Further observations on the situation in Israel/Palestine

The occupation of the West Bank continues causing innumerable damages and humiliations to the Palestinian people of which we can only recount a few. For example, on Feb 20, Israeli military bulldozers destroyed a drinking water pipeline funded by UNICEF in the Central Plains of the occupied West Bank. The destruction of this 8.5 km pipeline was the second of its kind in a month.

Since mid-2016, Israel’s right-wing government has been targeting Israeli human rights groups for extra scrutiny and has warned European governments to stop funding them. Members of anti-occupation groups, such as Breaking the Silence, which is composed of Israeli army veterans, have been called traitors. On Feb 15th, the New York Times reported that Israel had refused to allow an American investigator from Human Rights Watch into the country, saying that the group was systematically anti-Israel and worked as a tool of pro-Palestinian propaganda.

On March 6th, the Israeli Knesset (parliament) passed a law which gives government authority to deny entry to forign nationals who have publicly called for a boycott of Israel and/or settlements, or who belong that has called for a boycott.

Haaretz (Nov. 11, 2016) reported that the Palestinian Constitutional Court had ruled that Palestinian President, Mahmoud Abbas, could revoke the parliamentary immunity of Palestinian Legislative Council members, thus effectively enabling him to sideline rivals. This follows years during which Mahmoud Abbas has according to Haaretz been conducting a purge and silencing campaign against those he sees as supporters of Mohammed Dahlan, or deviate from the official party line. Human rights organizations protested the court verdict, and complain that the state of emergency under which the Palestinian Authority has been operating since 2007 gives Abbas almost unlimited powers.