Tuesday, 17. July 2018

Seven thousand protesters marched through central Tel Aviv on Saturday night, July 14, to protest the controversial, government-sponsored “nation-state bill,” calling it racist and discriminatory. Under the banner “This is home for all of us,” public figures, MKs from Hadash and Meretz, and peace and social activists addressed the demonstration, in which participants marched from Rabin Square to Dizengoff Center. The bill is expected to be brought before the Knesset tonight (Monday) for a final vote.

Far-right Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s faced a challenge to his authoritarian power Tuesday, July 10, when President Reuven Rivlin, the attorney general’s office, and the Knesset’s legal adviser joined forces in opposing the PM’s flagship legislation, the racist Jewish Nation-State bill.

Rivlin wrote a letter to MKs criticizing a section of the bill that declares “The state may allow a community, including members of one religion or of one nationality, to maintain a separate communal settlement.” According to Hadash MK Dov Khenin (Joint List), “this bill would enshrine apartheid.”

Israeli’s Supreme Court issued a second temporary injunction on Monday evening, July 10, forbidding the state from carrying out plans to evacuate and demolish an occupied West Bank Arab-Bedouin village, days after initially postponing the plan. Monday’s ruling came in the wake of an urgent petition by a group of lawyers representing the community of Khan al-Ahmar near the large West Bank settlement of Ma’ale Adumim and followed a similar one issued by the court last Thursday, July 6.

In their initial plea to the court, the attorneys representing the residents of Khan al-Ahmar claimed that the Civil Administration refused to review a plan submitted by the villagers to legalize the village prior to ordering its demolition.

The Israeli military released from prison on Tuesday, July 3, occupation objector Ayelet Brachfeld after incarcerating her for four prison terms totaling 100 days. Brachfeld refused to be conscripted into compulsory military service due to her opposition to the occupation of the Palestinian territories.

With her release the army’s conscientious objection committee granted Brachfeld an exemption from military service based on her claim of refusing conscription for reasons of conscience. This is in contrast to most other objectors to the occupation who have been imprisoned and who are ultimately excused from service for “serious misconduct,” “unsuitability,” or who are given psychological exemptions.

Israel’s High Court of Justice issued an injunction on Thursday night, July 5, temporarily holding up the planned demolition of Khan al-Ahmar, a Bedouin village in the occupied West Bank that has become the focus of Palestinian protests and international concern.

The court injunction, issued a day after security forces sparked scuffles at the site by deploying bulldozers, gave the state until next Wednesday, July 11, to respond to the villagers’ contention that they had been unfairly denied building permits, said Ala’a Mahajna, the lawyer representing them.

The Knesset’s Ethics Committee rejected on Monday, July 2, a request made by Joint List MK Yousef Jabareen (Hadash) to allow him to travel abroad to participate next weekend in a seminar to be held in Lyon, France. The seminar organized by the Association France Palestine Solidarité (AFPS) is held annually with the participation of Israeli peace activists. According to far-right Public Security Minister Gilad Erdan (Likud), the “AFPS is anti-Israel organization which boycotts Israel and which appears on the Ministry of Strategic Affairs’ list of BDS-associated organizations.”

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas (Abu Mazen) delivered a speech on Sunday, July 1, in the occupied West Bank district of Ramallah concerning the Palestinian cause. The speech, which was delivered before representatives of the African Union, was made on behalf of the Palestinian Minister for Foreign Affairs Riyad al-Maliki.

The Palestinian Maan news agency reported that in his speech Abbas noted how, during the past two decades, the Palestinian National Authority (PA) has continuously worked on a solution to achieve peace in attempt to guarantee the realization of the most basic human rights of the Palestinian people which are daily being undermined by Israel.

Under the leadership of Joint List Chairman, MK Ayman Odeh (Hadash), MK Dov Khenin (Hadash – Joint List), MK Michal Rozin (Meretz) and MK Ksenia Svetlova (Labor Party), a Knesset forum will be held today, Monday, July 2, about the impact of the Israeli occupation on the lives of Palestinian children in the West Bank and the besieged Gaza Strip.

According to a report in Al Ittihad, the daily newspaper of the Communist Party of Israel (CPI), the forum will focus on various impacts of the occupation on the lives of Palestinian children: “poverty, restrictions on movement, lack of electricity, water and education, as well as child arrests, discriminatory laws that hinder family unification and the effects of the blockade on the Gaza Strip.”

Two Palestinians were killed and at least 310 others were injured, three of them seriously, on Friday, June 29, after they were shot with live ammunition by Israeli soldiers who continued to attack the ongoing Great March of Return protests along Gaza’s eastern border.

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