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Settlements

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Sens. Sanders, Warren call for ‘restricting’ US aid to Israel at J Street confabJacob Magid - Times of Israel - At the J-Street conference, Prominent progressive senators Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren both call for restricting US aid to Israel, so that such assistance should not be allowed to bankroll Israeli policies in the West Bank that damage prospects for a two-state solution. “If we’re serious about arresting settlement expansion and helping move the parties toward a two-state solution, then it would be irresponsible not to consider all of the tools we have at our disposal,” Warren told J Street. “One of those is restricting military aid from being used in the occupied territories. By continuing to provide military aid without restriction, we provide no incentive for Israel to adjust course,” she added. from being used in the occupied territories. By continuing to provide military aid without restriction, we provide no incentive for Israel to adjust course,”. For his part, Sanders also declared himself in favor of the US using its aid as leverage. “I strongly believe that we must also be willing to bring real pressure to bear, including restricting US aid, in response to moves by either side that undermine the chances for peace,” he said. “The truth is that the United States gives an enormous amount of military aid to Israel. It also provides some humanitarian and economic aid to the Palestinians. It is totally appropriate for the United States to say what that aid may and may not be used for,” Sanders argued. “In terms of aid to Israel, in my view, the American people do not want to see that money being used to support policies that violate human rights and treat the Palestinian people as second-class human beings,” he added.Both Warren and Sanders called on Israel to do more to ensure that Palestinians are vaccinated. “Jewish settlers in the West Bank are receiving vaccinations, while few Palestinians have any access to life-saving shots,” Warren said. [ak] The term used was “restricting”, rather than "conditioning” - a term used by several left-wing candidates during the recent US presidential campaign, including Sanders and Warren. The earlier term implied that some or all of the $3.8 billion in aid that the US has agreed to give Israel over a 10-year period should potentially be withheld based on actions taken by the Israeli government. In shifting to talk of “restricting” aid, progressive Democrats, with J Street’s backing, are not calling to limit the amount of already- agreed-upon aid, but are rather seeking greater control of how it may and may not be used.21/4/2021
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Canada`s New Democratic Party calls for boycotting settlements, stopping arms trade with Israel Michael Bueckert - Canadians for Justice and Peace in the Middle East (CJPME) - The policy convention of the New Democratic Party voted for “ending all trade and economic cooperation with illegal settlements in Israel-Palestine,” and “suspending the bilateral trade of all arms and related materials with the State of Israel until Palestinian rights are upheld.” These resolutions were adopted by an overwhelming 80% majority. [The NDP is not in a position to itself gain power in Canada, but on various past occasions it held the balance between the mainstream Liberal and Conservative parties and may do so again. ak] 15/4/2021
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Thieves in the nightGush Shalom - All this happened on Holocaust Memorial Day. Not that the thieves saw anything wrong with that… [bz]14/4/2021
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‘The settlers brought caravans and put them on a hill next to us’Basil al-Adraa - +972 - Israel makes it easy for settlers to take over our land. Meanwhile, Palestinians who`ve lived here for generations are attacked and evicted [ry] 12/4/2021
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KKL-JNF leadership approves purchase of West Bank land for isolated settlementsThe Times of Israel - Board to vote on controversial policy change next week; in February, KKL-JNF allocated $11.58 million for purchase of West Bank land [ry] 12/4/2021
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JNF to Vote on West Bank Land Purchases – Even at Isolated SettlementsHagar Shezaf, Allison Kaplan Sommer, Judy Maltz - Haaretz - The proposal to be voted on Sunday adopts the opinion of retired Judge Yosef Alon, who says the JNF can operate in the West Bank (...) The organization’s center-left factions have submitted an opposing opinion. They are pinning their hopes on the board, where in addition to political parties, organizations such as women’s groups Na’amat and Hadassah are represented. A Meretz representative, Dror Morag, has asked Labor Party leader Merav Michaeli to convince Na’amat, which is linked to the Labor movement, to vote with the left-wing factions. [bz]8/4/2021
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Video of the settler takeover in Silwan Hanthala News Agency - Watch: Israeli settlers accompanied by police take over several Palestinian-owned buildings in the neighborhood of Silwan in occupied Jerusalem, early dawn today. [ak]8/4/2021
