a valid employment permit. Under the plan, the administration of the first doses of the two-shot regimen will be completed within two weeks, COGAT said.  Continue...

Culture and Heritage :

A street in al-Yasmineh neighborhood of Nablus, West Bank. Photo by Facebook/AhmadKhalaf Photography.

« A trip down memory lane in this ancient neighborhood of Nablus »

A tour in al-Yasmineh (Jasmine) neighborhood in the old city of Nablus takes you to the different civilizations that have passed through Palestine over the centuries.

Taghreed Ali
(Al-Monitor, Feb 20, 2021)

The scent of jasmine fills the senses, the narrow alleys and old buildings in al-Yasmineh neighborhood in the southwest of the West Bank's old city of Nablus. The neighborhood is named after the sweetly scented jasmine flower that is widely spread there and is locally known as Little Damascus to emphasize the Levantine-style similarities and prevailing Mamluk and Ottoman architectures. Nestled in one of the neighborhood's corners is the well-known Breek herbal shop that dates back more than 400 years ago. Herbal products, seeds, spices and authentic Arabic coffee are sold at Breek. Continue...

Nisma al-Sallaq and Mayar Humaid started their project to archive Gaza's historical sites and buildings in 2014. [Ashraf Amra/Al Jazeera]

« Gaza's first digital archive documents rich cultural history »

Multi-dimensional platform launched in 2019 documents Gaza's historical buildings and heritage sites in English and Arabic.

Hana Adli

(Al-Jazeera, Feb 28, 2021)

With years of war, humanitarian crises and a continuing Israeli blockade, the Gaza Strip's rich cultural heritage has largely gone unnoticed. But a few years ago, Nisma al-Sallaq, a local architect and a passionate advocate for the Palestinian enclave's cultural history, set out to change that. Along with a growing team, al-Sallaq, 27, set up Gaza's first digital archive of historical buildings and heritage sites when she launched a multi-dimensional platform called "Kanaan" in 2019. With a website, mobile application and Instagram page, the project provides visitors with information in text and video format in English and Arabic, and offers a virtual tour of Gaza's centuries-old cultural history. Named after the Canaanites who first settled Gaza thousands of years ago, 'Kanaan' has so far documented 311 historical buildings and 76 archaeological sites on the Strip. Continue...

"The food I go back to": Sami Tamimi (right) and Tara Wigley, authors of new cookbook 'Falastin'. Photograph: Pål Hansen/The Observer.


Sami Tamimi and Tara Wigley
Ebury Press, £27. Photography by Jenny Zarins. 

'A love letter home: recipes and stories of the Palestinian table'
(Interview by Tim Lewis, The Guardian, 15 March 2020)

Travelling through Bethlehem, East Jerusalem, Nablus, Haifa, Akka, Nazareth, Galilee and the West Bank, Sami and Tara invite you to experience and enjoy unparalleled access to Sami's homeland. As each region has its own distinct identity and tale to tell, there are endless new flavour combinations to discover. The food is the perfect mix of traditional and contemporary, with recipes that have been handed down through the generations and reworked for a modern home kitchen, alongside dishes that have been inspired by Sami and Tara's collaborations with producers and farmers throughout Palestine. With stunning food and travel photography plus stories from unheard Palestinian voices, this innovative cookbook will transport you to this rich land. Continue...

International :

« On British colonialism, antisemitism, and Palestinian rights »

From the 'original sin' of 1917 to the government's more recent adoption of the controversial IHRA antisemitism definition, Britain has always been firmly in Israel's camp.

Avi Shlaim*
(Middle East Eye, March 1, 2021)

In December 2016, then British Prime Minister Theresa May's Conservative government formally adopted the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA)'s working definition of antisemitism. It was the first government in the world to do so, marking yet another milestone in the 100-year history of British support for Zionism and callous disregard for Palestinian rights.
The « original sin » was the 1917
Balfour Declaration, which promised to support the establishment of a « national home for the Jewish people », provided that nothing was done to « prejudice the civil and religious rights of existing non-Jewish communities in Palestine ». In 1917, Arabs constituted 90% of the population of Palestine; Jews made up less than 10%.
The declaration was thus a classic colonial document: it granted the right to national self-determination to a small minority, while denying it to the majority. To add insult to injury, the declaration referred to 90% of the country's inhabitants as « non-Jewish communities in Palestine », relegating them to an inferior status. Although grotesquely imbalanced in favour of Jews, the declaration at least included a promise to protect the civil and religious rights of Palestinians - but even this promise was never kept. 

