TIME Israel

Palestinian Hunger Striker Has Ended His Fast, Lawyer Says

Mohammed Allan went on hunger strike two months ago in protest at his detention

(JERUSALEM) — A lawyer for a Palestinian detainee on hunger strike says his client has ended his protest fast, a day after Israel’s top court suspended his detention.

Lawyer Jamil Khatib said Mohammed Allan ended his strike on Thursday.

Israel’s Supreme Court on Wednesday suspended a detention order against Allan, who launched the hunger strike more than two months ago to protest his detention.

Israeli doctor Hezy Levy earlier in the day said Allan was showing “great improvement” and that he was taken off the respirator.

Israel says Allan is a member of the Islamic Jihad militant group. He denies the allegation.

TIME Israel

Israel Suspends Detention of Palestinian Hunger Striker

Mohammed Allan will be released while he receives medical care

(JERUSALEM) — Israel’s Supreme Court has suspended the detention order of a hunger-striking Palestinian prisoner, releasing him while he receives medical care.

After a long day of deliberations, the court announced late Wednesday that Mohammed Allan, on a hunger strike for 65 days, will remain hospitalized but his shackles will be removed and his family can visit him.

It also said his “administrative detention” is suspended.

Allan went on a hunger strike to protest the measure that allows authorities to hold suspects for months without charge.

The court said Allan, who has suffered brain damage, will remain hospitalized but can petition for his release if his condition improves.

TIME Israel

Israeli Opposition Leader Fears Potential Palestinian Uprising

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Jack Guez—AFP/Getty Images Isaac Herzog listens during a joint press conference at the party headquarters in Tel Aviv on March 18, 2015.

Hundreds of people attended a funeral of a Palestinian man killed by Israeli forces, creating tensions for a new uprising

(RAMALLAH, West Bank) — Israel’s opposition leader is calling on the government to work with the Palestinian Authority to prevent what he says could be a third Palestinian uprising.

Opposition leader Isaac Herzog issued his call Tuesday after a rare meeting with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas at his West Bank headquarters.

The meeting came at a time of rising violence. Hundreds of people attended a West Bank funeral Tuesday of a Palestinian man killed by Israeli forces after stabbing an Israeli police officer. The tensions have raised fears of a new uprising.

Herzog says that “first and foremost” the sides must work together to prevent further violence. He also said peace efforts must resume.

Peace talks broke down more than a year ago and show no signs of resuming.

TIME Israel

Palestinian Child Killed in Suspected Jewish Settler Attack

Palestinian Baby Dies In Arson Attack
Oren Ziv—Getty Images Family members and relatives of 18 month old baby, Ali Saad-Dawabsheh, view the remains of their house after a fire which was suspected to have been set by Jewish extremists on July 31, in the Palestinian village of Duma, West Bank.

Jewish extremists have for years attacked Palestinian property

(DUMA, West Bank) — Suspected Jewish assailants attacked a Palestinian village in the West Bank early Friday and torched two homes, killing a young child and critically wounding at least three people, Israeli and Palestinian officials said. The Israeli prime minister called the incident a “terror attack.”

According to the military, the suspects entered the village of Duma, near the city of Nablus, where they set the homes ablaze and scrawled graffiti, including “Long live the Messiah,” ”revenge” and “price tag.”

The attackers threw Molotov cocktails, or fire bombs, at the houses, the military said.

The slain child was identified as one-and-a-half year old Ali Dawabsheh. His four-year-old brother and parents were among the wounded, according to Gassan Daghlas, a Palestinian official from the Nablus area.

Daghlas said Jewish settlers broke the window of a house and flung a burning object inside, “causing a quick and huge fire.” He added that three people were wounded aside from the child. The Israeli military said three people were critically wounded and one was slightly injured. The critically wounded were taken to Israeli hospitals for treatment, the military said.

“Setters in the Nablus area are very aggressive. They never stop attacking Palestinians in their villages and the Israeli government needs to put an end to these aggressions,” Daghlas said.

