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Taking the Pulse of Palestine: Weekly News Check-Up. Friday 14 December.

4.12.2018 Rashida Tlaib Rejects AIPAC Tour of Israel in Favour of Palestine Trip

Not only have the new Representative elects Rashida Tlaib and Ilhan Omar both made history for being the first Muslim women elected to Congress, but they have both rejected the routine welcome tour of Israel for newly elected members.

The American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) traditionally invites Congress freshmen on a week-long tour to promote a pro-Israel viewpoint by meeting influential political, military and business figures.

Tlaib told The Intercept she hopes to draw on her own Palestinian heritage by not only endorsing BDS in the House, but by offering incoming representatives an alternative introduction to the Palestine-Israel conflict through an alternative tour. She said ‘I want us to see that segregation and how that has really harmed us being able to achieve real peace in that region…[AIPAC] have these lavish trips to Israel, but they don’t show the side that I know is real, which is what’s happening to my grandmother and what’s happening to my family there.’

Tlaib would like her tour to focus on issues such as access to clean water, poverty and the detention of Palestinian children.

8.12.2018 New York University Student Government Passes BDS Resolution

A coalition of more than 50 NYU student groups have endorsed the boycott, divestment sanctions movement calling for Palestinian human rights by:

  • ‘Boycotting Israeli goods and goods manufactured in the Occupied Territories, except for those manufactured by Palestinians. For a list of what to boycott, visit
  • Boycotting Israeli academic institutions and conferences sponsored by the State of Israel
  • Boycotting NYU’s pro-Israel clubs, Realize Israel and TorchPAC, by not co-sponsoring events with them, as well as boycotting off-campus pro-Israel groups such as Birthright-Taglit, StandWithUs, Christians United for Israel, the Maccabee Task Force, Mosaic United, Zionist Organization of America, American Israeli Political Action Committee, and the Anti-Defamation League
  • Endorsing the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions movement
  • Calling on NYU to divest its holdings from companies and funds that are complicit in the Israeli occupation of Palestine
  • Committing to continually recognizing indigenous land and sovereignty’

According to NYU Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP) the motion met the two-thirds fresh-hold with 35 votes in favour, 14 against, with 14 abstentions. The motion targeted three corporations heavily complicit in Israel’s violent apartheid over Palestinians: Caterpillar Inc., Lockheed Martin, and General Electric.

Despite the success of the student body’s move, the University has rejected the motion, stating ‘the University will not move forward with these measures.’

11.12.18 West Bank Settler Posters Call for Killing Palestinian President Abbas

Notices stuck to concrete blocks by the Hawwara intersection near to Nablus featured Mahmoud Abbas’ face in crosshairs calling for his assassination.

The notice labelled him a ‘supporter of terrorists’ and were thought to be hung up by Jewish settlers, however, according to local news agency Maan, Israeli soldiers did not remove the posters. The Palestinian Authority responded to the threats to Abbas saying they ‘crossed all red lines’ and that they were taking the threats very seriously.

14.12.18 Israel locks down Ramallah killing five Palestinians

Five Palestinians have been killed by Israeli forces and the city of Ramallah was closed as a ‘military zone’. Following the killing of two Israeli soldiers by an unknown Palestinian near the illegal settlement of Ofra east of Ramallah, the Israeli army retaliated by closing off the city of Ramallah, demolishing homes and carrying out extrajudicial killings.

The five Palestinians killed were Ashraf Naalweh, 23, Salah Omar Barghouti, 29, Majd Muteir and 60 year old Hamdan Tawfiq al-Ardah and Mahmoud Nakleh, 16.

Palestinian teenager Mahmoud Nakleh, 18, was killed by IDF soldiers in the Jalazun refugee camp north of Ramallah. Fadwa Safi, a local resident saw the boy being taken away who ‘still had life in him’ and stated after trying to approach the boy, IDF soldiers resisted her advance and prohibited an ambulance from reaching him.

Although most checkpoints restricting access to Ramallah reopened Friday morning, Palestinian protests resumed in Nablus and al-Khalil. Over 150 Palestinians have been killed by Israeli security forces in the West Bank since the start of 2016 (B’Tselem).