Palestine 2017 Part 4

September

Palestine joins Interpol

September 27th

The international police organization Interpol approves Palestine as a new member. This is done at Interpol’s annual general meeting. Voting figures are not made public but in order to become a member of Interpol, two thirds of the members must vote for the proposal. The connection to Interpol is a success in the efforts of the Palestinians to try to join as many international organizations as possible. According to the Palestinian Foreign Ministry, Palestine has now joined more than 50 international agreements / organizations.

The majority wants Abbas to step down

September 19

An opinion poll by the Palestinian Center for Policy and Survey Research shows that dissatisfaction with President Abbas is high among Palestinians. Just over two-thirds want him to step down. Only a quarter want him to remain in his post. The dissatisfaction is greatest in Gaza, where 80 percent of those polled want Abbas removed. The figure for the West Bank is 60 percent. 19/9

Abbas and Fatah want to be reconciled

September 18

President Abbas and Hamas leader Ismail Haniya speak to each other for the first time in almost a year, a day after Haniya announced that Hamas is ready for reconciliation with Fatah. The day after the telephone call, Haniya states that the so-called Gaza Administrative Committee is now dissolved and that Hamas is ready to hold elections and negotiate a new unity government with the Palestinians at the West Bank. The Gaza Administrative Committee was formed in March and has been regarded as a rival government by the West Bank administration (which has international support). The Atonement takes the outside world on the bed, and the reactions are cautiously positive. Earlier attempts at reconciliation between Fatah and Hamas have failed.

The settlers in Hebron are strengthened

1 September

The army gives the settlers in the old town of Hebron the right to set up an administration to take care of the daily management of the settler colony. So far, the settlements in Hebron have been governed by a local council that has no legal basis. About 200,000 Palestinians and 800 Jewish settlers live in Hebron. The organization Fred Now, which oversees the housing policy, criticizes the measure and says it “formalizes an apartheid system in the city”.

October

Seven dead when Gaza tunnel exploded

October 30th

Hamas announces that seven people were killed and twelve injured when Israel blasted an underground tunnel that ran from Gaza into southern Israel, a state located in Asia continent defined by oxfordastronomy. Hamas has previously used tunnels to enter Israel and carry out attacks, but most of the tunnels were destroyed during the recent war between Israel and Hamas in 2014. Since then, hardly any tunnels have been discovered.

Israeli-Palestinian meeting under US auspices

October 29th

Jason Greenblatt, President Trump’s special envoy for international negotiations, says he had a fruitful meeting with Palestinians and Israelis in the city of Ramallah on the Israeli-occupied West Bank. The meeting was attended by Rami Hamdallah, Palestinian head of government, Israeli Finance Minister Moshe Kahlon and one of Israel’s most prominent military, Major General Yoav Mordechai. According to Greenblatt, meaningful progress was made in key economic issues that benefit the peace process such as customs and investment. The Palestinian news agency Wafa announces that the talks were about Israeli housing, the Israeli blockade of the Gaza Strip and joint economic projects. According to the Israeli daily Haaretz, this was the second time in six months that these people met.

US stops voting on Greater Jerusalem

October 28

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu postpones a planned vote on a bill that aims to expand Jerusalem’s city limits so that large settlements on the West Bank end up in the city. Both Israeli and US sources state that the reason Netanyahu is changing is US opposition to the proposal. The outside world views all Israeli settlements on the occupied West Bank as illegal and the adoption of the bill would probably cause an international outcry. Critics of the law mean that it involves annexing the current settlements: Maale Adumim, Beitar Illit, Efrat, Givat Zeev, and Gush Etzion. Israeli Transport Minister Yisrael Katz, who has driven the proposal, says that incorporating the settlements would strengthen Jerusalem’s Jewish majority with 150,000 new residents.

Israel rejects negotiations with Hamas

October 17

Israel’s government will not negotiate with a Palestinian unity government in which Hamas is included, unless Hamas recognizes the state of Israel and renounce violence. The guidelines have been set by the security cabinet of the Israeli government, which sets a number of conditions for negotiations.

New agreement between Fatah and Hamas

October 12

President Abbas’ movement Fatah, based on the West Bank and Hamas, which governs Gaza, concludes agreements with the aim of ending the disaffection between the organizations. The agreement means that the Palestinian Authority (PA) at the West Bank will resume management of the Gaza Strip on December 1. (The Gaza Strip has been ruled by Hamas since 2007, which then expelled Fatah from there.) On November 1, PA will assume responsibility for border controls between Gaza and Israel and Egypt, respectively. The agreement says nothing about what will happen to the Hamas armed branch, the al-Qassam brigades, which include around 25,000 men. The signed after two days of negotiations under Egyptian supervision. Egypt has pressured Hamas to reconcile with President Abbas and PA. The hope is that the reconciliation will lead to an improvement in the difficult living conditions for the inhabitants of the isolated Gaza Strip. The agreement stipulates that the sanctions imposed by Abbas against Gaza should be abolished. The Israeli government sees the agreement as a barrier to peace as Hamas has not recognized Israel.

Withdrawal from Unesco

October 12

Israel, like the United States, leaves the UN organization Unesco accused of holding an anti-Israeli line. Among other things, UNESCO is responsible for the acclaimed international World Heritage List. In 2011, the organization occupied Palestine as a Member State.

Construction boom in settlements

October 10

In 2017, Israel plans to provide a clear sign for a total of about 12,000 new homes in Jewish settlements on the occupied West Bank, four times as many as 2016, an official said. Among the plans, which have advanced in various ways, are housing in Hebron, the first project there since 2002.

Hamdallah visits Gaza

October 2

The Governor of the West Bank, Rami Hamdallah, visits Gaza with a number of ministers who formally regain control of the Palestinian Authority’s local offices there. Hamdallah’s visit is the first step in the ongoing reconciliation process that is intended to restore control of Gaza to the Palestinian Authority. Ten years ago, the Palestinian Authority representatives were driven out of Gaza by Hamas, which has ruled the territory ever since.

Palestine 2017 Part 4