The Israeli military said it sent troop reinforcements to the West Bank, fearing the incident could trigger unrest.

Jewish extremists have for years attacked Palestinian property, as well as mosques, churches and even Israeli military bases in opposition to what they see as the Israeli government’s favorable policies toward the Palestinians, although it is rare for anyone to be killed in such attacks.

Critics say police have been slow to apprehend the assailants and Palestinians say the military has failed to protect them from attacks by militant Jewish settlers in the West Bank.

The attacks, known as “price tag,” have been condemned across the Israeli political spectrum and condemnations came swiftly Friday, with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu issuing a stern statement against the violence.

“I am shocked over this reprehensible and horrific act. This is an act of terrorism in every respect. The State of Israel takes a strong line against terrorism regardless of who the perpetrators are,” he said.

Israeli military spokesman Lt. Col. Peter Lerner called the incident “nothing short of a barbaric act of terrorism.”

Israeli Defence Minister Moshe Yaalon said Israel would not allow “Jewish terrorists” to carry out such acts.

“We will not allow Jewish terrorists to harm the lives of Palestinians in Judea and Samaria,” he said in a statement, referring to the West Bank by its biblical name. “We will fight against them firmly and with all means and tools at our disposal.”

Meanwhile, Israeli police said they would restrict entrance to Friday prayers at a Jerusalem mosque to male worshippers over the age of 50. Police said the decision was not necessarily related to the West Bank incident and comes as police received word that Palestinian youth at the mosque planned to cause disturbances.

___

Daraghmeh reported from Ramallah. Associated Press writer Tia Goldenberg contributed to this report from Tel Aviv, Israel.

TIME Innovation

Why Profits Could Create Peace in Israel and Palestine

The Aspen Institute is an educational and policy studies organization based in Washington, D.C.

These are today's best ideas

1. Billions in profit await Israeli-Palestinian peace.

By Jodi Rudoren in the New York Times

2. Even war has laws. Now we need them for cyberwarfare.

By Duncan B. Hollis in Opinio Juris

3. We need better data to reduce police use of force incidents.

By Cory Booker in Medium

4. College students are becoming the new ‘thought police.’

By Edward Schlosser in Vox

5. Xi Jinping is China’s strictest leader since Mao. Is he repeating Mao’s mistakes?

By Willy Lam in Prospect

The Aspen Institute is an educational and policy studies organization based in Washington, D.C.

TIME Ideas hosts the world's leading voices, providing commentary and expertise on the most compelling events in news, society, and culture. We welcome outside contributions. To submit a piece, email ideas@time.com.

TIME Middle East

Israel-Palestinian Peace Deal Could Bring $173 Billion Windfall, Study Says

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MENAHEM KAHANA—AFP/Getty Images Israeli soldiers drive an armored personal carriers during a training exercise near the Israel-Gaza Border, on June 7, 2015.

"There is money on the table,” says a RAND Corporation researcher

The economic reward for settling the Israel-Palestinian conflict with a two-state solution? $173 billion.

That’s according to a new analysis by the RAND Corporation, which calculates that a two-state solution would result in a $123-billion economic gain for the Israeli economy and a $50 billion boon for Palestinians. That’s an average per capita income increase of $2,200 (5%) for every Israeli and $1,000 (36%) for every Palestinian in the Gaza Strip and West Bank.

But if a two-state resolution is not reached in the next 10 years, says the study, the economic hit would be greater than the gains: gross domestic product in the West Bank and Gaza would shrink by 46%, and in Israel by 10%.

“The point is to demonstrate that there is money on the table,” Charles P. Ries, a RAND vice president told the New York Times. “There are big gains, and people don’t realize how big they are.”

RAND measured the impact of factors like trade and tourism, as well as Palestinians’ renewed ability to travel more freely and exploit mineral resources in the region.

