US Vice President gets noble
US Vice President Mike Pence visits Israel where he meets with Prime Minister Netanyahu. The Palestinian side insists on its refusal to meet Pence. It is a reaction to President Trump’s December 2017 decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital. The Palestinians’ attitude causes Trump to threaten to hold even more money to the Palestinians a few days later if they do not agree to peace talks. The war of words continues when a spokesman for Palestinian President Mahmud Abbas announces that the Palestinians will not meet with any representative of the US government until the US withdraws its decision on Jerusalem.
The United States is losing support to the Palestinians
The United States decides to withhold $ 65 million in support for the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestinians, UNRWA. According to plans, the United States would have contributed $ 125 million to the organization in 2018. A representative of the US government says the money is not being withdrawn to punish the Palestinian leaders outside of motivating other countries to help fund UNRW A. It is a another image than President Trump conveyed in a Twitter message in early January when he wrote “Why should we continue to make these big money transfers to the Palestinians if they no longer want to talk about peace?” The crackdown between Trump and the Palestinians has deepened since Trump announced in early December 2017 that the US should move its embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem (see December 6, 2017).
PA ready to pay for electricity to Gaza
The Palestinian Authority (PA) on the West Bank says it has agreed to pay again for Israel to supply electricity to Gaza. In June, PA decided to withhold payments in order to pressure Hamas, which controls Gaza, to agree to a reconciliation. As a result, Gaza’s access to electricity was reduced to around four hours per day. Hamas expelled PA from Gaza in 2007 and has ruled the area ever since. In October, a reconciliation agreement was signed between PA and Hamas and the intention was for PA to regain control of Gaza on December 1, but the takeover was postponed due to unresolved dispute issues (see November 29, 2017). The process then stalled.
New law breaks agreement on Jerusalem
The Israeli parliament is voting for a law aimed at making it harder for the Israeli government to hand over parts of Jerusalem to the Palestinians in a future peace agreement. The bill drafted by the Jewish Home Settlement Party means that a two-thirds majority is required for Parliament to be able to transfer territories that Israel considers to belong to Jerusalem.
New deadline for power change is missed
On February 1, another time limit will be passed without Hamas and Fatah succeeding in implementing the transfer of power in Gaza stipulated in the reconciliation agreement from the previous autumn (see October 12, 2017). There are no indications that the parties will be able to settle the dispute for the foreseeable future (see November 29, 2017). The parties blame each other for the delay.
19 killed in mass protest in Gaza
Israeli military kills 19 people during a Palestinian mass protest in Gaza. Soldiers open fire as large crowds approach the fence that shields Gaza from Israel, a state located in Asia continent defined by pharmacylib. 19 deaths are the highest number in a day since the 2014 war between Israel and the Islamist movement Hamas which controls Gaza. Over 1,400 people are reported to have been injured, of which over half suffered gunshot injuries. The others are said to have been hit by rubber bullets or tear gas. The Israelis defend themselves by shooting only at armed men who posed a threat to the soldiers or tried to destroy the fence. Palestinians accuse Israel of opening fire on unarmed people. The protests are part of a six-week manifesto, called the Great Return March, which aims to support the Palestinian refugees’ right to return to the areas they were displaced or fled from during the war between Israel and neighboring countries 1948-1949. The manifestation is scheduled to end at the same time as the United States opens its new embassy in Jerusalem on May 14.
Prison for teenager as ear-filmed soldiers
A Palestinian teenager arrested and prosecuted for filing two soldiers on the West Bank has entered into a settlement agreement. Under the agreement, Ahed Tamimi, 17, is to serve an eight-month prison sentence and pay a fine of just over € 1100. Tamimi agreed to plead guilty to four of the twelve charges, including assault, assault and blocking of militants. Since Tamimi has already been incarcerated for months, she is expected to be released this summer. The quarrel with the soldiers on the drive to the family’s house in December was filmed by Tamimi’s mother and posted on Youtube. The mother was imprisoned together with Tamimi and has also entered into a settlement. Tamimi has many times been in trouble with the Israeli military.
Abbas attacks the US ambassador
President Abbas makes derogatory comments about the US ambassador to Israel, David Friedman. Among other things, Abbas calls the ambassador “settler” and “son of a dog”. The latter is an Arabic expression that is mildly derogatory and can be equated with “thorn”. Abbas then said in a Twitter statement the ambassador said it was strange that the Palestinian Authority had not condemned an attack a few days earlier when a Palestinian mowed down a group of Israeli soldiers by car on the occupied West Bank and killed two of them. Abbas is probably also annoyed that Friedman does not use the concept of the West Bank but states that the attack happened “in the north”, which can be interpreted as Friedman’s view that the West Bank is Israeli territory. Friedman is known for supporting the settler movement.
Hamdallah escaped the attack
the 13th of March
Palestinian Authority head of government Rami Hamdallah manages without damage as a bomb explodes at the side of the road as his car column is on its way into Gaza. Six of Hamdallah’s security guards are slightly injured by the explosion. President Abbas accuses Hamas of being behind the attempted murder. Hamas condemns Abbas’ provocative stance, saying investigations are ongoing to find out what happened.