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settlements

  • West Bank outposts: An entire system of dispossession

    At the core of Israel's settlement outpost system lies the systemic violation of Palestinian human rights. By Yossi Gurvitz, written for Yesh Din If we had to look for a good example of the meaning of the outpost system – the unofficial settlements Israel builds in the West Bank – we could hardly expect a better one than that supplied by the minister of defense himself. Commenting on a legal appeal that — contrary to some reports, Yesh Din is not part of — demands the removal of the Mitzpe Kramim outpost, Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon said (Hebrew): “This location was established legally, with the…

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  • The lie Israel sold the world — settlement 'outposts'

    The Israeli government’s policy proves that the outposts are effectively settlements – only you’ll never hear them being called that.  “The outposts are not ‘hilltop youth.’ It is a carefully planned seizure of strategic points, the outposts have been coordinated with the prime minister.” – Adi Minz, former Yesha Council Chairman, 2004. By Yossi Gurvitz for Yesh Din Israel has not  officially created new settlements since 1996. This is an international guarantee made by the government. Creating a new settlement requires a government decision, and with three exceptions (the legalization of the outposts Bruchin and Rechalim, together with Nofei Nechemia, and…

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  • PHOTOS: Israeli army arrests 7 in action against E1 settlement

    While Israel was headed to the polls, Palestinian, international and Israeli activists protested Israeli construction in the E1 area of the West Bank near Jerusalem. Text and photos by Ahmad Al-Bazz / Activestills.org Palestinian, international and Israeli activists protested against Israeli plans to seize and build in the E1 area, which would cut off the northern and southern parts of the West Bank. Held on the same day as Israeli elections, the protest was aimed at attracting international attention to the progress of illegal Israeli construction and the planed displacement over 15,000 Palestinians and Bedouin communities living in 45 communities…

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  • If Netanyahu is re-elected, Israel has a Europe problem

    Nobody ever thought the window for a two-state solution would ever truly close — or be closed. Benjamin Netanyahu just declared it so in a last-ditched attempt to rally his base ahead of elections. Forget whatever temporary crisis Benjamin Netanyahu created with the United States in his campaign speech on the Hill. If Netanyahu is re-elected on Tuesday, Israel is going to have a much more serious problem with Europe. In an interview with Israeli news site NRG one day before elections, the prime minister made clear what he has only hinted at and skirted around for years. [tmwinpost] The…

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  • A rare win for E. Jerusalem family facing settler takeover

    Israel's Supreme Court 'recommends' that settler organization Elad and the JNF withdraw their petition to take control of the property. By Moriel Rothman-Zecher In the context of the absurd reality of Israel’s occupation, last Thursday brought a glimmer of good news. Attorneys for the Jewish National Fund (JNF) and settler group Elad withdrew their petition seeking to expel the Ruweidi family from their East Jerusalem home. Elad's lawyer, Eitan Peleg, withdrew the following a recommendation made by the Israeli Supreme Court, casting doubt on Elad’s and the JNF’s claims to the property. Peace Now settlement watch director Hagit Ofran told…

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  • Parks and Occupation: Archaeology is the new security

    The Biblical blueprint is being dragged up around our feet, seeking to use what is under the ground as evidence of divine right and the political and territorial sovereignty it supposedly affords us. The past makes for prime real estate when you're developing a national mythology. It's also a fine way to exert control over an area, both under — and overground. Just ask the residents of Silwan, East Jerusalem, whose homes have variously been placed under demolition orders, dug under, or had access restricted in the name of archaeological exploration. The use of archaeology as a political tool is…

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  • Palestinian 'lawfare': Toward brinksmanship or progress?

    Palestine’s accession to the International Criminal Court is an official declaration of lawfare, a new battleground in the conflict with Israel; settlements will be the thorniest legal issue in the courtroom (if it ever gets there). By Lolita Brayman Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas’ signing of the Rome Statute is a game changer for the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Following the disappointment of the UN Security Council’s (UNSC) vote on a resolution to end Israeli occupation – a two year plan to establish a sovereign Palestinian state and end the conflict – the Palestinians turned to other international bodies for diplomatic relief. Acceding…

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  • How Bibi is turning the defense budget into a settler slush fund

    Prime Minister Netanyahu and Defense Minister Ya'alon will transfer NIS 70 million from the defense budget to compensate the Ulpana Hill lawbreakers. How will the common soldier interpret the command's will? By Yesh Din, written by Yossi Gurvitz Israel's Channel 10 exposed earlier this week another layer in the unending saga of Ulpana Hill: Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon agreed to transfer NIS 70 million from the security budget as part of the Ulpana Hill compensation deal. Meaning: the tax money that was to be spent on defending the citizens of Israel will, in fact, be…

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  • Labour MPs: Vote yes on Palestinian statehood

    In an appeal that demonstrates the complete bankruptcy of the peace camp, the Israeli Labor Party is  calling on its British counterparts to oppose the motion on Palestinian statehood Monday, 'in the name of peace.' Netanyahu couldn't have put it better. The British Parliament will vote Monday on a motion supporting the Palestinian Authority’s request to recognize it as a state. The vote is mostly symbolic, and the British government will still be able to take any form of action it wants. The big drama is taking place within the ranks of Labour. The opposition party is supporting the motion,…

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  • Israeli settlements, U.S. policy: The gap between values and actions

    The only thing odder than Netanyahu's "un-American" comment is the White House's response. Although the latest Israeli announcement of settlement expansion in East Jerusalem drew the usual verbal slap on the wrist from the U.S., the media didn’t make much of it – until, that is, when Prime Minister Netanyahu decided to call that criticism un-American on American TV. The White House of course felt compelled to respond. On Monday Deputy Press Secretary Josh Earnest called Netanyahu’s choice of words “odd” – another in a series of adjectives that U.S. government spokespersons pull from their thesaurus to show their dismay…

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  • A couple of Netanyahu's not-so-white lies to Americans

    In the past week or so, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu repeated a couple of talking points that diverged from the truth, but few people called him out on it. 1. In a meeting with the Jewish Federations of North America in New York last Tuesday,  the prime minister fielded a question regarding the state's practice of sending asylum seekers to detention facilities in the desert, sometimes for unlimited periods of time. This has been the first time the prime minister commented since a recent ruling by the High Court that ordered the detainees to be released. "There is no asylum…

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  • There's nothing static about the West Bank 'status quo'

    Israel is already carrying out Bennett’s annexation plan, only without the formal annexation part. The West Bank is a very different place than it was 10 years ago. It will be even more different five or 10 years from now. The indispensable Amira Hass reported this morning about an Israeli plan to push thousands of Palestinian-Bedouin into a new town it plans to build in the Jordan Valley. The Jordan Valley is one of three areas in which Israel is trying to relocate Bedouin into designated areas or towns; the others are south of Hebron and east of Jerusalem. Netanyahu’s government treats…

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  • IDF's 'start-up nation' reservists refuse to serve the occupation

    One of the most striking points in the unprecedented refusal letter is the forceful argument that Israel’s policies vis-a-vis Palestinians are simply unrelated to defense –and they are a matter of choice. Forty-three members of the IDF's prestigious and secretive Unit 8200 have signed a letter to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu stating their refusal to serve in reserve duty related to military governance over Palestinians. The document, made available by Ynet, expresses their opposition in blunt language (my translation): We who came out of Unit 8200, men and women reservists past and present, declare that we refuse to take part…

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