* Avi Shlaim is an Em. Professor of International Relations at Oxford University and the author of 'The Iron Wall: Israel and the Arab World' (2014) and 'Israel and Palestine: Reappraisals, Revisions, Refutations' (2009).

Palestinian PM Mohammed Shtayyeh and EU representative in the West Bank and Gaza Sven Kuhn von Burgsdorff in Khirbet Humsa, this month. Credit: Emmanuel Dunand - AFP.

« The Europeans Don't Really Care About the Palestinians Either »

Amira Hass

(Haaretz, Feb 24, 2021):

The sloth of the European Union has once again been revealed in all its shame. The EU is good at giving the Palestinians charity and preaching about the rule of law. It fails politically when it comes to stopping Israel's plans to concentrate the Palestinians into reservations in the West Bank and clear most of the land for Jews.
Where will the EU be when the supporters of Kahanist
Itamar Ben-Gvir and the erudite proponent of transfer Bezalel Smotrich get even stronger - as seems likely given the anti-Arab attitudes of Haredi and so-called religious Zionist teens in Israel? What will it do when they carry out their threats to expel Palestinians "disloyal to Israel" beyond the borders of the "Greater Land of Israel"? Will it send its aid organizations to hand out tents and teach the Palestinians about hygiene in desert conditions?
...Only painful political and economic sanctions imposed by Europe will teach the Israeli Jewish public that it cannot have the best of both worlds: to receive unconditional support as "the eternal collective victim and survivor" of the expulsion and genocide project carried out in Europe in the 1930s and '40s, while also engineering an expulsion and dispossession project that seems to have no end.

"Democrats are as big a threat to a just peace in Palestine as Republicans"

Bassem Tamimi*
(Palestine, Feb 24):

Motivated by their justifiable aversion to former US President Donald Trump, many analysts have painted, rather rashly I believe, a rosy picture of how Democrats could quickly erase the bleak trajectory of the previous Republican administration. This naivety is particularly pronounced in the current spin on the Palestinian-Israeli discourse, which is promoting, again, the illusion that Democrats will succeed where their political rivals have failed. There are obvious differences in the Democrat approach to the Palestinian-Israeli conflict, but only in semantics and political jingoism, not policy. This assertion can be justified if the Democrat administration's official language on Palestine and Israel is examined, and then considered within the context of policies on the ground. Continue...

* Bassem Tamimi, is a Palestinian community leader and activist with the Nabi Saleh Popular Struggle Committee.

« California Judge Rules Against Attempts to Silence Palestinian Activist »

American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee
(March 3, 2021)

The American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee (ADC) welcomes the decision by a California court to reject and dismiss a lawsuit which attempted to silence and intimidate Ms. Suhair Nafal, a Palestinian community member and activist. In September of 2020, Ms. Nafal contacted ADC for assistance after being served with a defamation lawsuit brought forward by a former IDF Solider, Rebecca Rumshiskaya. Attorney Haytham Faraj, an ADC National Board Member, agreed to represent Ms. Nafal.
The judge ruled against the former IDF solider, and in favor of Ms. Nafal. The judge also granted Ms. Nafal's Anti-SLAPP Motion, awarding her legal fees, which must be paid by the plaintiff. Anti-SLAPP laws are intended to prevent people from using courts, and potential threats of a lawsuit, to intimidate people who are exercising their First Amendment rights. The judge's opinion in the case of Rumshiskaya vs. Nafal can be read here. The Judge's decision and opinion is a categorical rejection of the attempt by Israelis and their American agents to silence American citizens rights to free speech, particularly political speech. Continue...

Israel :

Itamar Ben Gvir, head of the Otzma Yehudit party, holds a press conference in Jerusalem, March 1, 2020. (Olivier Fitoussi/Flash90)

« Netanyahu is embracing fascists - and the world is tolerating them »

Itamar Ben-Gvir is not an outlier in Israeli politics; he is part of a far-right alliance that the international community has been normalizing for years.

