By Umamah Bakharia
Israeli digital surveillance on Palestinian citizens
The Israeli military has developed a facial recognition program to track Palestinians in the Israeli-occupied West Bank.
The surveillance involves a “Blue Wolf” smartphone technology that captures pictures of Palestinians’ faces and matches them to an extensive database known as a “Facebook for Palestinians.”
Once an image is captured, the soldiers’ phones flash a specific colour that indicates if that individual should be arrested, detained, or left alone.
Israel claims the surveillance is used to improve the quality of life of the Palestinian population.
Palestinian ends 113-day hunger strike
Palestinian prisoner Miqdad al-Qawasmi has ended his 113-day hunger strike after striking a deal with Israeli authorities on his release.
The agreement states that al-Qawasmi will be released in February after being on administrative detention with no trial since January.
Five other prisoners have been on hunger strike for different periods in protest of their administrative detentions.
Israel linked to local South African politics
After the local government elections, the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) published its first-quarter funding disclosure reports.
According to the statutory law, all political parties need to disclose donations made to them over R100 000. A donation of R2.5 m listed is from a venture capital investor who is part of a group that funds students in South Africa and Israel.
However, no political motives have been attached from the companies’ online communication.
Government withdrawing its support for Miss SA ahead of the Miss Universe pageant
The Sports, Art and Culture department announced it would no longer support the pageant because of Miss South Africa organisers “intransigence and disregard” of advice against sending Miss SA Lalela Mswane to compete in the Miss Universe pageant.
“This is a very strong position that the South African government took,” says Hafiz Ebrahim.
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