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TOP STORIES TODAY

Israel’s top court refuses to release ailing Palestinian hunger striker (+972 Magazine)

"Sitting before a half-empty hall on Monday morning, the Israeli High Court of Justice heard an emergency petition to release Maher al-Akhras, a Palestinian administrative detainee who has been on a hunger strike for the past 78 days."

"At the end of the hearing, the three-justice panel — made up of Yael Willner, Noam Solberg, and Menachem Mazuz — doubled down on their previous proposal that al-Akhras cease his hunger strike and be released from administrative detention on Nov. 26, the day his administrative order expires. Al-Akhras rejected the proposal."

"As an administrative detainee, al-Akhras is not told what crimes he is being accused of, nor has he been shown the evidence against him or been given the opportunity to defend himself in court. The total lack of media coverage of his hunger strike is a reminder that his fate does not interest the Israeli public."

JCB challenged over machinery used to demolish Palestinian homes (The Guardian)

"The British heavy machinery firm JCB’s sale of equipment used in the destruction of Palestinian villages in the Israeli-occupied West Bank may have breached Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development guidelines on human rights, a UK government body has assessed."

"JCB, which has donated millions of pounds to the Conservative party and at least £25,000 to Boris Johnson’s leadership campaign, can now enter into government-overseen mediation with the NGO that made the claim or it can outright contest the claim."

"The claim was launched by Lawyers for Palestinian Human Rights last December after JCB refused to communicate with the lobby group over claims that its tractors were being used to tear up Palestinian villages."

Tourism in Service of Occupation and Annexation (Al-Shabaka)

Halah Ahmad writes:

"Settlement tourism has become an important industry for the Israeli state, especially recently with its push for annexation of parts of the West Bank and Jordan Valley. In 2016, Israel approved $20 million in settlement funding, and the tourism minister and PM Netanyahu emphasized that the funds should be spent on developing tourism sites and hotels in illegal West Bank settlements."

"More recently, in January 2020, Defense Minister Naftali Bennet approved the construction of national parks and nature reserves in the West Bank as part of over $110 million spent in the first quarter of this year on West Bank settlements."

People in Gaza sifting through rubbish for food, UN head says (The Guardian)

"People in Gaza are searching through rubbish to find food as Palestinians battle unprecedented levels of poverty, the head of the UN agency for Palestinian refugees has said."

Across Lebanon, Syria, Jordan, Gaza and elsewhere, Palestinian refugees are suffering at new depths because of the pandemic, according to the United Nations Relief and Works Agency chief, Philippe Lazzarini. “There is despair and hopelessness,” he said in an interview.

“In Gaza, people are going through the garbage,” Lazzarini said, referring to reports from UNRWA staff in the enclave. “More people are fighting to provide one or two meals a day to their families.”

GO DEEPER

Saudi Arabia’s Campaign to Cancel the Palestinians (Haaretz)

Muhammad Shehada, a Palestinian writer from Gaza currently studying in Sweden, writes:

"Why would a Saudi royal who’s a former intelligence chief and ambassador to the United States, and once acclaimed as "the key figure in Middle Eastern diplomacy," invest hours of his time in a tireless, televised attack on Palestinians past and present, not least when Riyadh’s official line is to accept normalization only when Israel agrees to "a sovereign Palestinian state with Jerusalem as capital," in the recent words of another senior Saudi royal?"

"The Palestinians are now caught in a catch-22. They don’t have their own international TV channels to push back against their own demonization, and they have depleted leverage to influence the Saudi giants. They can’t afford to respond to deliberate Saudi provocation, and they don’t want to risk gratifying the online trolls thirsty for any retaliatory comments by Palestinian leaders that can be spun as yet more ingratitude and hostility."
 
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