TIME Middle East

U.N. Warns of ‘Slaughter’ in ISIS-Held Refugee Camp

Palestinian refugees demonstrating in solidarity with Palestinians in Yarmouk refugee camp, overrun by Islamic State militants last week, in the Ein el-Hilweh camp near the southern city of Sidon, Lebanon, Lebanon, on Apr. 10, 2015.
Mohammed Zaatari—AP Palestinian refugees demonstrating in solidarity with Palestinians in Yarmouk refugee camp, overrun by Islamic State militants last week, in the Ein el-Hilweh camp near the southern city of Sidon, Lebanon, Lebanon, on Apr. 10, 2015.

ISIS controls roughly half of the Palestinian refugee camp in Syria

The United Nations warned Friday of a “potential massacre” in the Palestinian refugee camp in Syria that was partially seized by militants from the Islamic State of Iraq and Greater Syria (ISIS).

ISIS now controls roughly half of the Yarmouk camp, which is home to some 18,000 people, according to the U.N.

“Today, this hour, we are looking at nothing short of the potential massacre of the innocents,” Chris Gunness, a spokesman for the United Nations Relief and Works Agency, said in a call with journalists on Friday.

“We have called for a cease-fire,” Gunness said. “We have called for humanitarian access so that people can have aid administered to them where they are.”

The camp is located in the outskirts of the capital Damascus, which is mostly controlled by government forces.

On Thursday, U.S. Secretary-General Ban Ki Moon warned that the refugee camp “is beginning to resemble a death camp.”

TIME

Netanyahu Now Says He Wants a 2-State Solution

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu delivers a speech to supporters at party headquarters in Tel Aviv on March 18, 2015.
Nir Elias—Reuters Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu delivers a speech to supporters at party headquarters in Tel Aviv on March 18, 2015.

The Israeli Prime Minister backtracked on election-timed statements he made earlier this week

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Thursday that he supports a two-state solution for Israel and Palestinian despite coming out against a Palestinian state on the eve of Tuesday’s election.

Netanyahu had reversed course on his support for a two-state solution when he said in an interview on Monday that he would not allow a Palestinian state if he remained in office. That stance appeared aimed at bolstering support from Israel’s right ahead of what was expected to be a close election on Tuesday, though his statement drew widespread condemnation abroad, including from the White House.

But fresh off of a surprise strong showing in Tuesday’s vote, Netanyahu said in an interview Thursday with MSNBC that he doesn’t want “a one-state solution.”

“I want a sustainable, peaceful two-state solution. But for that circumstances have to change,” said Netanyahu, who is poised to get a fourth term in office.

Netanyahu’s Likud party won 30 of the 120 seats in the Knesset, Israel’s parliament, handily defeating his strongest opposition, the Zionist Union, which won 24 seats. According to the Israeli system, President Reuven Rivlin is now expected to select Netanyahu to try to form a new coalition government.

Watch the full interview below:

TIME Israel

Benjamin Netanyahu’s Disgrace in Victory

Israel's Prime Minister won a tragic election by vilifying Arabs and defacing Israel’s history 

A few years ago, I drove from Jerusalem to the West Bank, to the city of Bethlehem, to have dinner with TIME’s Palestinian stringer, the late Jamil Hamad. He was a gentle and sophisticated man, soft-spoken, and levelheaded when it came to politics. After dinner, I drove back to Jerusalem and had to pass through the bleak, forbidding security wall. An Israeli soldier asked for my papers; I gave her my passport. “You’re American!” she said, not very officially. “I love America. Where are you from?” New York, I said. “Wow,” she said, with a big smile. And then she turned serious. “What were you doing in there,” she asked, nodding toward the Palestinian side, “with those animals?”

