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TOP STORIES TODAY

$500m to Israel in midst of Covid relief bill sparks ire (Mondoweiss) 

James North and Philip Weiss write: "We regularly try to say it’s controversial that Israel receives nearly $4 billion in military aid from the United States every year. Well when the Covid relief bill in the Congress began circulating today, many commentators including in the mainstream have jumped on the fact that the massive legislation included $500 milllion in aid to Israel."

"The Israel funds are evidently routine portions of a foreign aid bill that was linked to the Covid relief funds, but Israel aid began trending on twitter and many expressed shock over it."

"'$500,000,000 for Israel whilst the citizens of Flint still have poisoned water,' says another commenter."

"Glenn Greenwald addresses the power of the Israel lobby: 'Israel has universal health care while Americans — transferring yet more of your money to that foreign country — do not: (they also have an excellent Lobby that wields more power than you do in the halls of Congress).'"
Israel Is Being Dragged Into Elections Again, but This Time It's a Whole New Ballgame (Haaretz)

Yossi Verter writes: "Facing rivals who will be hard to paint as left-wing, Netanyahu looks to be heading into an election campaign with his worst starting numbers in months."

"Benjamin Netanyahu got used to waging a campaign against a single main rival from the center-left. He found it easy to make wicked, false accusations, bordering on claims of treason, against his rivals. That’s how he attracted voters from the right, who panicked at the idea of a 'left-wing government.'"

"But now, with Gideon Sa’ar as a main rival and Naftali Bennett as a secondary challenge, the tactic that had served him so well is no longer relevant. It will be harder for him to paint them as 'left-wing collaborators.' He will try, of course, but even the tricks of the world’s best campaigner have their limits."
Israeli normalisation prompts Sudan to revoke citizenship of Palestinians (Middle East Monitor) 

Dr Adnan Abu Amer writes: "In a surprise move, the ruling military regime in Sudan announced its intention ten days ago to revoke the Sudanese citizenship of more than 3,500 people, of whom the majority are Palestinians."

"The former head of the Hamas Political Bureau, Khaled Meshaal, and the speaker of the Tunisian parliament, Rached Ghannouchi, the leader of the Islamic Ennahda Movement, are among those losing their Sudanese citizenship."

"Although there are 6,000 naturalised Palestinians in Sudan, fewer than 200 obtained citizenship after fulfilling the state's residency requirements. It is believed that the decision to revoke citizenship will include all who obtained it during Bashir's presidency."
Israeli submarine reportedly crosses Suez Canal in ‘message’ to Iran (Times of Israel) 

"An Israeli submarine openly crossed the Suez Canal last week, in a show of force against Iran, the Kan public broadcaster reported Monday night. The move was approved by Egypt, according to the report, which cited Arab intelligence sources."

"In a strikingly similar move to the reported Israeli submarine crossing of the Suez Canal, a US nuclear submarine crossed the Strait of Hormuz on Monday, in a show of force directed at Iran as the anniversary of the killing of Iranian General Qasem Soleimani by a US drone approached."

"The USS Georgia can carry 154 Tomahawk cruise missiles and 66 special forces soldiers, according to a statement from the US Navy, which usually does not disclose the presence of its submersibles around the world."

Palestinian teen killed by Israeli forces in Jerusalem’s Old City (Al Jazeera)

"A Palestinian teenager was shot dead by Israeli forces after he was accused of firing at soldiers in the Old City of occupied East Jerusalem on Monday night."

"According to Israeli police, the teen, identified by local media as 17-year-old Mahmoud Omar Kameel, approached a police post near the Lion’s Gate entrance to the Old City and shot at them."

"Witnesses said Israeli forces shot Kameel multiple times after chasing him and surrounding him in the area. Immediately following the shooting, Israeli forces closed the gates leading to the Old City and barred access to the Al Aqsa Mosque compound."
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