Sami Abu Shehadeh
(+972, March 4, 2021)

Over the past few weeks, a prominent Israeli settler living in the occupied territories has demanded that the Knesset dismiss almost every single Arab Palestinian citizen from running in the upcoming Israeli elections. In the same vein that he endorses the transfer of the entire Palestinian citizenry out of their historical homeland, he now seeks to have a pure Jewish parliament, "sterilized" of any undesired Arab presence. Although the Knesset ultimately rejected his efforts, his desire remains unchanged. This person, unfortunately, is not an isolated extremist. In fact, he is hoping to join forces with Israel's prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, and to serve as part of the next coalition government.
Itamar Ben-Gvir, a member of the far-right Otzma Yehudit ("Jewish Power") party, has long been known as a follower of the racist Kahanist movement; his political views were so extreme that even the Israeli army disqualified him from joining their forces. Continue...

A woman holds her baby as she casts her ballot for Knesset elections at a voting station in Jerusalem, on September 17, 2019. (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)

« A guide to Israel's never-ending elections »

Israeli citizens will once again vote on whether to keep Netanyahu in power - 
and decide just how far right the country will go.

Haggai Matar

(+972 Magazine, Feb 19, 2021)

As Israel approaches a fourth election in two years, it may sometimes be difficult to follow who exactly is in the game and what it's all about. That's why we thought we'd offer +972 readers a basic guide explaining the options voters will find on the March 23 ballot. Continue...

Head of the left wing Meretz party Nitzan Horowitz attends a Channel 12 News conference in Jerusalem on March 7, 2021. (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)

« Unmoved by outrage, Meretz leader says the right is responsible for ICC probe »

Nitzan Horowitz says it is in Israel's interest "to end the occupation, and anyone who thinks settlement policy can continue without a price is mistaken."

The Times of Israel Staff (Feb 7, 2021):

The leader of the left-wing Meretz party on Sunday said that it was right-wing policy on West Bank settlement that has brought about the International Criminal Court's opening of a war crimes probe against Israel, doubling down on remarks he made the day before in which he gave legitimacy to the probe.
"Those who are dragging Israel to court in the Hague are Netanyahu, the right, and the settlers," Nitzan Horowitz said at a Channel 12 conference hosting influential Israeli figures in Jerusalem.

Israeli Medan Press, 22, who lost his job in a factory due to the economic crisis caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, works at his new job in the Jewish National Fund nursery in the Eshtaol area near the Israeli city of Beit Shemesh. The nursery provides trees and shrubs suited for Israel's central region. Photo by Menahem Kahana/AFP via Getty Images.

« Settler movement takes over Jewish National Fund »

The decision by the Jewish National Fund to start purchasing land in the West Bank marks another victory for the right-wing and the settlement movement.

Mazal Mualem
(Al-Monitor, Feb 23, 2021):

"It's quite possible that, until two days ago, [President Joe] Biden had no idea what the Jewish National Fund is. Now, however, the old, established organization has turned itself into a major nuisance for his presidential agenda." With this sarcastic note, Alon Pinkas, the former Israeli consul general in New York, concluded an article he wrote for the Israeli newspaper Haaretz that was published Feb. 14.
His remarks referred to a dramatic decision made by the group, which was created in 1901 with the mission of purchasing lands for Jews to settle in Ottoman Palestine.  Continue...

Israeli forces use tear gas to dispraise demonstrators in Umm al-Fahm city (Friday - February 26, 2021) - Russia Today

"Israeli Police's crackdown on Umm al-Fahm protesters gives a green light for crime"

Euro-Mediterranean Human Rights Monitor (Feb 27, 2021):

Geneva - The Euro-Mediterranean Human Rights Monitor strongly condemns the Israeli Police's suppression of demonstrations in Umm al-Fahm protesting the escalation of violence and crime in the city. Many protesters were injured while others were arrested. The demonstration took place yesterday, February 26th, after Friday prayers in front of the municipality of Umm al-Fahm. The protesters headed on foot to the Israeli police station, where police officers used violence and disproportionate force against them. The Police used rubber bullets, tear gas, wastewater cannons, sound bombs and batons, leaving 11 civilians injured and seven others arrested.  
The Israeli police's repeated attacks against the demonstrations in Umm al-Fahm, indicate that the Israeli authorities are willing to allow the violence and escalation of crime against Palestinians residing there and in other Arab towns . Tariq Abdel Razek, legal advisor at the Euro-Med Monitor.  Continue...

