Israel’s arrest of senior Palestinian officials for “illegal” efforts to contain coronavirus and the Jewish state’s closure of a clinic have exacerbated a long-running row over the status of east Jerusalem.
The US has dropped its description of the Golan Heights from “Israeli-occupied” to “Israeli-controlled” in a state department report, the latest sign of approval towards Israel’s disputed claim to land it captured from Syria.
World powers have long called on Israel to rescind its authority of the strategic region and labelled the occupation as illegal under international law.
However, Israel has been lobbying hard for the Trump administration to recognise sovereignty over the volcanic plateau it occupied more than half a century ago and later annexed.
As a Palestinian citizen of Israel, it is a strange experience to watch your humanity become a subject of national debate between a prime minister and a model. Responding to criticism by the well-known Israeli actor Rotem Sela this week, Benjamin Netanyahu took it upon himself to declare, via Instagram: “Israel is not a state of all its citizens. According to the nation-state law we passed [in July 2018], Israel is the nation-state of the Jewish people – and not anyone else.” His assertion quickly dominated international headlines. Israeli Hollywood actor Gal Gadot (who played Wonder Woman in the 2017 blockbuster), President Reuven Rivlin, and other public figures joined the fray to defend Sela, who had posted the question: “When the hell will someone in this government convey to the public that Israel is a state of all its citizens and that all people were created equal?”