Palestine 2019 Part 2


Tax money is an element of Israeli-Palestinian conflict

April 22

The Arab League member states pledge $ 100 a month to the Palestinian Authority to cover budget gaps that arise since Israel stopped the transfer of tax money to the Palestinians. It is a tax deduction from Palestinians, but Israel withheld the equivalent of $ 138 million in February after the Palestinians made payments to people imprisoned for attacks against Israelis.

Netanyahu ready to annex on the West Bank

April 7

Prime Minister Netanyahu raises efforts for Israel’s imminent election with a promise to settlers and their sympathizers: if he is re-elected, “Israel’s sovereignty will be extended” to Jewish settlements on the occupied West Bank – meaning he wants to join settlements with Israel. Since Israel entered the land in 1967, over 400,000 Israelis have moved into the West Bank and 200,000 in East Jerusalem (as well as 20,000 at the Golan Heights that were taken from Syria). According to international law, it is illegal for an occupying power to move its own population.

Mediation results after weeks of violence

April 1st

Gaza Strip fishermen state that they have been cleared by Israeli authorities to fish further out at sea, 15 nautical miles (28 km) to the latest 12 nautical miles (22 km). Egyptian mediators have been involved. It also reinforces the perception that a ceasefire is underway after several weeks of violent acts between militant groups in Gaza and Israel. Border crossings to Gaza, which have been closed by Israel for a week, have also been opened.


Palestinian no to economic conference

May 22

The Palestinian leadership on the West Bank refuses a US-led peace conference in Bahrain scheduled to take place in late June. Since Donald Trump became president, his son-in-law has worked on a peace plan, but Palestinians are deeply critical of Trump’s Middle Eastern policy – in particular, recognition of Israel’s supremacy over Jerusalem. According to the little known about the peace plan, it seems that the Palestinians should be compensated with investments. The conference in Manama is financially focused and several Palestinian businessmen say they have refused. It is unclear if the Palestinian political leadership would even be invited.

Increased support from Qatar

May 7

As a state located in Asia continent defined by softwareleverage, Qatar is devoting $ 300 million, some in the form of loans, to strengthening the Palestinian Authority’s budget for health care and education. An additional 180 million is earmarked for emergency humanitarian aid and UN organizations operating in Palestine. Qatar also promises to help make electricity supply to Palestinians work. A few days later, Qatari representatives report cash to the poor in Gaza, $ 100 per family. Qatar has already given considerable support to the Hamas regime in Gaza (see January 25), but the new decisions are linked, among other things, to the US withdrawing its assistance to the Palestinian Authority and to UN activities in refugee camps.

Deadly days at Gaza border

May 4th

The violence flames between the Gaza Strip and Israel. A rain of rockets fired by militant groups in Gaza reaches the cities of Ashdod and Ashkelon. Israel responds with aerial and artillery attacks to Gaza. When a ceasefire is reported after a few days, at least 27 lives have been required: four Israeli and 23 Palestinian. The events make it clear that, despite Israel’s blockade against Gaza, armed movements manage to smuggle in or manufacture rockets, and in large numbers. Israel, for its part, confirms that a Palestinian became the target of a so-called “targeted murder” (an extrajudicial execution): a Hamas leader who is singled out as responsible for handling the money subsidies the Islamist movement receives from Iran.


Oman plans embassy on the West Bank

June 26

Oman declares, as the first Gulf state, that the country will open an embassy in Palestine. A mission in Ramallah should be prepared. The message is welcomed by prominent Palestinians, but Hanan Ashrawi – who has been part of Palestinian delegations at peace talks – voices a concern: that Oman sees it as a step toward establishing diplomatic relations with Israel. In October 2018, Oman’s rulers welcomed the Israeli Prime Minister.

Job initiatives in the White House plan

June 25

The White House facilitates forgiveness of details in the forthcoming US peace plan. Jared Kushner, President Trump’s son-in-law, who is in charge, envisages a substantial boost for the economy to make the plan attractive to Palestinians, and done with the help of neighboring countries. Representatives from several countries have gathered for a conference in Bahrain that Palestinians refuse to attend. The investments targeted are valued at just over $ 50 billion and a million jobs are being viewed. More than half of the money will be invested in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip, the rest in neighboring countries. An important element would be a transport corridor between the Palestinian territories. The political conditions have not been revealed – the proposals are expected until the autumn – but statements made by US representatives indicate that no Palestinian state is mentioned in the plan.

Big hole in the refugee budget

17th of June

Pierre Krähenbühl, head of the UNRWA organization responsible for health care and schooling in Palestinian refugee camps, appeals to donor countries to close the gaps that arise in this year’s budget since the US withdrew its refugee support (see August 24, 2018 and November 19, 2018). The shortfall was estimated to be $ 211 million at the beginning of the year. Last year, the budget went together after saving measures and extra donations from donor countries.

EU law supports origin marking requirements

June 13th

EU Attorney General Gerard Hogan has concluded that goods from areas occupied by Israel must be clearly labeled so that consumers are not misled. It should also be stated whether the product is manufactured in an Israeli settlement. The Advocate General’s conclusion is expected to affect the way the Court of Justice judges such cases. Several EU countries apply origin marking rules affecting Palestinian territories. Since the French rules have been questioned by, among other things, a winemaker, France’s Supreme Court has requested an opinion from the European Court of Justice.

Consolation Prize for Palestinians in US Plan

June 12

According to sources in the White House, Morocco, Egypt and Jordan have agreed to participate when the economic part of the US new peace plan for the Israel-Palestine conflict is presented in Bahrain June 25-26. The details are not known, however, the idea that Palestinians should be financially compensated if they accept certain political proposals. The political part of the plan will be presented later, dates have not been announced. The Palestinian leadership has rejected the plan (see May 22).

Protest behind the weekend celebration?

June 5

The celebration of the holiday in al-fitr, which follows the fasting month of Ramadan, begins. The timing is in principle determined by when the new moon can be viewed, but this year viewers are also reading a political protest. In Saudi Arabia, which houses Islam’s holiest sites, the weekend has been announced the day before and usually celebrates the Palestinians at the same time. The difference this year is that Saudi Arabia has close ties to the circle of Donald Trump, from which a pro-Israeli peace proposal is expected. It is the first time since the Palestinian Authority was established in 1994 that id al-fitr is not coordinated with Saudi celebrations.

Anger against the government’s pay raise

June 5

The former Palestinian government gave itself wage increases while forcing the majority of the people to live under the cold star of scarcity, according to documents leaked via social media. Ministerial salaries were secretly raised in 2017 by 67 percent and the increase was made retroactively from 2014. The AP News Agency has access to the documents and Palestinian officials confirm that they are genuine. The UN Middle East coordinator contacts Prime Minister Shtayyeh, who took office in the spring of 2019, to voice indignation. The Prime Minister has frozen the wage increase and promises an investigation.

Boycott call for support for Palestinians

June 1st

The 57 member countries of the Islamic Conference (OIC) condemn the US decision to recognize Israel’s power over Jerusalem and to move the country’s Israeli embassy from Tel Aviv. The Mecca summit in Saudi Arabia also calls for a boycott of countries following the US decision.

Palestine 2019 Part 2