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TOP STORIES TODAY

Palestinian DJ Sama' Abulhadi has been arrested (Mixmag) 

Zab Mustefa: "Palestinian DJ Sama’ Abdulhadi has been arrested along with several others for playing at an event at a historical site near the West Bank city of Jericho."

"The DJ, who is one of the pioneers of electronic music in the Palestinian scene, was reportedly arrested on Sunday morning, after the event was held at the Nabi Musa site where Muslims believe the tomb of Prophet Moses lies."

"The party itself did not take place inside the holy shrine, locals have said, but in a part of the building that hosts events such as weddings, birthdays, music and cultural events that have taken place there in the past."

"The Palestinian Authority has ordered a full inquiry despite its own Ministry of Tourism allegedly giving the go-ahead for the party to take place. Abdulhadi’s father has also said that the event was given approval by the government. Mixmag has seen documentation that allegedly shows permission was granted for the event to take place."

"Palestinian Prime Minister Mohammad Shtayyeh said that those responsible will be brought to justice..."
Israel’s vaccine rollout excludes Palestinians (Electronic Intifada)

Omar Karmi writes: "Israel is rolling out its COVID-19 vaccine campaign in haste. On Christmas Day, the country had the second most prolific program in the world."

"But the rollout is selective. While Israel has secured 8 million doses of the Pfizer vaccine, for which its two million-strong Palestinian citizens are eligible, no provision has been made for the roughly 5 million Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza who live under its military occupation."

"As the occupying power, Israel has a responsibility under international law, including article 56 of the Fourth Geneva Convention, to ensure 'public health and hygiene in the occupied territory.'"
Jonathan Pollard arrives in Israel, 35 years after his arrest for spying (Times of Israel)

"Jonathan Pollard, the former US Navy analyst convicted of spying for Israel, arrived in Israel early Wednesday morning, 35 years after he was first arrested and weeks after his parole ended."

"Pollard, 66, arrived in Israel with his wife, Esther. He had long expressed a desire to move to Israel, which granted him citizenship in 1995."

"The couple were met on the tarmac by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who gave Pollard his new Israeli paperwork and greeted him with the traditional Jewish blessing for when something new happens."

"Israel’s October 1985 raid on the Palestinian Liberation Organization’s Tunis headquarters that killed around 60 people was planned with information from Pollard, according to CIA documents declassified in 2012."
Israel shuts down Ramon prison due to COVID infections (Al Jazeera)

"Israeli prison authorities have closed down the Ramon prison after detecting several coronavirus infections among prisoners and guards, according to the Palestinian Prisoner Society (PPS)."

"There was no comment from Israeli authorities but the PPS said on Sunday that the closure was 'a serious indication of a possible wide outbreak of the pandemic among the detainees'."

"Since April, some 140 Palestinian prisoners have been infected with COVID-19, the majority in the Gilboa prison in the north which has also been shut down."

"Israel is holding approximately 4,400 Palestinians, including 41 women and 170 children as well as 380 individuals being held without charge or trial under its administrative detention policy."

GO DEEPER

COVID Vaccines for Gaza Isn't Charity. It's Israel's Legal and Humanitarian Duty (Haaretz)

Ghada Majadli writes: "Let’s start from the end: Israel has a legal and humanitarian duty toward the Palestinians in the West Bank, Gaza Strip and East Jerusalem – as an occupying power that has imposed a years-long blockade of Gaza, and as the party that controls all aspects of life in the occupied territories through control of checkpoints, natural resources, determinants of health and more."

"In recent weeks, Israeli media has reported on Israel’s intention to provide substantial aid to Gaza for the coronavirus crisis, aid that consists of more than permitting and overseeing the transfer of equipment, as was the case since the outbreak began, and includes supplying vaccines – but this aid would only be offered in return for a deal for the missing and captive Israelis."

"A basic humanitarian commitment like returning bodies must not be used as a political bargaining tool."
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