September-October 2016 Palestine Update

Prepared by Gabe Baldasare and Rachel Russell:

  • On the morning of August 16, Israel conducted demolitions near Hebron and rendered approximately 70 Palestinians homeless
    • Israeli troops stormed the eastern Hebron district of Jurat al-Kheil and forcibly removed Palestinian families from their homes
    • Ziad Shalada, one of the homeowners, described how difficult it has been to obtain licences that prevent their land from being overtaken by the IDF
      • The Israeli Civil Administration administers these licenses, but authorities often reject appeals with no explanation
      • According to the UN Office for the Coordination of Human Affairs (OCHA), Israel only approved 33 permits out of 2,020 applications between 2010 and 2014
      • 168 homes were demolished in the first half of 2016, leaving 740 Palestinians homeless, and 125 homes were demolished in 2015, leaving 496 homeless
      • Israel’s Coordination of Government Activities in the Territories (COGAT) gave no comment
  • On August 18, Jordan Olympian Ahmad Abughaush took the gold for taekwondo
  • On September 9, Netanyahu asserted that a pre-condition for a Palestinian state according to Palestinian leaders amounted to an “ethnic cleansing” of Jews
    • Claimed that Israel is open to peace because of its “diversity” and frames Israeli resistance to Palestinian liberation as resistance to allegedly anti-Semitic policy
    • State Department spokeswoman Elizabeth Trudeau condemned the statement, as did other White House officials
    • Meanwhile, Trump adviser David Friedman made an exclusive statement to Haaretz on September 11 detailing his support for it
      • Friedman denied that Palestinians had any indigenous claim to the land and that they are “refugees” that Israel would be forced to absorb
      • Further aligning himself with Netanyahu’s statement, he claimed that Israel would ultimately become “Judenrein,” a Nazi term for “devoid of Jews”