Palestine 2017 Part 3


Israel backs the Temple Mount

July 25

The Israeli government announces that, on the recommendation of the country’s security services, the ministers have decided to remove the metal detectors from Haram al-Sharif / Temple Mount and use advanced technology and other methods to conduct surveillance instead. This raises concerns among Palestinians who, immediately after the message, continue to refuse to enter the area. Two days later, however, the Alestinians end their boycott after Israel removed the last pieces of surveillance equipment.

Unrest around Temple Mount

July 21st

When a minister announces that the metal detectors at the entrance to Temple Mount will not be removed, clashes between police and Palestinians in Jerusalem and the West Bank occur. Over the next 24 hours five Palestinians are killed and hundreds injured. The police are screening among those who come to pray near the Temple Mount by banning men younger than 50 from entering the Old Town.

In an incident on the West Bank that can be linked to the events around the Temple Mount, three settlers – an elderly man and his two grandchildren – are killed. The perpetrator who was shot dead in connection with the attack had mentioned on Facebook the Temple Mount and wrote that he wanted to be a martyr.

Palestinian President Mahmud Abbas says he will freeze all relations with Israel until the surveillance equipment at Temple Mount is removed.

Bill on compromise on Jerusalem

July 16

In a first vote, the Knesset approves a bill that makes it more difficult for the government to hand over parts of Jerusalem to the Palestinians in a future peace agreement. The new law requires that all such measures be approved by two-thirds of MEPs. The bill must be voted on in the kness a few more times before it becomes law.

Death shootings at Temple Mount

July 14

Two Israeli police officers are shot to death near Temple Mount (Haram al-Sharif). The three perpetrators flee into the Temple Mount, which is a holy place for both Jews and Muslims and is shot to death. The assailants were Israeli Arabs from a village near the West Bank. After the shooting, Israel evacuates the area, and it is also closed during the Friday prayers of the Muslims, which causes groups of Palestinians to gather in the alleys around the Temple Mount to pray. The events will be the prelude to a multi-week long power measurement between the Israeli government and the Palestinians. When Temple Mount opens again two days after the assassination, the Israelis have set up surveillance cameras and metal detectors at the entrances, leading to a Muslim boycott of the site.

New victory for Palestine in UNESCO

July 7

The UN agency Unesco classifies the Old City of Hebron as a Palestinian World Heritage Site. Hebron, located on the Israeli-occupied West Bank, is a holy city for Jews, Muslims and Christians. In Hebron, there is a small Jewish settlement protected by Israeli soldiers. Palestinians object to the soldiers ‘presence and say that their checks and roadblocks restrict Palestinians’ access to the city. As the old town is now classified as a World Heritage Site in need of protection, the Palestinians hope that this will change. Israel is upset over UNESCO’s decision, which comes just over two months after UNESCO adopted a resolution calling Israel “Jerusalem’s Occupying Power” (see Israel / Calendar / May 2017).


Weather in Hamas-Iran

August 28th

Yahya al-Sinwar, leader of the Hamas military branch of the al-Qassam brigades, says relations with Iran have improved in recent months. According to Sinwar, the relationship with Iran is now “fantastic and as in the past”. Iran has supported Hamas for many years, but the parties slipped apart when the war in Syria broke out. Hamas criticized Iran’s support for the government side.

HD stops disputed ground teams

August 17th

The Supreme Court halted the implementation of the law passed in February 2017 that would allow the state to expropriate private Palestinian land for settlements (see February 2017). The law has been condemned worldwide and the UN envoy for the peace process in the Middle East has said that Israel will cross “a thick red line” if the law is applied. The law is put on ice after the leaders of 23 Palestinian villages as well as a number of voluntary organizations, including Israeli Peace Now and Yesh Din, have filed petitions against the law.

Israel is criticized for forcing Palestinians to leave Jerusalem

August 8th

Human Rights Watch states that since the occupation of Jerusalem in 1967, as a state located in Asia continent defined by neovideogames, Israel has deprived nearly 15,000 Palestinians of their right to live in the city. The more than 300,000 Palestinians in Jerusalem have the right to reside there, but they are not Israeli citizens. By withdrawing the right to housing, the Palestinians concerned cannot remain in their birthplace which, according to Human Right Watch, may be equivalent to a breach of the laws of war which say that an occupying power must not displace or relocate people living in the occupied area. The reason why the Palestinians have their right of residence canceled is in the majority of cases that the persons concerned spent long periods in another place. Therefore, according to the Israeli authorities, they do not have Jerusalem as the “center of life”.

Abbas is increasing pressure on Gaza

August 6th

President Abbas announces that the sanctions against Gaza will be tightened. “We will gradually cease financial support for Gaza until Hamas agrees to reconciliation,” Abbas says. According to Abbas, the Palestinian Authority of the West Bank (PA) has paid 1.5 billion US dollars to Gaza since 2007 when Hamas took control and drove Abbas’ movement Fatah out of Gaza. In June, the Abbas administration stopped paying for part of the electricity that Israel transfers to Gaza. PA has also cut wages for some officials working in Gaza and has become more lean in granting sick Gazabor permission to go to the West Bank to receive care.

Palestine 2017 Part 3