Women march in the town of Tamra against rising violence in the Arab community, last month. Credit: Rami Shllush.

"Three Weeks Before Election, Israel Approves Plan to Combat Arab Community Crime"

Funds are to be allocated immediately for police station construction, but Arab politicians labeled Netanyahu's plan an election gimmick, noting that most of it is to be implemented only after March.

Jack Khoury
(Haaretz, Feb 2, 2021)

The plan does not meet Arab elected officials' demands in addressing the problem, which is widely seen among Israeli Arabs as a major concern... The cabinet's decision followed violent confrontations on Friday in the Arab city of Umm al-Fahm between protesters and the police in which a man was seriously injured. In the wake of the incident, there have been calls in the Arab community to remove police stations from Arab towns. The Umm al-Fahm municipality announced a two-week suspension of community policing activity in the city, and on Friday of this week, a mass demonstration is expected at the entrance to the city in protest over police violence directed at Arab residents.  Continue...

Palestine Occupied and Colonized:

Palestinians sift through the rubble after Israeli forces demolished their home in the hamlet of Khalet al-Daba, in the occupied West Bank, June 17, 2019. (Wissam Hashlamon/Flash90)

« All I can do is film, and it breaks my heart »

Entire communities in south Hebron are under threat of expulsion, while Israeli soldiers try to prevent activists like me from filming the demolitions.

Basil al-Adraa
(+972, March 5, 2021)

It was 7 a.m. on Tuesday, and there were new messages in the WhatsApp group for Masafer Yatta in south Hebron, the area where I live, which is under Israeli occupation. At first, people were wishing each other good morning. A minute later, a friend from the nearby community of Umm al-Kheir sent a voice message to the group: "Bulldozers! And army jeeps! And white cars belonging to the Civil Administration. They are on their way to Masafer Yatta." 
I immediately called Nasser, another Palestinian activist, and we got our cameras ready. We got into the car, and started to follow the forces of destruction that had gathered in the nearby Israeli settlement of Ma'on

Fishermen in Gaza, 2017. Credit: Khalil Hamra / AP.

« Palestinians Claim Three Gaza Fisherman Killed by Israeli Fire; Army Denies »

Nizar Ayash, chairman of the Gaza Fishermen's Association, said that the three fishermen were hit by a projectile near to Khan Younis. Israeli military says it is probing incident"

Jack Khoury
(Haaretz, Feb 7, 2021)

Nizar Ayash identified the fishermen as Yahya Mustafa al-Laham, and brothers Hamdi and Zakaria Higazi al-Laham. The Israeli military said in reponse to the reports that "the Israeli navy did not fire" at the Strip, and that it is investigating the reports. 
Last month, the Israeli navy sank a fishing boat off the coast of the Gaza Strip, with the military saying soldiers suspected it posed a potential threat.


« Israeli Soldiers Abduct 17 Palestinians In West Bank »

(IMEMC - International Middle East Media Center, Feb. 23, 2021)

Israeli soldiers abducted, on Tuesday at dawn, seventeen Palestinians, including siblings, from several parts of the occupied West Bank, the Palestinian Prisoners' Society (PPS) has reported. The PPS office in Hebron, in southern West Bank, said the soldiers abducted Ala' Shaker al-Hadoush, 30, Mohammad Mahmoud Ghneimat, and Emad Bader Ekhlayyel, 40, after stopping them at the al-Jab'a military roadblock, west of Surif town, northwest of Hebron. It added that the soldiers invaded and ransacked several homes in the southern area of Hebron city, before abducting Ahed Awni Jaber and his brother Anan. Continue...

Palestinian lawmaker Khalida Jarrar upon her release from Israeli prison on 28 February 2019 in the occupied West Bank city of Nablus. Shadi Jarar'ah APA images.

"Israel jails Palestinian politicians ahead of PA elections"

Tamara Nassar

(The Electronic Intifada, 2 March 2021):

With Palestinian legislative and presidential elections set to take place in coming months, Israel is intensifying its crackdown on Palestinian political and civil society figures in the occupied West Bank. On Monday, Israel sentenced Palestinian lawmaker Khalida Jarrar to two years in prison, a $1,200 fine and a suspended sentence of one year. Her crime? Being a member of the leftist political party the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine.
Israel considers virtually all Palestinian parties and resistance organizations to be "terrorist" groups, meaning that any politically active person can be targeted for arrest. "The timing is not coincidental," Palestinian lawyer Yafa Jarrar said of her mother's sentence, referencing Palestinian elections.  Continue...

