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Taking the Pulse of Palestine: Weekly News Check-Up. Friday 7 December.

Airbnb has confirmed it will no longer list properties in Israeli settlements in the occupied Palestinian territories.

In a huge victory for the BDS movement after the sustained and tireless efforts of campaigners, Airbnb has realised it is no longer viable to continue profiting from the forced removal of Palestinians and colonisation of their lands by removing 200 listings from the site.

AirBnb stated:

‘Many in the global community have stated that companies should not do business here because they believe companies should not profit on lands where people have been displaced.

We concluded that we should remove listings in Israeli settlements in the occupied West Bank that are at the core of the dispute between Israelis and Palestinians.’

Despite this being considered an ‘initial positive step’ by senior Palestinian negotiator, Saeb Erekat, Airbnb continues to normalise the illegal occupation which commenced in 1967 and profit from the forced removal of Palestinians from their homes by continuing to list properties in East Jerusalem.

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21.11.2018: No to Netta’s Artwashing! Protest to Boycott Eurovision in Israeli Apartheid

Protesters gathered outside London’s Heaven nightclub objecting to the performance of Eurovision winner Netta Barzilai who represented Israel in the 2018 competition. The protest, led by LGBTQ+ Palestine solidarity organisers, say no to the artwashing and pinkwashing of the Israeli occupation of Palestinians through the platforming of Israel’s new cultural ambassador.

The Israeli government officially uses a ‘Brand Israel’ scheme which utilises culture to gain international respectability and distract from the realities of its brutal settler-colonial project. Following the principles of BDS, Palestinian groups internationally call for the cultural boycott of Israel and urge everyone to stand with Palestinians in refusing to watch Eurovision 2019, which unless changed, remains to be hosted in Israel.

Read more: Palestinian Prisoner Solidarity Network

29.11.2018: Marc Lamont Hill Sacked from CNN

Last week the Temple Hill University professor, author, activist and political commentator, Marc Lamont Hill was fired from US news broadcaster CNN 24 hours after delivering a speech to the UN. Calling for Palestinian self-determination and equal rights, he demanded a free Palestine ‘from the river to the sea’ (from the River Jordan to the Mediterranean coast), referring to the territory of historical Palestine prior to the establishment of Israel in 1948.

CNN capitulated to pressure from pro-Israel groups who have sort to define the boundaries of legitimate discourse concerning Palestine and criticism of Israel, which argued his language is antisemitic. Hill’s six words ‘from the river to the sea’ were not invoked to argue for the erasure of the State of Israel, as some critics have said by removing the phrase from the context of his speech, but to explain how Palestinians are consistently denied their human rights regardless of their geopolitical location. Whether under Occupation in the West Bank and East Jerusalem, under military siege in Gaza or living as second class citizens in Israel itself, Palestinians are denied basic human rights, from freedom of movement and residence, protection against torture to accessing education and even clean water.

Hill used his time on the UN’s Day of Solidarity for the Palestinian People to transcend arguments for a particular configuration of states and artificial borders as a solution to the conflict, by focusing on people and human rights, irrelevant of the specific geopolitical arrangement of states.
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29.11.2018: 40th UN International Solidarity Day with the Palestinian People

On 29th November 30 student groups took part in a National Day of Action calling for Apartheid Off Campus. Up and down the country students held protests, organised panel discussions and put of creative displays of theatrical resistance to draw attention to the ongoing injustices faced by Palestinians living under Israeli occupation.

See the Twitter storm #ApartheidOffCampus and #DivestforPalestine for more details.

PCF supported UCLan with their own Show Of Solidarity, which you can read about here.

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02.12.2019: More corruption charges recommended against Netanyahu by Israeli police

Israeli police have recommended that PM Benjamin Netanyahu be charged with taking bribes, fraud and breach of trust. In addition to two pending cases against the PM, one for giving tax favours after receiving bribes, another for a deal to promote favourable press, Netanyahu now faces of giving favours to a telecommunications and media conglomerate in exchange for favourable news coverage.

Netanyahu’s wife Sara currently faces charges for misusing $100,000 in public funds on meals from celebrity chefs in the PM’s official Jerusalem residence.

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4.12.2019 Israeli forces shot dead 22-year-old Palestinian man in West Bank

Mohammed Hossam Abdel Latif Habali, who suffered from mental health problems, was killed after being shot in the head and legs with live ammunition on Tuesday morning in the city of Tulkarem, according to Palestinian news agency Wafa.

Mohammed’s funeral.

It is reported that a number of Palestinian homes were raided in Bethlehem, al-Khalil, Nablus and Tubas, Ramallah and Hizma, where 24 Palestinians were arrested including two children.

Over 7,000 Palestinians are reportedly held in Israeli prisons, including 400 children. Palestinians may languish indefinitely in Israeli detention facilities without trial under ‘administrative detention’, as some have for over 11 years.

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