22 | 08 | 2019

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.

An off-duty police officer shot and killed a young Ethiopian-Israeli, Salomon Teka, 18, in Kiryat Haim north of Haifa on Sunday evening, June 30. The young man’s death was confirmed at Rambam Hospital in Haifa after he was taken there in critical condition by paramedics.

A large number of police from the Nesher area and a coastal district arrived at the scene of the shooting and began an investigation into the incident. They determined that an off-duty officer had been in a nearby playground with his wife and his three children when he saw a fight taking place nearby. The police also established that the off-duty officer’s pistol had been fired. However, they refrained from giving details about the incident for more than two hours, except for issuing a laconic notice, inasmuch as a policeman was involved in the shooting. The latter was arrested on Monday morning, July 1, and is to be interrogated by the Police Investigation Unit (PID).

Jewish and Arab residents of Upper Nazareth (“Nazareth Illit,” in Hebrew) last week voted to change the name of the northern city, in a move the mayor said was designed to put an end to widespread confusion with the neighboring Arab city of Nazareth. The deputy mayor of Upper Nazareth, Dr. Shawki Awauda (Hadash), said it was “time to give the city an independent identity, and put an end to the chronic confusion” between the city and its neighbor, historic Nazareth.

A prison parole board authorized on Wednesday, June 19, the immediate release of a woman who was sentenced to life in prison in 2002 for the murder of her abusive husband.

The decision to release Dalal Daoud after serving 17 years in prison was supported by the State Attorney’s Office and the Committee for the Prevention of Domestic Violence.

Hadash and religious officials in Nazareth demanded last week that the city cancel a planned visit to be held today and tomorrow, June 23-24, by a Nigerian pastor and televangelist, Temitope Balogun Joshua. The reactionary clerical figure plans to hold mass events on Mount Precipice, outside the southern edge of Nazareth, 2 km southwest of the modern city center.

Hadash (The Democratic Front for Peace and Equality – Communist Party of Israel) and three political parties representing the Arab-Palestinian national minority in Israel, Ta’al, Ra’am and Balad, have announced they will reunite for the upcoming Knesset elections.

The four parties first united in the run for the 20th Knesset in 2015, in the wake of legislation initiated by the far-right to raise the electoral threshold for entering the Knesset to 3.25% (a minimum of 4 seats), which was aimed precisely against Arab representation in the Knesset, forming the Joint List which won 13 seats in the 120-member parliament to become the third largest political bloc.

Knesset members from Hadash vehemently attacked the appointment of the racist settler, MK Bezalel Smotrich, as interim Transportation Minister and member of the political-security cabinet in the interim Netanyahu government.

Following the announcement of the appointment of the chair of the United Right bloc, along with that of MK Rabbi Rafi Peretz Habayit, the chairperson of HaBayit Hayehudi (The Jewish Home)  as Education Minister, Hadash voiced its fierce objection to both appointments.

Israel killed 13 Palestinian civilians who weren’t involved in hostilities or affiliated with militant groups in its latest military campaign in Gaza, according to a new report by B’Tselem released last week. Two of the casualties were children and three were women, one of whom was in an advanced stage of pregnancy. “These deaths are the foreseeable outcome of Israel’s unlawful, immoral policy of bombing homes in Gaza,” B’Tselem said.

Based on B’Tselem’s investigation, from May 3 to May 6, Israel launched airstrikes and fired shells at more than 350 targets in Gaza, wounding 153 people. The rights group also found that none of the strikes “were preceded by any suitable warnings that might have given the inhabitants the opportunity to seek shelter or save their belongings.”

Hadash (The Democratic Front for Peace and Equality – Communist Party of Israel) Ta’al, Balad and Ra’am (United Arab List) – are expected to announce a joint campaign for Israel’s September 17 election within the next couple of weeks. Communist Party General Secretary Adel Amer told the Communist daily newspaper Al Ittihad that the intensive talks among the four established parties should conclude with an agreement for a resumed merger within 10 days to two weeks.

The parties have speeded up their negotiations in recent days and held discussions on Tuesday and Wednesday of this week (June 11 and 12), with the aim of wrapping up negotiations some time within in the second half of June.

Rami Ayoub, 43, who owned an aluminum frame and glass business, was killed Tuesday, June 11, when he fell six stories from an office building in Haifa where he was installing windows. His was the 23rd work-related death in Israel this year.

Police have launched an investigation into the circumstances of the accident, which occurred on Tshernichovksy Street. Earlier on Tuesday, a 49-year-old worker fell from a height of four stories from a building on Haifa’s Allenby Street and was seriously injured.

Yet another petition, this one by Ashkenazi Jewish Israelis (i.e., those of European background) was filed last month with Israel’s Supreme Court in Jerusalem, in a bid to strike down the racist Nation-State Law enacted by the 20th Knesset in July of last year.

This new petition argues that the law discriminates against the non-Jewish – mainly Arab-Palestinian – citizens of Israel, as elaborated in a similar petition submitted by Adalah against the same law in August 2018. The new petition also supports the contention of some 60 Mizrahi Israelis (i.e., those of Eastern background) who argued in a second petition to the Supreme Court filed in January 2019 that the law discriminates against Jews of Arab extraction as it degrades Arabic from that of an official language of the state to one that has a “special status.”

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