Manif près de al-Rakiz, le 8 janvier 2021.Credit: Ori Givati.

« Un mouvement de protestation palestinien dirigé par des jeunes secoue les collines au sud de Jérusalem »

Jonathan Shamir
(Haaretz via EuroPalestine, fév 23, 2021):

Sami Huraini, étudiant en droit palestinien, se trouve tous les vendredis au poste de police de la colonie de Kiryat Arba à Hébron. Les conditions de libération sous caution du militant de 23 ans stipulent qu'il doit comparaître ici chaque semaine, dans la colonie israélienne attenant à Hébron, de 8h30 à 15h30.
Normalement, ce jour-là, Huraini assiste à la manifestation hebdomadaire après la prière près de son village d'At-Tuwani, en Cisjordanie, pour protester contre l'occupation et les démolitions de maisons par les autorités militaires israéliennes dans cette région désertique des collines d'Hébron Sud. « Ils veulent que j'aie peur de me joindre à toute manifestation, et ils veulent m'utiliser comme un exemple pour effrayer d'autres militants », dit Huraini de ses conditions de mise en liberté sous caution, qui n'aura pas lieu avant sa prochaine audience le 1er Mars.

Palestinian and Jewish peace activists stage a protest against the court's ruling in favor of the Jewish settlers in front of the Israel Central Court in Jerusalem on 9 Feb 2021. [Mostafa Alkharouf - Anadolu Agency]

"'Guarded optimism' does not hide the deprivation forced upon Palestinians"

Ramona Wadi
(Middle East Monitor, Feb 23, 2021):

The latest report by the UN Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process painted a bleak picture for Palestine. Gone are the days when UN representatives attempted to conflate diplomatic negotiations with the Palestinian Authority's cooperation over the coronavirus pandemic. In 2020, the Palestinian economy contracted by 10 to 12%; it's "one of the largest annual contractions since the Palestinian Authority was established in 1994."
While Covid-19 certainly exacerbated the economic crisis for Palestinians, it is by no means the most pressing factor, as the recommendations indicate. A striking observation is that half the Palestinian population is now in need of humanitarian aid, and yet the UN is still failing to make the link between humanitarian deprivation and Israel's colonial violence and expansion.  Continue...

Every Palestinian child is part of an at-risk community.

"Daily assault on Palestinian childhood - attacks, bombings, abductions, shootings"

Being a Palestinian child carries risks. Airstrikes, home (and school) invasions, home (and school) demolitions, inability to access medical care - these are just some of the dangers of being not-Jewish in a land under Israeli control.

Compiled by If Americans Knew
(Israel-Palestine News, March 1, 2021):

Below are just a few of the many recent examples of "normal" childhood experiences for Palestinian youth at the hands of Israel. The trauma of going through an airstrike, or of being brutally attacked while at home in the middle of the night, or on the way to school, make life precarious. The possibility of going out to play and leaving in an ambulance, or of getting sick and having limited access to medical care, is very real. Continue...

On Jan. 8, 2021, one week after the shooting of Harun Abu Aram by an Israeli soldier, hundreds of Palestinian, Israeli, and international activists gathered for a demonstration at the location of the shooting in the village of Al-Rakeez in the South Hebron Hills. They were met by Israeli police and military.

"Thanks to the US, the Israeli Military Shot My Cousin, Harun Abu Aram"

Americans, if you think the Palestinian issue is unrelated to you, think again: Israeli violence is being perpetrated in your name, with money that should be spent to make your lives better (due to the influence of the Israel lobby on US policies).

Ryah Aqel with Mohammed El-Kurd

Israel-Palestine News (March 2, 2021), reposted from The Nation.

Harun Abu Aram was shot while rebuilding a friend's barn that had been demolished by the Israeli authorities. His own family home was demolished in mid-November, but this made no headlines, as Israeli dispossession of Palestinians is common across historic Palestine. The army had come to seize the family's construction material, a tactic Israeli authorities use when they cannot legally stop construction from going forward. A fight ensued when Harun refused to give up the battered generator the Israelis were trying to confiscate. A soldier beat him to the ground and shot him into permanent paralysis. Harun's parents were eyewitnesses Continue...

