As Israel’s parliament swore in a new government this week, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu reiterated his goal of annexing territory in the occupied West Bank. “It’s time to apply the Israeli law and write another glorious chapter in the history of Zionism,” he told the Knesset.
Ever since the deal between Netanyahu and Blue and White leader Benny Gantz took shape, including a commitment to advancing “sovereignty” in the parts of the West Bank allocated to Israel under the Trump administration’s plan, annexation has featured heavily in diplomacy and in analysts’ debates.
But amid all the discussion about potential consequences for Israeli relations with the EU or for the peace treaty with Jordan, not much attention has been paid to the possibility that annexation will ultimately be fudged. Read more
Since removing settlers and redeploying its armed forces to the perimeter fence in 2005, Israel has subjected Palestinians in the Gaza Strip to numerous devastating assaults, a blockade, and routine attacks on the likes of farmers and fishermen.
Many of these policies have been the subject of substantial condemnation – from Palestinians, of course, as well as Israeli and international human rights groups, and even world leaders and politicians – albeit, critically, with little concrete action at the state level.
Israel, however, has sought to thwart even the possibility of meaningful accountability. Its approach has been very simple: in the face of criticism for breaking the law, change the law. Read more
Last week, a Palestinian detainee arrested by Israeli occupation forces was admitted to a Jerusalem hospital suffering from severe injuries, including broken ribs and kidney failure.
Samir Arbeed, 44 and in good health when detained, had been tortured during his interrogation at the hands of Shin Bet agents. According to reports, the agents had been given permission by an Israeli “judicial body” to use “exceptional ways to investigate”. Read more
Palestinians in the Gaza Strip are set to mark the one-year anniversary of the Great March of Returnprotests, anticipating more of the same lethal violence that has characterised Israel‘s approach since the demonstrations began.
Last month, the United Nations Commission of Inquiry (COI) published a damning indictment of Israeli forces’ conduct in suppressing the protests. Read more
It is now over a week since an Israeli sniper shot and killed Palestinian journalist Yaser Murtaja, as he covered the ongoing “Great Return March” protests in the occupied Gaza Strip. Incredibly, at the time of writing, the Israeli military has still not offered any explanation of why he was shot.
The killing of Murtaja has prompted widespread condemnation. He is, however, just one of 35 Palestinians killed – including three children – by Israeli forces since 30 March, with a further 1,500 protesters shot by Israeli live fire (see these AP reports). Read more
Yesterday, the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court (ICC) warned that the use of live fire by Israeli soldiers against Palestinian protesters in the occupied Gaza Strip could “constitute crimes under the Rome Statute”.
The ICC’s intervention, in the context of its ongoing preliminary examination into potential crimes committed in the Occupied Palestinian Territory (OPT), is unsurprising given three factors: the number of casualties, the orders given to Israeli soldiers, and the minimal likelihood of accountability. Read more
That US President Donald Trump has not yet made an official visit to the UK is down to the entirely justifiable opposition such a prospect provokes.
Here is a man who ran a racist election campaign and brought hard-right nationalists into the corridors of power, who has open contempt for treaties and bodies like the United Nations.
Yet this week, Theresa May will welcome to London another world leader about whom the exact same – and much more – can be said: Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. Read more
The Charity Commission has warned that making grants to Israeli settlements in the occupied Palestinian territory (oPt) could potentially constitute a breach of the Geneva Conventions Act of 1957, in a significant hardening of the Commission’s approach to the issue.
It is understood to be the first time that the Charity Commission has specifically cited the 1957 Act in communication with a charity regarding Israel and oPt. Read more
A eulogy for the two-state solution? Maybe – but Secretary of State John Kerry’s speech Wednesday sounded suspiciously like yet another desperate attempt to sustain the so-called ‘peace process’.
It is only possible to understand the Security Council resolution and Kerry’s speech, how to view them – their weaknesses, and the opportunities they represent – by beginning with a reality check about the two-decade old, US and internationally-led peace process. Read more
2017 must be the year that the international community finally toughens up its language and, most importantly, its actions, when it comes to Israel.
The case is well known and irrefutable. Israel is a serial human rights violator whose laws and policies contravene UN Security Council resolutions in addition to various other international humanitarian-law obligations and treaties. Read more