Palestine Update 461
New all population Israeli-Palestinian survey: 45% of those living between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean Sea believe “apartheid” is an appropriate description of the regime
B’Tselem is publishing the results of its new commissioned public opinion survey. The survey, conducted took a fresh approach by examining what all people living under Israeli control – Israeli and Palestinian citizens and Palestinian subjects in the West Bank, East Jerusalem and the Gaza Strip (WBG&EJ) –think about the current situation, their lives and the future, analyzed as a single population unit, rather than two separate populations. The poll found that 45% of the overall river-to-the-sea population says that the definition of “apartheid” proposed in the survey question is fitting or very fitting as a description of the Israeli regime. A strong majority among Palestinian respondents believe that the apartheid definition fits the Israeli regime (57% “strongly” and 18% “somewhat” – three-quarters in total) and a mirror image among Jews reject it (50% say it doesn’t fit at all and 25% doesn’t really fit – three-quarters in total).
Both Jews and Palestinians recognize that Israel is in control of the West Bank (either entirely on its own, or together with the PA):
Of the total population between the river and the sea, two-thirds (67%) believe Israel controls the West Bank either exclusively or with the PA – this total includes 93% of Palestinians respondents in the WB and Gaza and 50% of Jews.
Among Israeli citizens, when the high portion of Palestinian citizens who believe Israel fully or partly controls the region is factored in, altogether, two-thirds of all Israelis (66%) believe Israel controls the West Bank on its own or together with the PA.
• A cross-sector consensus of 74% says Israel controls who leaves and enters Gaza (the portion who believe Israel has total control over Gaza is fairly consistent across the communities: 52% among Palestinians in WBG & EJ, and 48% of Jews).
Only a small minority believes that Israel intends to reach a two-state solution. When given four options regarding their assessment of Israeli intentions, only 12% of Palestinian subjects and 14% of Israeli citizens chose a two-state solution. Combined, only 13% of the whole population believes Israel seeks a two-state solution.
A solid majority of Palestinians (58%) and one-third of Israelis (32%) believe Israel intends to annex the WB.
A plurality of Jews (43%) and 27% of Palestinians (WBG/EJ) believe that Israel seeks to continue its military control.
Together, these findings reflect a widespread understanding on both sides that the Israeli government intends to continue the status quo or formalize it through de jure annexation.
68% of Jews oppose this equal one-state concept;
Only 21% of all Israelis support it (no change from previous surveys).
Palestinian citizens of Israel support the notion at a higher rate than Jewish citizens (38% compared to 18% among Jews; reflecting higher support than in Btselem’s survey from 2018, when it stood at 27%).
Palestinian elections: Fatah fails in bid to block rival candidates
“Attempts by Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas’s Fatah faction to block political rivals from running in the May 22 parliamentary elections suffered a major blow on Sunday when the Palestinian Central Elections Commission rejected its appeals against the nomination of dozens of candidates. Fatah representatives last week submitted objections to candidates whose names appeared on electoral lists belonging to Hamas, exiled Fatah leader Mohammad Dahlan and Nasser al-Kidwa, a former PA foreign minister who formed an alliance with jailed Fatah leader Marwan Barghouti.”
UN highlights rise in Israeli settler attacks on Palestinians
The United Nations human rights experts have warned that violence, including assaults and property destruction, by Israeli settlers against Palestinian civilians in the occupied West Bank has increased substantially in recent months. During the first three months of 2021, more than 210 settler violent incidents were recorded, including one Palestinian death, they said. “In 2020, the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) documented 771 incidents of settler violence causing injury to 133 Palestinians and damaging 9,646 trees and 184 vehicles mostly in the areas of Hebron, Jerusalem, Nablus and Ramallah,” the experts said in a statement. The group of experts behind the report included Michael Lynk, special rapporteur on the situation of human rights in the Palestinian territory occupied since 1967, Balakrishnan Rajagopal, special rapporteur on adequate housing and right to non-discrimination, and independent expert Claudia Mahler.
The settlers brought caravans and put them on a hill next to us’
Israel makes it easy for settlers to take over our land. Meanwhile, Palestinians who’ve lived here for generations are attacked and evicted. “When I went with Saleh to the new outpost, where the caravans were indeed parked, I realized that the Israeli authorities were building a new farm there. Saleh’s brother, soldiers, members of the Civil Administration, and settlers all stood there on a new, paved road that connects the new outpost to the regional council. The road stretches over private Palestinian agricultural land, from which people make a living. A Civil Administration representative told the Palestinian landowners who came to the new outpost: “This is your private land. The settlers are not allowed to enter or expel you from it.” An electric cable and water pipe dug into the ground to connect the outpost to the South Hebron Hills Regional Council’s electricity and water grid. This is how it happens. Settlers bring in caravans and take over land with ease. Before they even move in, they have their own paved road and are connected to electricity and water, with the support of the regional council. The Civil Administration, the same body that destroys our homes, pastures, and wells on a weekly basis, turns a blind eye. The same Civil Administration that for years has prevented the tens of thousands of Palestinians living on our privately-owned land in Area C of the West Bank from connecting to water and electricity, or paving a road. The same Civil Administration that refuses to prepare master plans for our communities and rejects all our applications for building permits based on the fact that “we do not have an outline plan.””
Jewish Natl. fund pushes plan to legalize West Bank land purchases
“The management of Keren Kayemeth LeIsrael – Jewish National Fund approved on Sunday a plan allowing it to buy land in the West Bank even for isolated settlements. The decision of the organization, which is also known by its Hebrew name Keren Kayemeth LeIsrael and which is separate from JNF in the United States, still requires approval from the board of directors, which is set to convene April 22.”
Israeli police beat and kneel on face of left-wing Jewish lawmaker
“Israeli police beat up a left-wing member of parliament and one officer knelt on his face, drawing outcry from across the political spectrum. Ofer Cassif, the only Jewish member of the Arab-Israeli Joint List party in Israel’s parliament, the Knesset, was at a protest against evictions in the eastern Jerusalem neighborhood of Sheikh Jarrah Friday when he became involved in an altercation with police. The police shoved him to the ground and video from the protest shared on social media shows an officer placing his knee on Cassif’s face.”
Chicago Palestinians defeat Pro-Israel candidate in local elections
The Palestinian community in Chicago, Illinois, succeeded in defeating extremist right-wing and pro-Israel candidate, Sharon Brannigan, in the local election, news agencies reported. The Palestinian community mobilized other Arab communities and supporters of the Palestinian cause to take part in a campaign to ensure Brannigan does not win in the Palos Township Council of Chicago election race. Brannigan is said to have carried out “many bigoted attacks on Arab Americans and other neighbors.” Palestinians, Arabs, and their supporters participated in the campaign against Brannigan using the hashtag #ByeBrannigan. Brannigan and the town’s board attempted to silence the community but they consistently failed, even after they hired a security company to bully protesters and call the Palos Hills police, leading to the arrests of five leaders of the movement.