24 | 08 | 2019

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas (Abu Mazen) said on Wednesday, April 10, that he is following the results of Israel’s parliamentary elections, which took place on Tuesday. Abbas spoke at the opening of a new oncology department at the Istishari Hospital near the central occupied West Bank city of Ramallah.

The corrupt, far-right Benjamin Netanyahu secured a unprecedented fifth term as Israel’s prime minister on Wednesday morning, April 10, after more than 99% of the votes from the previous day’s general election gave the right-wing and clerical bloc a 10-seat lead over the center, left and Arab parties.

On the Thursday, Friday and Saturday mornings before the Tuesday, April 9, general elections, mailboxes belonging to residents of Tel Aviv were stuffed with new a campaign flyer from Hadash-Ta’al that reads, “Your neighbor is an Arab,” to remind Israel’s majority Jewish population that more than one fifth of their fellow citizens are Arabs.

The last polls to be released before the general elections next Tuesday, April 9, were published yesterday, Friday, April 5. Taken together, of three major polls, two predict that the Likud will receive the largest plurality of votes, while a third shows that the Blue and White party will garner the greatest support from those members of the public who will cast ballots.

The European Union (EU) announced on Wednesday, March 27, that it does not recognize Israeli sovereignty over the Golan Heights which was taken from Syria in the June 1967 war and which has been occupied by Israel ever since. EU foreign policy Chief Federica Mogherini elucidated the union does not agree with the step taken by US President Donald Trump when he recognized Israeli sovereignty over the occupied Golan during Netanyhu’s stay in Washington on Thursday, March 21.

Over the last 3 days, Israel is unleashing new air strikes against targets along Gaza Strip, under the pretext of answering to the launching of rockets.

Since last March, at least 258 Palestinians have been murdered in the Gaza Strip by the Israeli army, during their protests for the end of the Israeli blockades and the return of the Palestinian Refugees to their homeland.

A tense quiet took hold on Tuesday afternoon, March 26, after a night of a heavy exchange of fire as Israeli aircraft bombed Gaza and Palestinian fighters continued to rain rockets down on the south of the country. Israel says its was responding to a rocket attack from Gaza early early Monday, March 25, when a Palestinian rocket destroyed the home of the Levin family in Moshav Mishmeret in the center of the country, wounding seven. Gaza’s Health Ministry announced that seven Palestinians were wounded by air strikes conducted by Israel in retaliation. The exchange continued into the early hours of Tuesday before a ceasefire went into effect.The escalation threatened to devolve into a major conflict, just two weeks before Israel’s general elections.

Israel’s Supreme Court ruled on Sunday, March 17, 2019, that Communist candidate Dr. Ofer Cassif, and the lists Hadash-Ta’al (Democratic Front for Peace and Equality – Arab Movement for Change) and Balad-Ra’am (National Democratic Assembly – United Arab List), will be permitted to run in Israel’s April 9 general elections.

Syrian-Druze residents of the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights took to the streets on Saturday, March 23, to protest US President Donald Trump’s pledge to recognize Israel’s sovereignty there.

Trump broke with decades of US Middle East policy, and longstanding international consensus, when he posted a Tweet on Thursday, March 21, in which he wrote that it was time to accept Israel’s widely contested claim of sovereignty over the strategic plateau.

Israeli authorities announced, on Tuesday, March 19, that a security closure will be imposed on the occupied West Bank and besieged Gaza Strip for a period of four days bracketing the Jewish festival of Purim (Thursday and Friday of this week). The four-day closure, to be imposed only on Palestinians from the territories, but not on Israelis traveling to an from these areas, started at midnight local time between Tuesday and Wednesday and will end at midnight between Saturday and Sunday).

Communist candidate Dr. Ofer Cassif, today said he believes the decision to ban him from participating in the upcoming general election is fueled by the right-wing’s desire to eliminate Jewish-Arab cooperation.

Speaking to Middle East Monitor, Cassif said the Central Elections Committee deliberately targeted him in its decision to ban him from contesting the upcoming election on April 9 because of the potential for Jewish-Arab cooperation that his candidacy represents. “Of course the main victims of the right-wing’s policy are the Palestinian citizens of Israel,” he explains, “but civil society, the media, the courts and academia are also coming under attack by the fanatic right-wing.”

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