And that, of course, is why Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu “won” the Israeli election. That is how he won the election even though there was a strong economic case against him, and people were tired of his ways, and about 200 former Israeli military and intelligence leaders publicly opposed his dangerously bellicose foreign policy. He won because he ran as a bigot. This is a sad reality: a great many Jews have come to regard Arabs as the rest of the world traditionally regarded Jews. They have had cause. There have been wars, indiscriminate rockets and brutal terrorist attacks. There has been overpowering anti-Jewish bigotry on the Arab side, plus loathsome genocidal statements from the Iranians and others. But there has been a tragic sense of superiority and destiny on the Israeli side as well.

This has been true from the start. Read Ari Shavit’s brilliant conundrum of a book, My Promised Land, and you will get chapter and verse about the massacres perpetrated by Jews in 1948 to secure their homeland. It may be argued that the massacres were necessary, that Israel could not have been created without them, but they were massacres nonetheless. Women and children were murdered. It was the sort of behavior that is only possible when an enemy has been dehumanized. That history haunted Netanyahu’s rhetoric in the days before the election, when he scared Jews into voting for him because, he said, the Arabs were coming to polls in buses, in droves, fueled by foreign money.

It should be noted that those Arabs represent about 20% of the population of Israel. About 160,000 of them are Christian, and some of them are descendants of the first followers of Jesus. Almost all of them speak Hebrew. Every last one is a citizen—and it has been part of Israel’s democratic conceit that they are equal citizens. The public ratification of Netanyahu’s bigotry put the lie to that.

Another conceit has been that the Israeli populace favors a two-state solution. That may still be true, but the surge of voters to the Likud party in the days after Netanyahu denied Palestinian statehood sends the message that a critical mass of Israeli Jews supports the idea of Greater Israel, including Judea and Samaria on the West Bank. This puts Israeli democracy in peril. The alternative to a two-state solution is a one-state solution. That state can only be Jewish, in the long run, if West Bank Arabs are denied the right to vote.

There will be many—in the Muslim world, in Europe—who will say that the results are no surprise, that Israel has become a harsh, bigoted tyrant state. It has certainly acted that way at times, but usually with excellent provocation. It is an appalling irony that the Israeli vote brought joy to American neoconservatives and European anti-Semites alike.

When I was a little boy, my grandmother would sing me to sleep with the Israeli national anthem. It still brings tears to my eyes. My near annual visits to Israel have always been memorable. About a decade ago, I was at a welcoming ceremony for new immigrants—­thousands of them, Russians and Iranians and Ethiopians. And I thought, if Ethiopians and Russians could join that way, why not, eventually, Semites and Semites, Jews and Arabs?

That was the dream—that somehow Jews and Arabs could make it work, could eventually, together, create vibrant societies that would transcend bigotry and exist side by side. The dream was that the unifying force of common humanity and ethnicity would, for once, trump religious exceptionalism. It was always a long shot. It seems impossible now. For the sake of his own future, Benjamin Netanyahu has made dreadful Jewish history: he is the man who made anti-Arab bigotry an overt factor in Israeli political life. This is beyond tragic. It is shameful and embarrassing.

Read next: What Netanyahu’s Victory in Israel Means for the World

Listen to the most important stories of the day.

TIME Israel

Netanyahu Vows No Palestinian State While He’s Prime Minister

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Jack Guez—AFP/Getty Images Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu delivers a speech during a campaign meeting with members of Israel's French-Jewish community on March 10, 2015, in Netanya, Israel

Reverses earlier support of two-state solution on eve of general elections

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu declared there will be not be a Palestinian state so long as he is Prime Minister, reversing his prior support for a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict on the eve of Israel’s parliamentary elections.

“I think that anyone who is going to establish a Palestinian state today and evacuate lands, is giving attack grounds to the radical Islam against the state of Israel,” the three-term Prime Minister said, according to the New York Times translation of the interview posted to website NRG on Monday.

When the reporter asked if that meant he would not establish a Palestinian state were he to win re-election, Netanyahu replied, “Correct.”

Netanyahu, whose Likud party is trailing behind the center-left Zionist Union alliance, once expressed support for the idea of two-state solution in a 2009 speech.

Read more at the New York Times.

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