France's far right may gain ground in the upcoming elections. French parliamentarians are hoping President Hollande acts before he must leave office in May. The French Newspaper Le Journal Du Dimanche published a letter Monday signed by over 150 French parliamentarians, in which they called on President Francois Hollande to recognize a Palestinian state. [tmwinpost] The letter comes on the heels of January's international summit in Paris, attended by representatives of some 70 countries, which sought to restart the peace process. Neither Israel nor the Palestinians attended the conference. According to the letter, "the summit provided the international community with an opportunity to reaffirm its commitment to the…Read More...
Anyone who condemns Israel's new law authorizing the theft of private Palestinian land, while forgetting the mass theft engendered by the settlement enterprise as a whole, is doing an injustice to the fight for equality in this land. The Knesset on Monday night passed the “formalization law” (also translated as the "normalization law"), which retroactively legalizes dozens of settlement outposts in the West Bank — almost 4,000 housing units. The law essentially formalizes settler theft of private Palestinian land, allowing the state to force compensation on Palestinians for land they own that has been taken over by settlers. [tmwinpost] The…Read More... | 13 Comments
An increase in building permits for Palestinian structures in Area C of the West Bank is not what it seems. It is, in fact, part of the Israeli government's process of concentrating Palestinians in order to make room for settlements to expand. By Alon Cohen-Lifshitz It's the responsibility of anyone who wants to build a house to follow the law. For any type of construction work to be carried out, one must request a permit in accordance with a detailed, approved master plan. In fact, illegal construction goes on in all areas under Israeli control. The majority of these offenses — around…Read More...
The Israeli government is working tirelessly to retroactively legalize over 100 illegal West Bank outposts. They'll probably get away with it. Is that such a bad thing? The biggest story in Israel this past week — bigger than Trump or Aleppo — was the impending eviction of the illegal settlement outpost of Amona, and parallel efforts by the Israeli government to save dozens of others from the same fate. What is an illegal settlement, you ask? Aren’t all settlements illegal under international law? Aren’t all Israeli settlements built on Palestinian land? The answer to the last two questions is yes, but the…Read More... | 6 Comments
Palestinian activists protest Israeli attempts to ‘legalize’ settlement outposts by erecting one of their own. Unlike two nearby Jewish outposts, however, the Israeli army demolishes the Palestinian camp within hours. Dozens of Palestinian activists erected an “outpost” in the Jordan Valley Thursday, in protest of recent Israeli army demolitions of Palestinian homes in the area, a marked contrast to a de facto military decision to allow the establishment of two new Jewish settlement outposts nearby. The Israeli army has not demolished either of the two Jewish outposts despite the fact that itself says they were illegally built. It only took…Read More... | 9 Comments
In their attempt to prove allegiance to the settlers, right-wing ministers are finding creative new ways of misleading the public. The controversy over the slated evacuation of a West Bank outpost reached a fever pitch this past week, with government ministers trying to outdo each other to prove their allegiance to the 50 families living in Amona, located in the heart of the West Bank. [tmwinpost] While the state promised it would evacuate Amona, built entirely on private Palestinian land, back in 2010, it has found every possible way to delay the inevitable. According to the latest High Court decision, the…Read More... | 15 Comments
The state will ask the High Court to, once again, delay the demolition of Amona. Here are a few myths surrounding one of the most stubborn outposts in the West Bank. By Yesh Din, written by Yossi Gurvitz In recent months the residents of Amona and right-wing politicians have been waging a campaign designed to prevent the evacuation of this unauthorized outpost and to continue seizing the lands that belong to the residents of the Palestinian villages Silwad, Taybeh and Ein Yabrud. However, the High Court of Justice ordered the outpost be evacuated by the end of December 2016. It…Read More... | 20 Comments
Fancy a vacation with breathtaking views of the Holy Land? Airbnb will let you rent out luxurious cottages atop barren hilltops, making no mention of the fact that they are in settlements on occupied land. By John Brown* Airbnb, it has come to our attention, enables anyone to rent rooms and vacation homes in Israeli settlements in the West Bank. Anyone who is not of Palestinian descent, of course. Without exception, the listings, some which appear to be luxurious cottages and others that are caravans sitting on barren hilltops, make no mention of the fact that they are in settlements on…Read More... | 6 Comments
One would expect the Israeli government to put an end to attacks by the settlers of Adei Ad on Palestinian civilians. In fact, it rewards them by planning to legalize their West Bank outpost. By Yesh Din, written by Yossi Gurvitz During the second Sukkot holiday and the weekend preceding it, Yesh Din investigators documented 29 incidents of assault on Palestinians and their property by Israeli civilians (note that these are only the incidents known to us). The majority of the Israeli media did not report on the incidents, which included an attempt to set the home of a Palestinian…Read More... | 8 Comments
Israel's government, economy and citizens regularly exploit everything they can from the West Bank, leaving the Palestinians the bare minimum for survival. If Israelis want change, they'll have to come to terms with reality. Contrary to popular belief, the boycott is not the greatest threat facing Israel, at least not at the moment. However, now that BDS has become a household name, it is perfect opportunity for Israelis to have an honest conversation about the occupation. As opposed to the angle being peddled by Yedioth Ahronoth — which has been leading an open campaign against the BDS movement through a series of…Read More... | 23 Comments
An Israeli settler NGO has accused the EU of illegal building in the West Bank. But the facts — and its understanding of international law — just don’t add up. By Michel Waelbroeck and Willem Aldershoff Reports started circulating before Israel’s elections that Prime Minister Netanyahu had ordered the destruction of mobile structures distributed by the EU in Area C of the West Bank. This harks back to a report in November 2014 by the Israeli NGO Regavim, which draws a shocking parallel between the EU’s humanitarian assistance to Palestinians in Area C and Israel’s building of settlements there. Assuming…Read More... | 17 Comments
Text by Keren Manor, photos by Yotam Ronen, Oren Ziv / Activestills.org Thousands gathered Thursday morning at the Palestinian Authority headquarters in Ramallah to participate in the funeral of PA minister Ziad Abu Ein. Abu Ein, who served as the Palestinian Authority's settlement minister died the previous day during clashes with Israeli soldiers near the illegal West Bank outpost of Adei Ad. Palestinian President Mahmous Abbas attended the funeral, and declared three days of national mourning. The attendees marched from the headquarters toward a cemetery in the nearby city of Al-Bireh, where Abu Ein was buried. Related: Palestinian…Read More... | 8 Comments
Through the use of civilian security coordinators in settlements and outposts, the IDF has, essentially, privatized law enforcement in the West Bank. A further aspect of this symbiotic relationship is the army's use of the coordinators to promote de facto recognition of unauthorized settler outposts. By Yossi Gurvitz, for Yesh Din Our first post about our report “The Lawless Zone” focused on the unclear relationship through which Israel effectively privatizes powers in the field of defense, law enforcement and policing, and transfers these to Israeli settlers. The security coordinators are residents of West Bank settlements who receive quasi-military powers. Although they are…Read More... | 29 Comments
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