Hundreds of Palestinians and Israelis march from Silwan in East Jerusalem to the Prime Minister's Residence, February 6, 2021. (Keren Manor/

« Can Silwan's rekindled protests beat back Israel's eviction threats? »

With little hope that the courts will stop the settlers' eviction campaign, one Palestinian activist feels energized by the Israelis joining the neighborhood's struggle.

Oren Ziv

(+972, March 1, 2021)

Zoheir Rajbi has been feeling encouraged, almost optimistic. In early February, hundreds of Israelis came to his community of Batan al-Hawa in the East Jerusalem neighborhood of Silwan, where he has been leading the struggle against evictions of Palestinian families. Together with dozens of Palestinians, the Israeli activists led a march from Silwan to Balfour Street, the locus of the anti-Netanyahu protests that have been taking place regularly outside the Prime Minister's Residence for the past year. The march was a rare sight in East Jerusalem, and particularly in Silwan, a neighborhood of 60,000 Palestinians and several hundred Jewish settlers.  Continue...

Khatham Abu Riala in front of what used to be his home in Isawiyah. Credit: Alex Levac.

« For the 6th Time Israel Razes a Disabled Palestinian's Home »

There's no way for Palestinians to build legally on their own land in Isawiyah. Almost all the construction there has been illegal, but the Jerusalem Municipality has chosen to single out this man.

Gideon Levy & Alex Levac

(Haaretz, Feb 4, 2021)

A disabled man, Khatham Abu Riala, watches as a bulldozer demolishes his home. Just a few dozen meters separate him from the structure, whose second story is now collapsing into itself. The bulldozer batters the walls of the stone building - which was still under construction - pounding and smashing, toppling yet another wall and destroying another room on this upper floor, transforming it into a heap of rubble. Its owner, who invested all his savings in the construction, watches the devastation from his wheelchair, surrounded by Border Police troops who appear as menacing and violent as ever. It's not the first time he's witnessing this scenario; that happened in 1999. Nor is it the second, third or fourth time: Israeli authorities have demolished his home six times.  Continue...

Prisoners :

Israeli soldiers in Yatta, a town near Hebron in the occupied West Bank, during a protest on 3 January. Mosab Shawer APA images.

"Palestinian child says he was raped by Israeli interrogator"

Tamara Nassar

(The Electronic Intifada, 19 Feb, 2021):

An Israeli interrogator raped a Palestinian child detainee in prison, he told Defense for Children International Palestine (DCIP). The 15-year-old boy, whose identity is known to DCIP but withheld for privacy reasons, gave his testimony to the human rights group. Israel had placed the boy under house arrest in November 2020. Israeli occupation forces then took him from his home in the occupied East Jerusalem neighborhood of Issawiyeh in the middle of the night on 13 January. He was supposed to appear in court on that day.
The experience of a night arrest alone is particularly traumatic for children and their families. Israeli forces then took the child to the Russian Compound interrogation and torture facility in Jerusalem, where he was handcuffed and blindfolded in a hallway and attacked by passersby.  Continue...

Nachshon Battalion soldiers watch over a Palestinian detainee during an operation of arresting suspects in the Dheisheh Refugee Camp, near the West Bank city of Bethlehem, Dec. 8, 2015. (Nati Shohat / Flash90)

« Why Shin Bet torturers don't have to worry
about punishment »

Yael Stein*
(+972, Feb 2, 2021):

...The precise details of what interrogators are allowed to do are, of course, kept secret. But hundreds of Palestinian testimonies over the years paint a vivid and horrifying picture of what goes on during these interrogations - some of which can last weeks. 
For starters, interrogators can keep the detainees isolated in tiny, dark, and filthy cells. They are allowed to deny the detainees food for days or to give only spoiled, uncooked, and inedible food. They are allowed to beat them and forbid access to toilets. They can threaten to harm them or their families, insult them, and shout at them. They may tie them to a chair in painful positions for long periods of time. They can blast cold air into their cells and refuse their requests for blankets. They can prevent them from showering, changing clothes, or brushing their teeth for days. They can withhold adequate medical treatment, and deprive them of sleep for days on end. None of this is against the law.

