Friday, August 31, 2018

Thousands of Palestinian gather along Gaza’s border to continue the Great March of Return. IDF troops violently disperse the demonstrations near Rafah, Khan Yunis, al-Bureij refugee camp, Gaza City, and Jabaliya refugee camp; approximately 180 Palestinians are injured. In the West Bank, Israeli forces detain 2 senior members of the Israeli anti-occupation group Breaking the Silence as they are leading a tour near the Kiryat Arba settlement. They also violently disperse Palestinians protesting the Israeli occupation in Ni‘lin village near Ramallah; 1 Palestinian is injured. (HA, JP, MNA, WAFA 8/31; MNA 9/1)

The U.S. State Department announces that all U.S. contributions to UNRWA are being cut following a “careful” review of the issue. A spokesperson explains that UNRWA’s “endlessly and exponentially expanding community of entitled beneficiaries is simply unsustainable and has been in crisis mode for many years.” She says that the U.S. is still “very mindful of and deeply concerned regarding the impact upon innocent Palestinians, especially school children.” According to reports in the Israeli press, Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu supports the decision. (JP, TOI, TOI, WAFA, YA, YA 8/31; HA, MNA 9/1)

Following weeks of calls from Palestinian solidarity activists, U.S. pop singer Lana Del Rey cancels her planned appearance at the upcoming Meteor Festival in Israel, explaining that she was unable to plan a concert for her Palestinian fans during the same trip to the region. She previously wrote, on 8/21, that performing in Israel was “not a commitment to the politics there, just as singing in California doesn’t mean my views are in alignment w my current governments opinions or some inhuman actions [sic].” The Meteor Festival’s organizers criticize Del Rey for “choosing us to be part of her publicity stunt.” Del Rey is now the eighth act to cancel on the Meteor Festival in response to calls for a cultural boycott. (EI, HA, JP 8/31)