Local activists in Gaza announced that they have moved tents set up along the border with Israel as part of the "Great March of Return," relocating them 50 meters closer to the border fence. The committee in charge of the Great March said they had moved the "tents of return" closer to the border "as a message of persistence from our people to the world that we are moving forward towards our rightful goals." The announcement came on the 20th day of protests since the Great March of Return began in the besieged Gaza Strip, as hundreds of thousands of Palestinians demanded their collective right of return to their homelands in present-day Israel. Since the demonstrations began, at least 36 Palestinians have been killed by Israeli forces. Among the dead are two minors and a journalist. (Photo: Ma'an)
International Criminal Court chief prosecutor Fatou Bensouda called for an end to the violence along the border of the Gaza Strip, and raised the possibility of ICC prosecutions against Israel and Hamas. In her statement, Bensouda cautioned about the "deteriorating situation" that has engulfed the region. Bensouda reminded both parties that her office is in the midst of a preliminary investigation into allegations of war crimes, which has been ongoing since 2015 when Palestine was admitted as a member of the court. While Israel is not a member of the court, Israeli citizens who commit war-crimes or crimes against humanity on the territory of a member could fall under the jurisdiction of the ICC. (Photo: Maan News Agency)
Human rights organizations have come out in full condemnation of Israel's violent response to massive unarmed civilian protests in Gaza, which left 16 Palestinians—one farmer and 15 protesters —dead along the Strip's border. Adalah, the Legal Center for Arab Minority Rights, released a statement condemning Israel's use of military snipers against the civilian protesters. "The Israeli military's use of 100 snipers against unarmed Palestinian civilian protesters in the Gaza Strip is illegal," the statement said, adding that "live gunfire on unarmed civilians constitutes a brutal violation of the international legal obligation to distinguish between civilians and combatants." (Photo: Maan News Agency)
Two UN rights experts expressed serious concern regarding the arrest and detention of Ahed Tamimi, a 17-year-old Palestinian girl who became famous for slapping an Israeli soldier during a physical confrontation. The statements came as Tamimi appeared before an Israeli military court for the first time. An Israel military judge, who prohibited the media from entering the courtroom and began the trial behind closed doors, ruled that Tamimi should remain in detention until the end of her trial and adjourned the hearing until early March. (Photo: Wikimedia)
Palestinian Christians from around the occupied West Bank, East Jerusalem and Israel came out in harsh opposition to a visit by the Greek Orthodox Patriarch of Jerusalem, Theophilos III, to Bethlehem for Orthodox Christmas Eve. The patriarchate is accused of selling large amounts of land to Israeli authorities and investors, contributing to Israeli plans to "Judaize" Jerusalem and betraying the church's responsibility to protect Palestinian lands that were handed under its care during the Ottoman period. (Photo: Ma'an News Agency)
Pope Tawadros II, leader Egypt's Coptic Church, has cancelled a meeting with US Vice President Mike Pence during his visit to Cairo later this month, in protest of the Trump administration's decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital. Trump's decision "did not take into account the feelings of millions of Arab people," the church said in a statement, adding that it "declines to receive" Pence.
If Trump is seeking to appease the Christian fundamentalist element of his base with his pledge to move the US embassy in Israel to Jerusalem, this should hardly be comforting to Jews. The evangelical fundis see Jewish control of Jerusalem only as fulfillment of Bible prophecies portending the End Times. What makes this wackiness dangerous is that with nuclear weapons, the human race now has the capacity to bring about the foreseen rain of fire and brimstone.
Israeli authorities have revoked the citizenship of hundreds of Bedouin Palestinians in the Negev desert in recent years, leaving many stateless and without recourse to appeal the decision. Since the establishment of Israel in 1948 the Bedouin community has faced systematic dispossession and displacement, but the new policy—in place since 2010—essentially revokes their civil rights altogether.
Israeli authorities revoked permits for Palestinians to enter Jerusalem and Israel in response to a deadly attack in East Jerusalem's Old City, rounding up hundreds in mass arrests.
Palestinians erupted in anger over President Trump naming the Hamas movement—Gaza's de facto ruling party—in a list of terrorist organizations during his speech in Riyadh.
Israeli forces demolished the "unrecognized" Bedouin village of al-Araqib in the Negev for the 113th time since 2010 and for the fifth time this year—as residents persist in rebuilding.
Israel's cabinet approved the controversial "Jewish State" bill, which would revoke Arabic's status as an official language, clearing the way for a vote on the measure in the Knesset.