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settlement construction

  • Settlers illegally expand West Bank race track in IDF firing zone

    Since +972 Magazine visited the site earlier this year, the track has been paved — despite an Israeli army order to stop construction. The Israeli military often uses firing zones to displace Palestinians. Israeli authorities have continued illegally building a state-of-the-art race track in the West Bank, despite IDF stop-work orders issued earlier this year. [tmwinpost] In February, +972 Magazine reported that the track was being constructed just north of the Petza’el settlement in the Jordan Valley area of the West Bank, on a large tract of land near Wadi al-Ahmar and Route 505. The only catch: the track is…

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  • Half a century of occupation threatens our international legal order

    Israel's policy of cherry-picking legal obligations vis-a-vis Palestinians undermines the credibility of our legal order established in the aftermath of World War II. This could have dangerous implications for the rule of law beyond the region. By Gerard Horton On June 7, 50 years ago, Israeli military forces occupied the West Bank and imposed martial law over the Palestinian population living in the territory. At the time, this measure was legal under the Fourth Geneva Convention (the Convention) which permits the use of martial law under specific circumstances and on a temporary basis. To this day, the military authorities continue to…

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  • For settlers, there's no reason not to break the law

    How Israeli authorities avoid their duty to indict settlers who build illegally on other people's land. By Yossi Gurvitz/Yesh Din In August 2009, the residents of Kfar Aqeb, a Palestinian village near Ramallah, noticed 12 illegal structures being built on their land near the settlement of Kochav Ya’akov. The residents urgently petitioned the High Court of Justice, assisted by Yesh Din, demanding the court order an immediate halt to the construction. What happened next is a microcosm of the behavior of the law enforcement apparatus in the occupied Palestinian territories. [tmwinpost] The IDF's Civil Administration issued work stoppage orders on…

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  • The U.S. isn't going to do a damn thing to end the occupation

    As long as Washington views ending the occupation as an Israeli problem instead of a Palestinian problem, it will never even consider using its leverage to do so. The United States issued an unusually sharp rebuke on Wednesday to news that Israel is building a brand new settlement in the West Bank. The State Department sounded mad. The White House sounded mad. Nobody is going to do anything about it. [tmwinpost] It’s not that the United States is powerless in the face of an Israeli government that for nearly four decades has refused to heed Washington’s and the entire international…

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  • Illegal settlements aren't rogue, they're government policy

    Consecutive Israeli governments have fabricated a sophisticated system designed to lend a guise of legality to the seizure of land in the West Bank. By Adam Aloni A month ago, with nearly no public debate, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu retroactively approved an urban building plan (UBP) for the West Bank settlement of Itamar. A week later, on October 29, Netanyahu retroactively approved UBPs for another three settlements: Shvut Rachel, Sansana and Yaqir. Once again Israeli authorities “laundered” construction in the West Bank that even they deemed illegal for years. Contrary to attempts in the media to represent this move as…

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  • When Israel recruits Palestinian informants, Arab society pays the price

    With every wave of political tension, Israel recruits new Palestinian informants en masse. They are resettled in Arab cities, where their presence prompts violence rates to surge. In fact, many will be murdered before even 'making it.' By Makbula Nassar (translated by Gila Norich) Aouni, who owns the neighborhood grocery in Haifa, wants me to talk on my radio show about the collaborators roaming free and unfettered through the streets of the city. But he wants to be featured anonymously, much like the pseudonym Aouni, which I have assigned him here. “I’ll send you everything in writing,” he says. “Why?”…

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  • Michael Oren's diplomatic psychobabble

    Does the former Israeli ambassador really think that an imaginative psychoanalysis of Obama can explain away Netanyahu's annexationist policies? By Aviad Kleinberg Michael Oren blames President Barack Obama for ruining relations with Israel, after the latter broke two sacrosanct rules that Oren himself came up with: that the United States and Israel should not have public disagreements, and that no steps should be taken to publicly embarrass the other side. [tmwinpost] Oren is aware, of course, of the fact that successive Israeli governments (read: Netanyahu's governments) have openly opposed U.S. policy (for instance vis-a-vis the Iranian nuclear deal), that every so often those…

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  • The economic costs of military rule

    Israelis cannot treat the occupation as something that merely affects them in the eyes in the world while their economy keeps paying a heavy price for its continuation. By Shlomo Swirski and Yarom Hoffman Dishon The social-economic cost of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is spoken about far less than the human cost or the price Israel pays on an international level. And when the social-economic costs do get brought up, the leaders of the economy always stress that this is a relatively small price to pay that have a short-term negative effect on the market. This position only lends to the…

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  • Israel issues E. J'lem settlement tenders as violence spikes

    Pisgat Ze'ev is one of Israel's 'ring neighborhoods,' separating Palestinian East Jerusalem from the rest of the West Bank. Settlement watchdog says tenders could not have been published without Netanyahu's approval. The Israeli government published tenders for 77 new housing units in the settlements of Pisgat Ze’ev and Neve Yaakov in occupied East Jerusalem Monday morning. The tenders follow a six-month gap in published settlement plans for the Palestinian part of Jerusalem [tmwinpost] The move comes against a backdrop of a spike in violence in the area. A Palestinian teenager was shot dead by a checkpoint security guard at a-Zayim…

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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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  • The Israeli government's election gift to West Bank settlers

    Netanyahu tells supporters at a settlement campaign event that Israel will continue to build in the West Bank, as his Likud party competes with more hawkish parties for settler votes. Erekat calls for boycott, divestment in response. Less than a month and a half before general elections, the Israeli government published tenders for 430 new settlement homes in the occupied West Bank on Friday. The move could be interpreted as a gift of sorts to the right-wing electorate as the ruling Likud party fights for votes with the further-right Jewish Home party headed by Naftali Bennett. While Netanyahu has ruled…

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  • Naftali Bennett’s annexation plan: A report card

    Before he was Minister of the Economy, Naftali Bennett was a Knesset hopeful whose plan to annex the majority of the West Bank shook the political establishment. Two years later, it's worth seeing just how much he has gotten done. By Joel Braunold When Naftali Bennett first entered the coalition, I wrote of his plan to create a de facto one-state solution. Now that the current government is in its final days, it is worth taking stock of his progress and looking at what his plans are for round two. Strengthening the belief in the supremacy of claims to the…

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  • Bennett is not the problem

    American administrations have a tendency to blame the 'radical' settlers for torpedoing peace missions. The real problem, however, is with the 'moderates' who are complicit in maintaining the status quo.  There is a lot of talk in some circles about Naftali Bennett’s appearance at the Saban Forum last weekend (video below). Bennett, who heads the Jewish Home party and is the star of the Israeli Right, took to the stage with former special envoy to the peace process Martin Indyk. Bennett essentially declared that Israeli will never accept the two-state solution, that there will be no more “land for peace”…

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