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East Jerusalem: Jewish Settlers Seize 15 Palestinian Homes in Silwan - on Holocaust Memorial DayChannel 7 / Palestine Chronicle - Jewish settlers seized 15 Palestinian houses in the occupied East Jerusalem district of Silwan, Israel’s Channel 7 reported. According to the channel, the settlers placed Israeli flags on 15 houses in Silwan after the Ateret Cohanim organization seized them and handed them to settler families. Ateret Cohanim is a government-backed Jewish group and educational institute located in the Muslim Quarter of the Old City of Jerusalem. It actively works on Judaising the holy city and expelling its indigenous Palestinian residents from their homes. [Probably, Ateret Cohanim saw nothing wrong with implemeting this act on Holocaust Memorial Day, as they recognize no racism other than that directed at Jews. [ak] 8/4/2021
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Settlers filmed pelting Palestinian man with stones in West BankThe Times of Israel - Masked residents of Esh Kodesh outpost assail man in his 50s, beat him with a stick, according to Yesh Din rights group [ry] 5/4/2021
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Israeli Colonists Bulldoze Palestinian Lands Near BethlehemIMEMC News - "Omar al-Qaisi, the owner of the bulldozed lands, said dozens of colonists, accompanied by soldiers invaded his property and started bulldozing it in preparation for a segregated agricultural road" [ry] 5/4/2021
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US: It`s our longstanding position that the West Bank is occupiedTovah Lazaroff - The Jerusalem Post - The Biden administration on Wednesday clarified that it considers the West Bank to be occupied territory, but ducked a question as to whether it held that settlements were illegal. "It is a historical fact that Israel occupied the West Bank, Gaza, and the Golan Heights after the 1967 War," Said State Department spokesperson Ned Price. The question arose because the 2020 Country Reports on Human Rights Practices - the first published since the inauguration of President Biden - retained some of the terminology adopted under Trump."In fact, the 2020 report does use the term `occupation` in the context of the current status of the West Bank," Price said. "This has been the longstanding position of previous administrations of both parties over the course of many decades." When asked if the Boden Administration, unlike its predecessor, considers Israeli settlements to be illegal, Price avoided a clear answer, saying instead that "We – as you have heard me say before – we continue to encourage all sides to avoid actions – both sides, I should say – to avoid actions that would put the two-state solution further out of reach. Again, our ultimate goal here is to facilitate – to help bring about – a two-state solution because it is the best path to preserve Israel’s identity as a Jewish and democratic state while bestowing on the Palestinians their legitimate aspirations of sovereignty and dignity in a state of their own," he said.[ak]1/4/2021
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Army Closes Archeological Site In SebastiaIMEMC / Israel National News - Israeli soldiers closed, for the second consecutive day, the archeological site in Sebastia, in order to allow visits by settler groups. Sebastia Mayor Mohammad Azem, said dozens of settlers, accompanied by soldiers invaded the site after the soldiers closed it off to Palestinians. According to the Oslo Agreements, Sebastia is in the B Area, where Palestinians have control of civil affairs - placing the site under the Palestinian Antiquities Authority. However, settlers lay a claim to the site as having Biblical connotations, as they claim other sites which have a real or spurius connection to Jewish history. According to the settler-run "Israel National News", the army initiated an extensive program to open archeological sites all over "Judea and Samaria" to visits by settler groups during the Passover holiday, Sebastia prominent on the list. Not mentioned in the military communique is the fact that settler "visits" to Sebastia are often accompanied by soldiers violently invading Palestinian homes and detaining activists. The army and settlers also habitually remove the Palestinian National Flag flown on the ruins by the Palestinian Antiquities Authority - which is flown again as soon as settlers depart. [ak]1/4/2021
No Academic Business As Usual with Ariel University -- hundreds of academics supporting the Palestinian call on `Horizon Europe` Petition - noarielties.org - "Respecting international law, as a peaceful and universal means of conflict resolution, requires denying recognition to, and severing institutional relations with Ariel University as an illegal settlement institution." Among the signatories are more than twenty professors and lecturers of Israeli universities. [bz]1/4/2021
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This Is Ours – And This, Too : Israel’s Settlement Policy in the West BankB`Tselem & Kerem Navot - "The State of Israel is enforcing a regime of Jewish supremacy in the entire area between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean Sea. The fact that the West Bank has not been formally annexed does not stop Israel from treating it as if it were its own territory" [ry] 29/3/2021
