Violence Surges in Wake of Trump’s Mideast Plan

Clashes, shootings and a vehicle attack erupt in the West Bank and Jerusalem, killing Palestinians and wounding Israeli soldiers.


Palestinians inspected the rubble of a house in Jenin demolished by Israeli troops on Thursday. The home belonged to a Palestinian accused of being involved in the drive-by shooting of a rabbi two years ago. (Majdi Mohammed/Associated Press)

Isabel Kershner, New York Times, Feb. 6, 2020

JERUSALEM — At least three Palestinians were killed during clashes with Israeli security forces in the West Bank on Wednesday and Thursday, and an Israeli soldier was seriously wounded in a car ramming in Jerusalem overnight, in a surge of violence following the release of the long-awaited — and highly contentious — American plan for Middle East peace.

Among the three Palestinians were a Palestinian Authority police officer, whom Israeli forces said they shot by mistake, and a police cadet.

A fourth man armed with a pistol opened fire before noon Thursday on Israeli border police officers outside the Aqsa Mosque compound in the Old City of Jerusalem, wounding one in the arm.

The attacker, who was shot dead by the police, was an Arab resident of Haifa, in northern Israel. According to Israeli news media reports, he had recently converted to Islam.

As one attack appeared to trigger the next, an Israeli soldier was lightly wounded on Thursday afternoon by Palestinian sniper fire north of Ramallah in the occupied West Bank.

On Wednesday, Muhammad al-Haddad, 17, was killed by a shot in the chest, doctors said, as youths clashed with Israeli forces in the volatile Palestinian city of Hebron in the southern West Bank.

The Israeli military said that confrontation came after days of clashes in Hebron, with Palestinians throwing stones and firebombs at forces near the Jewish settlement in the heart of the city. The military said its soldiers had fired at an unidentified Palestinian who was seen hurling a firebomb.

In the early hours of Thursday, a Palestinian rammed a car into a group of soldiers on a sidewalk near a popular entertainment district in West Jerusalem, seriously wounding one and inflicting mild injuries on a dozen more, before fleeing the scene. The soldiers, recent recruits, had been on their way to a swearing-in ceremony in the Old City. The car was later found abandoned near Bethlehem.

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Trump Plan Protests in the Jordan Valley


Operation Dove, January 29, 2020

Tubas, Jordan Valley — Today in response to the “Deal of the Century” Palestinians gathered for an action in the Jordan Valley during which they plowed the land in an area declared a closed military zone for training.

Israeli soldiers responded to this action by firing sound grenades and tear gas into the crowd. Israeli soldiers also closed roads and established checkpoints in order to prevent Palestinians from reaching the spot.


Video: Ahmad Al-Bazz / Activestills

Activestills, January 29, 2020

Palestinians protest the Trump administration’s plan to resolve the Palestinian-Israeli issue, Northern Jordan Valley, West Bank.

Rep. Mark Pocan on Trump’s Peace Plan

Progressives must take a stand against the Trump administration’s endorsement of Israeli apartheid and, instead, support the Palestinian demands for freedom, self-determination, and the right of refugees to return to their homeland.

Endorse “Freedom Is the Future,” a joint project of US Campaign for Palestinian Rights and Adalah Justice Project.


Sister Cities

Invest in Justice by Building Genuine Connections

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Image via Sacramento to Bethlehem

Cities for Palestine by the US Campaign for Palestinian Rights

WHAT’S THE CAMPAIGN ABOUT?

Invest in justice by building genuine connections between US and Palestinian cities, towns, villages, or refugee camps through a sister city relationship. Sister Cities promote ties between community members in both places to learn about each other’s lives and work together on projects to support one another.

Sister Cities have transformed US city officials’ and other residents’ understanding of what is happening in Palestine through personal and official connections with Palestinians living under Israeli apartheid. Sister Cities also open the door to delegations to Palestine, including by city officials.

Current official and unofficial sister cities between the US and Palestine include: 

WHAT CAN YOU DO? 

Establish a sister city relationship between your city and a city, town, village, or refugee camp in Palestine. Maintain and grow that relationship in the years to come.

SUCCESS STORIES

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Youth of Sumud Remembers Tom Hurndall

Youth of Sumud, a group of Palestinians in the South Hebron Hills, believes and is committed to a peaceful, popular resistance as a strategic choice to end the Israeli occupation.

Tom Hurndall (27 November 1981 – 13 January 2004) was a British photography student, a volunteer for the International Solidarity Movement (ISM), and an activist against the Israeli occupation of the Palestinian territories. On 11 April 2003 he was shot in the head in Rafah, Gaza by an Israel Defense Forces (IDF) sniper, Taysir Hayb. Hurndall was left in a coma and died nine months later.

Hayb was convicted of manslaughter and obstruction of justice by an Israeli military court in April 2005 and sentenced to eight years in prison. On 10 April 2006 a British inquest jury returned a verdict of unlawful killing. Hurndall’s father told reporters that there had been a “general policy” to shoot civilians in the area without fear of reprisals, as stated by Hayb. Hayb had earlier told a military tribunal that the Israeli army “fires freely in Rafah.” (Wikipedia)

Regeni murder: If only Rachel Corrie and Tom Hurndall had been Italian

Why did the UK and US not react firmly against Israel for the killing of Hurndall and Corrie the way Italy did with Egypt for the death of Regeni?


