19 | 08 | 2019

The Socialist Arab-Jewish Democratic Front for Peace and Equality (Hadash) reached an agreement on Thursday night, February 21, with veteran MK Ahmad Tibi’s Arab Movement for Renewal party (Ta’al) to run on a joint ticket in this coming April’s parliamentary elections for the 21st Knesset.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu reached a deal on Wednesday, February 20, with the Jewish Home party to grant the settlers’ national-religious party a pair of ministerial posts after the April elections in exchange for its merging with the racist Otzma Yehudit.

On his 15th birthday, November 16, 2014, Palestinian high school student Attiya Nabaheen had just returned home from school and was in the front yard of his family’s home in the Gaza Strip, when Israeli military forces shot him. Attiya was not armed and was not involved in any violence.

As a result of the shooting, Attiya was permanently paralyzed and is confined to a wheelchair for the rest of his life. In November 2018, Israel’s Beersheba District Court rejected a case filed by Adalah – The Legal Center for Arab Minority Rights in Israel – and the Gaza-based Al-Mezan Center for Human Rights on behalf of the Nabaheen family against the Israeli military for the shooting and crippling of their son. According to the Palestinian news agency Wafa, the court ruled that the state is not liable for damages because Palestinians in Gaza are not entitled to seek compensation from Israel as they live within an “enemy entity.”

Two young Palestinians were killed and 17 others were wounded by Israeli army gunfire on Friday, February 8, in the course of the weekly Great March of Return protests along the Gaza border with Israel.  The events were reported by the three Palestinian Arabic dailies in their main front-page story on Saturday, February 9. Al-Ayyam wrote how Hamza Muhammad Rashdi Ishteiwi, 17, was killed in cold blood Israeli sniper fire that hit him in the neck. The second fatality was 14-year-old Hassan Iyad Shalabi who was hit by a live round to the chest.

According to a new poll released by the Israel Democracy Institute, some 52% of the Israeli public (49.5% of the Jews and 66% of the Arabs who participated in the survey) believes that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu should resign if Attorney General Avichai Mandelblit recommends that he be indicted for any of the alleged legal improprieties for which he has been under investigation.

Last weekend saw the launching of the new Website of Al-Ittihad – the only Arabic-language daily newspaper in Israel, owned and managed by the the Communist Party of Israel. Al-Ittihad (The Union) was established in Haifa in 1944 during the British Mandatory Period over Palestine. The newspaper is the oldest Arab media outlet in Israel and is considered the most important.

The Secretary-General of the United Nations (UN), António Guterres, commented on Saturday, Febuary 2, responded to the joint statement issued by the Foreign Ministers of Italy, Norway, Sweden, Switzerland and Turkey following Israel’s decision not to renew the mandate of the Temporary International Presence in Hebron (TIPH).

Six members of the Arab community in Israel have been murdered since the beginning of 2019, but so far the police have made only a single arrest.

This year’s first murder occurred on January 13 in Umm al-Fahm. Saher Khaled Mahmud, 20, was riding his motorcycle on his way home when he was shot dead in what is believed to have been a case of mistaken identity. In the wake of Mahmud’s death for the past three weeks hundreds of Umm al-Fahm residents have blocked route 65 to protest the violence and rampant crime in the Arab community which, they claim, is largely ignored by the police.

MK Ayman Odeh was reelected Friday, February 1, as the Chairman of Hadash’s parliamentary faction, part of the Joint List political alliance, towards the April 9 general elections for Israel’s Knesset. The Front’s council met in the northern city of Shfaram to confirm Odeh’s election, after the two other candidates for the position – Jafar Farah, head of the Mossawa Center and a political activist, and Dr. Shukri Awawdeh, deputy mayor of Nazareth Illit – dropped out of the race. Hadash (Democratic Front for Peace and Equality – Communist Party of Israel), is the only Jewish-Arab and socialist political movement in Israel.

Thousands of Israelis protested against racism, police brutality and rampant discrimination towards the Ethiopian-Israeli community in a demonstration held in Tel Aviv Wednesday evening, January 30. The protest was called amidst mounting anger after a police officer shot and killed Yehuda Biadga, a 24-year-old resident of Bat Yam, on January 18.

Joint List lawmakers plan to commandeer far-right Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s claim in the last election that Arabs were heading to the polls “in droves” to encourage voters in April’s election.

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