Delphine Matthieussent reports, “European diplomats on Thursday tried to pay a solidarity visit to a West Bank village under threat of demolition by Israel, but police barred them from reaching a school there. Diplomats from Belgium, Finland, France, Ireland, Italy, Spain and Switzerland sought to visit the school in the Bedouin village of Khan al-Ahmar which is funded by several European countries, but they were turned back at the village entrance.”
Ian Lee and Abeer Salman report, “The decision to destroy [Khan al-Ahmar] has drawn the attention of the international community. Local rights groups accuse Israel of a land grab in order to expand the settlements of Kfar Adumim and Ma’ale Adumim. Human rights group Amnesty International says the plan goes against international law. ‘The Israeli authorities have shattered thousands of Palestinian lives, exposing men, women and children to years of trauma and anxiety through their deeply discriminatory policy of first denying building permits, and then bulldozing people’s homes, schools, and herding structures,’ Amnesty International’s Deputy Director for the Middle East and North Africa, Magdalena Mughrabi said last month in a statement.”
Saeed Kamali Dehghan reports, “A potential confrontation between the US and Iran is brewing in the Strait of Hormuz after Tehran threatened to block the Gulf passageway in retaliation for Washington’s looming sanctions against Iranian oil exports – a threat the US military said would be immediately countered. The Trump administration is demanding all countries end imports of Iranian oil by 4 November as part of its new policy of hostility towards Tehran after Washington’s unilateral exit from the 2015 nuclear agreement. Iran’s president, Hassan Rouhani, responded during a rare visit to Europe this week by signaling that Tehran could disrupt regional crude shipments and cut its cooperation with the UN nuclear watchdog.”
A Supreme Court Justice issued a temporary injunction Thursday on the eviction and demolition of the Bedouin village of Khan al-Ahmar in the West Bank. Lawyer Ala’a Mahajna said he filed the appeal Thursday at 22:00, following which Justice Anat Baron issued an order for the state to respond by July 11. The eviction and demolition of the al-Ahmar is prohibited until it does.
Three European nations along with Russia and China met with Iran Friday to offer it economic benefits that would lessen the blow of sweeping US sanctions, but the meeting was quickly overshadowed by Iran expressing disappointment and Germany saying it could not offer full compensation for new sanctions.
An Israeli cabinet minister warned Syria and its backer Russia on Thursday that Israel could attack Damascus’ forces if they try to deploy in a demilitarized border zone while advancing against rebels in the region.
Attorney General Avichai Mendelblit has okayed a request by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to accept money from two witnesses in Case 1000 – the cigars-and-champagne case – to help fund his legal defense, subject to the approval of the state comptroller.
Israel’s Holocaust memorial on Thursday harshly criticized a deal by the prime ministers of Israel and Poland aimed at repairing a rift tied to a controversial Polish law, saying the agreement includes grave errors and deceptions.
Trial begins for ex-Israeli minister charged as Iran spy, Associated Press
A former Israeli government minister charged with spying for Iran went on trial Thursday in Jerusalem for allegedly relaying information to the country’s top enemy.
Allison Kaplan Sommer writes, “Jewish terrorists are troubled, rebellious youth who have somehow gone astray – distant from Israel’s core values. That’s the stereotype most Israelis have of their fellow citizens who commit violent acts against Arabs in pursuit of their far-right political agenda. A new documentary series, “The Jewish Underground” (airing on the Yes Doco channel in Israel), aims to shatter that persistent myth once and for all, telling the story of the country’s most notorious Jewish terrorists who were – and remain – anything but outsiders.”
J Street’s Yann Schinazi writes, “Already, we are seeing a transformative coalition assert itself, with a wide range of Jewish groups taking part in the growing and extraordinarily vibrant national movement against the appalling mistreatment of migrant families. As an official partner in the Families Belong Together rallies that took place across the country on June 30, J Street is proud to be among all those rising up in defense of immigrants and in support of a just and humane America.”
Oliver Holmes and Hazem Balousha report, “Tight restrictions on the movement of goods and, vitally, people, have been the death of much industry here. But Gaza’s first coding academy hopes its hi-tech business model — which operates in the virtual rather than real world — will be somewhat immune to physical barriers to trade. ‘That’s the reason we started this. It ignores boundaries,’ says 31-year-old Ghada Ibrahim, who was in the first class of coders, which started a year ago. ‘The blockade is a huge factor. It’s a reason why we have a lot of people who have come to sign up.”
CODEPINK National Co-Director Ariel Gold writes, “The backwards Israeli government logic that I am a security threat, but those who openly advocate for and carry out violence are welcome, extends not only to Duterte, but also to controversial Hungarian prime minister Viktor Orbán, slated to speak in Israel this month. Under Orbán’s rule, Hungary has launched a fierce anti-immigration campaign which has included anti-Semitic billboards with pictures of George Soros. In one of his speeches, Orbán praised Hungarian Nazi leader Miklós Horthy as an ‘exceptional statesman.’ Horthy oversaw the murder of over a half million Jews. Tamar Zandberg, head of the Meretz party, and Yesh Atid leader Yair Lapid have come out against Orbán’s scheduled visit.”