* Adv. Yael Stein is the research director at B'Tselem.

Arbeed was detained in 2019, and after being subjected to interrogation by Israel's Shin Bet domestic intelligence service, he suffered from kidney failure and broken ribs. (AFP)

« UN experts call on Israel to stop torture, inhuman treatment of Palestinians »

Panel of rights experts said Israel was using a 'grave loophole within the Israeli judicial system' to defend its use of torture.

Middle East Eye Staff (Feb 5, 2021)

UN human rights experts have called on Israel to end the use of torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment against Palestinians, which they noted has been universally banned by international law. Israel should "urgently and comprehensively review, suspend and/or repeal the necessity defense applied in criminal investigations, and any laws, regulations, policies, and practices authorizing, justifying, acquiescing in or otherwise leading to impunity for such grave violations of human rights", the experts said in a statement on Monday. The panel of rights experts - including Stanley Michael Lynk, special rapporteur on human rights in the Palestinian territory occupied since 1967 - said they were alarmed at the use of "enhanced interrogation techniques" used by Israeli security forces against Palestinian Samer al-Arbeed Continue...

The Israeli Ofer military prison. (Photo: Oren Ziv, via

"Israeli Prison Service Imposes Punitive Measures against Palestinian Detainees"

(The Palestine Chronicle, March 5, 2021)

Israeli Prison Service (IPS) at Ofer prison threatened today to intensify its punitive measures against Palestinian prisoners, which would aggravate the already poor health conditions in Israeli prisons amid the global outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic. 
The Palestinian Prisoner's Society (PPS) reported that Palestinian prisoners in Ofer threatened to consider a set of measures starting next week in protest of IPS' escalated measures against them - which could amount to launching a gradual hunger strike - after talks with the Israel Prison Service have failed to meet their key demands...
Prisoners have complained that the prison service has been cutting off the water to their cells and depriving them of essential hygiene and cleaning materials amidst the spread of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Refugees :

UNRWA is committed to providing quality, inclusive and equitable education in Syria promoting the use of COVID-19 preventive measures in all of its schools. © 2020 UNRWA Photo by Taghrid Mohammad.

UNRWA: "Syria Regional Crisis Emergency Appeal 2021"

Protracted displacement, deteriorating socio-economic conditions aggravated by the consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic, dire humanitarian needs and protection concerns continue to affect the lives of Palestine refugees in Syria, Lebanon and Jordan. In Syria, the protracted conflict has devastated human security and left 91% of the 438,000 Palestine refugees estimated to remain in the country in absolute poverty and 40% displaced. In 2020, living conditions deteriorated further as a result of an economic crisis, leading to an increase in prices including of the most basic commodities. In Lebanon and Jordan, Palestine refugees, including Palestinian refugees from Syria (PRS), are also confronted with increased hardship and vulnerability. In Lebanon, the economic and political crisis, which started in October 2019, continues to cause rising inflation, price increases and loss of employment opportunities, pushing more people into poverty. Continue...

Les secouristes devant l'hôpital al-Aqsa de Aïn el-Héloué. Photo DR.

"Situation critique dans le camp de réfugiés Aïn el-Héloué au Liban"

(Charleroi pour la Palestine, 13 fév, 2021)

Le coronavirus se propage de plus en plus rapidement dans le camp de réfugiés palestiniens de Aïn el-Héloué près de Saïda, faisant vivre ses plus de 80 000 habitants, dont la situation économique est déjà dramatique, dans la peur. Chaque jour, de nouveaux cas sont signalés dans ce camp surpeuplé, le plus grand du Liban, où déjà 184 personnes ont succombé à cette maladie, selon le directeur du département de la santé de l'UNRWA, Abed Chanta. Récemment, les habitants du camp ont dû enterrer sept personnes en une seule journée. Les chiffres de contamination sont alarmants : à titre d'exemple, 125 cas ont été recensés entre le 1er et le 5 février. Continue...

Resources : Reports, Books, Documents,...

# Jana Van Braeckel, "(Re)claiming spatial justice for the native Naqab Arab Bedouin. Towards a critical geography of the Israeli land and planning laws" (Gent, 2016, pdf, 76blz.).