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Israelis hold elections and Palestinians also hold elections - but is this democracy?Salem Barahmeh - The Guardian - For the first time in decades, the Palestinian Authority (PA) and Israel will hold legislative elections a few months apart. Many in the international community and media will see this as a joint exercise in democracy but it is, in fact, a window into the reality of a two-tiered system that denies Palestinians the basic freedom and rights that many across the world take for granted. Drive across the winding roads of the West Bank this spring and you will see election posters interrupting the beautiful landscape of olive and almond trees. Upon further inspection, you may soon realise that the candidate advertised is not an eager Palestinian campaigning for a parliamentary seat. It is likely to be an Israeli candidate running for the Israeli Parliament. This raises a very valid question: why are Israelis campaigning in the West Bank, the territory designated by international law and consensus to become part of a future Palestinian state? Israel occupies and controls the entirety of the West Bank and has de facto annexed large portions of it through the settling of 650,000-750,000 Israelis on Palestinian land. Under the Rome statute of the international criminal court, a settlement enterprise of this nature is not only illegal but also considered a war crime. Yet these illegal settlers are able to run, campaign, and vote in Israeli elections and have come to occupy the position of king-makers in Israeli coalition-forming. [ak] 18/3/2021
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Netanyahu pledges to legalize West Bank settler outposts if re-electedTovah Lazaroff - The Jerusalem Post - "I swear to you: If I create a strong right- wing government without a rotation, I will take care of the settlements and the authorization of the young settlements [outposts]" [ry] 15/3/2021
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If you are a settler, you can run your car over sheep with impunityTaayush - A settler from ‘Maskiyot’ rode his car into a flock from En Hilwa, running over 4 sheep and wounding another 15 – but was not arrested; violent attacks against Palestinians by Jewish Purim celebrants in Jerusalem; house demolitions and confiscations on a large scale continue throughout the Occupied Territories; gangs of settler s with the active help of Israeli army and police were busy this week too with incursions into tended Palestinian fields, blocking roads, chasing away Palestinian shepherds from their own grazing grounds, cutting down olive trees and attacking Palestinians and their property; the Jerusalem District Court rejected an appeal by Palestinian inhabitants of Sheikh Jarrah to repeal their eviction from their homes by Jewish settlers.[ak]11/3/2021
Defense Minister Ganz: Hundreds of Israelis may face prosecution at the International Criminal Court Yonah Jeremy Bob - Jerusalem Post/Reuters - International Criminal Court Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda is opening a full war crimes probe against Israel and Hamas. "The decision followed a painstaking preliminary examination undertaken by my office, lasting close to five years. Our central concern must be for the victims of crimes, both Palestinian and Israeli, arising from the long cycle of violence and insecurity that has caused deep suffering and despair on all sides. My office will take the same principled, non-partisan, approach that it has adopted in previous cases." The Government of Israel voiced vehement protest, frustrated in its hope that Bensouda - soon to end her term as ICC prosecutor - would leave the decision to her successor and that he could be persuaded to stop the investigation. Defense Minister and Acting Justice Minister Benny Gantz alarmed government officials when he warned that hundreds of Israelis could be subject – in the near future – to war crimes probes by the International Criminal Court. Gantz called that “an estimate,” declining to say that Israel had drawn up a list of officials likely to be investigated.[ak]3/3/2021
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Can Silwan’s rekindled protests beat back Israel’s eviction threats?Oren Ziv - +972 - A Palestinian activist feels energized by Israeli activists joining the neighborhood`s struggle. Still, there is little hope that the courts will stop the settlers` eviction campaign. The Legal and Administrative Matters Law of 1970 stipulates that Jews who owned property in East Jerusalem and lost it during and following the 1948 war can demand it back from the Custodian General. Meanwhile the Absentees’ Property Law of 1950 decrees that Palestinians who fled or were expelled during the 1948 would not be entitled to return to the properties they lost in the exact same war... [bz] 3/3/2021
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No drinking water left - the army confiscated all water tanksTaayush - The Humsa community in the northern Palestinian Jordan Valley was left without drinking water as the Israeli army confiscated all water tanks, as well as 18 structures donated after previous demolitions – at the very same time, the Regional Commander passed the time of day meeting settlers in ‘Ma’oz Esther’, an illegal outpost; activists are urgently needed for preventing settlers’ daily incursions with their flocks into tended Palestinian fields near Tayibe Junction; the army violently dispersed protest demonstrations in Salfit and Hebron; settlers celebrated Purim with curses and death threats at Palestinians in Susya; during a house demolition in ‘Issawiya, a policeman shot a Palestinian activist and wounded his belly. [ak]3/3/2021
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