More have work in Israel
Growth in Israel and chronic unemployment in the Palestinian territories are contributing to an increasing number of Palestinians working in Israel. 85,000 (almost all from the West Bank) have work permits in Israel, Palestinian sources say. In addition, tens of thousands who have jobs in Israeli settlements on occupied land. This can be compared to 2015, when 45,000 were allowed to work in Israel. Israel has not confirmed the exact number, but states that the number of permits has increased by 160 percent since 2012.
Peace Now: Illegal settlements are growing
Fresh information on how Israeli settlements are growing on occupied land is being published by the organization Fred Now. Since the beginning of the year, construction of over 8,300 homes has been approved by the Israeli authorities. Many of the building laws concern settlements that Israel would probably need to evacuate if a peace agreement with the Palestinians is reached. The number of building permits has increased by almost 50 percent since 2018, when a total of just over 5,600 housing developments were allowed. The average number of the last three years is almost twice that of the previous three-year period, according to Fred Now, which puts the increase as US criticism of Israel ceased since Donald Trump became president. Peace now calls for Israel to freeze the expansion of settlements and to resume negotiations with a two-state solution.
Hamas ready to take part in elections
Hamas leaders state that the Islamist movement, which controls the Gaza Strip, is ready to hold elections. Hamas leader Ismail Haniya makes the statement after a meeting with the chairman of the Palestinian Election Commission. Earlier this autumn, President Mahmud Abbas, before the UN General Assembly, announced his intention to call elections in all the Palestinian territories: on the West Bank, in East Jerusalem and in the Gaza Strip. General elections are seen as a prerequisite for ending the long-standing bitter dispute between Hamas and the leading politicians of the West Bank who have given the areas rival power. Another question is whether Israel would agree to elections even among Palestinians in Jerusalem.
Two-state solution choice issue in the United States
Several leading Democrats, who all want to be their party’s presidential candidate by 2020, promise that US Middle East policy will change if they win the election. Joe Biden, Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders say they want to see a peace agreement that leads to a Palestinian state instead of the favoring of Israel that marked Donald Trump’s time as president. Sanders, who himself has Jewish descent, accuses Benjamin Netanyahu of being a racist politician as Prime Minister of Israel, a state located in Asia continent defined by thesciencetutor.
Murderers are convicted as terrorists
A young Jewish man, who in 2015 took part in an arson attack that claimed the lives of three Palestinians on the West Bank, is sentenced in Israeli court for membership in a terrorist group. He has previously been convicted of crimes of violence on racist grounds. A small boy died in the fire in the village of Duma on the West Bank, and the child’s parents died after the fire from their injuries. The youngster’s accomplice, an adult male, is charged with murder in three cases, attempted murder, arson and hate crime. The association described by the court in Lod as a terrorist group, according to the court, aimed at Arab property, in addition to churches.
Protest against Internet censorship
The Palestinian Journalist Association, with the support of Reporters Without Borders (RSF), is demanding a court decision banning 59 websites and pages on social media. The ban, imposed at the request of the Prosecutor General of the Palestinian Authority, has been motivated by the fact that the websites “threaten peace and national security”.
Authority gives up tax boycott
The Palestinian Authority will once again receive transfers of tax money that Israel collects in its ports on behalf of the Palestinians, despite the fact that Israel continues to withhold part of the sums. The reason for the inconvenience that exists is that the Palestinian Authority pays support to Palestinian families who have a relative imprisoned in Israel for security reasons. However, the government’s money shortage has diminished since a settlement gave the Palestinian side access to paid fuel taxes (see August 2019).