23 | 07 | 2019

The police officer who shot and killed Ethiopian Israeli teenager Solomon Teka in northern Israel on June 30 is expected to be charged with reckless homicide, instead of the more serious crime of manslaughter, the Justice Ministry’s department for the investigation of police officers announced Monday, July 15.

Education Minister and far-right religious leader from The Jewish Home (HaBayit HaYehudi) political party, Rabbi Rafi Peretz, ignited a firestorm of protest Saturday night, July 13, when he told a Channel 12 television interviewer that he believes the obscurantist practice of “gay conversion therapy” – trying to change a gay individual’s sexual orientation – is effective. Peretz said that he himself has participated in providing such “treatment” to gay individuals in the past.

On Sunday, July 7, far-right Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu called on Britain, France and Germany to impose severe sanctions on Tehran after the Iran announced that it is about to exceed its uranium enrichment limit set by the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) nuclear deal. Netanyahu shockingly likened Iran’s move to Nazi Germany’s occupation of the Rhineland in 1936.

This was just the latest in a long line of the warmongering rhetoric from the Israeli Prime Minister, who has been stoking tensions with Tehran since he came into power in 2009. During his campaign at the time, he said he would do “everything necessary” to stop Iranian scientists developing a nuclear weapon.

Anti-occupation activist Jonathan Pollak was attacked in Tel Aviv on Sunday, July 7, and suffered cuts on his arms and face. Pollak is one of the founders of Anarchists against the Wall, an organization that is openly against the occupation of the Palestinian territories.

“I left my workplace for lunch and saw two people following me,” he told journalists, “I thought they were police, as there is a standing order to arrest me.” The men called him a “fucking leftist,” shoved him to the ground and began hitting him. At one point, one of them pulled a knife and began cutting him. “They got stressed at this point and ran away,” he said.

Students affiliated with Hadash who study at Tel Aviv University in Ramat Aviv reported over the weekend that settlers belonging to a “Price Tag” group spray-painted racist graffiti outside student dormitories at the university.

The Hadash students’ organization told journalists that settlers broke into the surroundings of the dormitories and spray-painted racist, hate and anti-Arab graffiti on walls.

In an article published in its weekend magazine section on Friday, July 5, the Israeli daily newspaper Haaretz revealed that since the start of the last decade, Defense Ministry teams have been scouring archives throughout Israel and removing “sensitive” historic documents. However, among the documents being transferred to secret vaults are not just papers relating to Israel’s nuclear project or to the country’s foreign relations. They also include  hundreds of documents that have been illegally requisitioned and hidden away as part of a systematic effort to conceal evidence of the Nakba.

Following a prolonged legal battle led by three human rights organizations, Gisha – Legal Center for Freedom of Movement, Adalah – The Legal Center for Arab Minority Rights in Israel, and the Al-Mezan Center for Human Rights, Israel returned on July 1 a boat to a Gaza fisherman after seizing and holding it without legal authority for three years.

As part of the legal proceedings, the state also notified the Supreme Court two weeks ago that it will return another 65 boats and fishing vessels seized from Gaza fishermen within the next four months.

Following reports that Arkia Airlines is planning to lay off 250 out of its 650 employees after the closure of Tel Aviv’s Sde Dov Airport, the Histadrut (General Federation of Labor in Israel) has declared a labor dispute with the carrier.

“Even though the employment security of Arkia’s workers is ensured by a collective agreement signed by the parties in 2013, with specific mention of the possibility that activity at Sde Dov might be terminated, the company is planning to unilaterally fire hundreds of workers without consulting their representatives, as required,” a spokesperson for the Histadrut said.

An Associated Press (AP) investigation released on Monday, July 1, reveals that the Jewish American Falic family, owners of the chain of more than 180 Duty Free Americas (DFA) shops in the United States and Latin America, funds a generous racist philanthropic empire in Israel that runs through the corridors of power and stretches deep into the occupied West Bank.

The report details how the Falic’s have donated at least $5.6 million to settler organizations in the West Bank and occupied East Jerusalem over the past decade, funding synagogues, schools and social services as well as far-right and racist causes considered extreme even in Israel.

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