A foreign peace activist (C) joins Palestinian protesters for a demonstration marking the anniversary of the death of US peace activist Rachel Corrie (poster), who was killed by an Israeli army bulldozer in 2003, at a refugee camp in Rafah in the southern Gaza Strip on 16 March 2013. (AFP)

Kamel Hawwash, Middle East Eye, 21 April 2016

The world was shocked at the discovery of the body of Italian PhD student Giulio Regeni in a ditch in Cairo on 9 February. His body showed signs of horrific torture which made it difficult even for his relatives to confirm his identity. The 28-year-old Cambridge University student had been kidnapped 10 days earlier while researching labour unrest and independent trade unions in Egypt.

Ironically, he went missing on 25 January, the fifth anniversary of the start of Egypt’s revolution. Egypt’s initial theories for the cause of his death ranged from being a casualty in a road traffic accident to being murdered by a criminal gang and even to being killed in a lover’s argument.  

The reaction of Italy was firm and robust. The Italian interior minister, Angelino Alfano who claimed that Regeni had been subjected to “inhuman, animal-like violence” announced that while Egypt appeared to be cooperating with a team of Italian investigators dispatched to Cairo, Italy wanted justice for Regeni. “We will not settle for alleged truths,” he said. “We want those really responsible identified and punished on the basis of law.” Rejecting suspicions of Egyptian security forces involvement in Regeni’s death, the Egyptian interior minister, Magdy Abdel Ghaffar, called them “completely unacceptable”.

Not satisfied with Egypt’s response the Italian government recalled its ambassador on 8 April for “an urgent evaluation” of what steps to take to “ascertain the truth about the barbaric murder of Giulio Regeni”. In diplomatic norms, recalling an ambassador is a significant step in expressing displeasure at the behaviour of the host nation, in this case Egypt. States use this very sparingly as it can sometimes take months if not years for relations to return to normality, possibly impacting on other aspects of the relationship including trade cooperation. On this occasion Italy saw this move as an appropriate response.

Coverage of Regeni’s death rightly filled many column inches around the world with writers contrasting the significant coverage of his death with that of thousands of Egyptians who lost their lives since the start of the revolution five years ago.

The media also tends to give significant coverage to the death of peace or human rights activists around the world including when this happens in Israel. However, if one compares the action of Italy as a state to the killing of one of its citizens in Egypt to the lack of action by the UK and the US to the killing of their citizens by Israeli forces while protecting Palestinians from Israeli violence one finds a marked difference.

Corrie and Hurndall: A muted response

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THE ANSWER IS PALESTINE

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CODEPINK, 1/13/20

On Friday, January 11, 2020, on the Beloved game show Jeopardy, Katie Needle of Brooklyn, N.Y. correctly answered the clue “Built in the 300s A.D., the Church of the Nativity” by responding What is Palestine?” But host Alex Trebek responded “nope” and told Jack McGuire, who answered, “What is Israel?” that he was correct — he was not!.

Take action now: tell Alex Trebek and Jeopardy that the Church of the Nativity, in the West Bank city of Bethlehem, is in Palestine, not Israel! 


Dear Alex Trebek and Jeopardy,

On Friday, January 11, 2020, answering the clue “Built in the 300s A.D., the Church of the Nativity,” Katie Needle replied CORRECTLYwhat is Palestine?.” But you falsely told McGuire, who followed up with the INCORRECT answer “what is Israel?” that he was right — he was not!

The Church of the Nativity, located in the West Bank city of Bethlehem, is not located in Israel, but in Occupied Palestinian Territories (oPt). Palestine is a member of the United Nations. The United Nations and the US State Department list the Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem as being located in Palestine. International law and world consensus are clear that Bethlehem and the rest of the West Bank, Gaza, and East Jerusalem are Palestine, not Israel. Israel’s occupation and annexations of these lands are entirely illegal.

Please immediately apologize for the politically dangerous inaccuracy that took place on your show.

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BDS Victory: Liverpool FC reject Puma sponsorship

Palestine Solidarity Campaign, 1/13/20

Thank you to the hundreds of supporters who wrote to Liverpool FC about our #BoycottPuma campaign!

Amidst growing international pressure for sports teams to boycott Puma over their complicity with Israeli war crimes, we’re delighted that Liverpool FC have rejected Puma’s kit sponsorship offer. Please join the campaign and help get other clubs to #BoycottPuma.

Join the #BoycottPuma campaign

Take action and demand UK football clubs ditch Puma. Use our template letter to send a message to football clubs calling on them to end sponsorship deals with Puma. Just follow this link.

Boycott Puma

Puma is the main sponsor of the Israel Football Association (IFA), which includes football clubs based in illegal Israeli settlements on stolen Palestinian land. All Israeli settlements are considered war crimes under international law.

As one of the world’s top athletic apparel makers, Puma’s sponsorship brings international legitimacy to the IFA and helps maintain its direct involvement with violations of human rights and international law off the field.

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