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Settlements

TitleDescriptionDate
Military colludes with settler incursions and itself intensifies house demolitions Ta`ayush - Report of the between November 15-22, 2020 in the Occupied Territories: Cases of explicit cooperation of the Civil Administration, Israeli army and police with incursions of settlers from their outposts into Palestinians’ lands and homes in the South Hebron Hills – while the pace of demolitions of Palestinian structures and property throughout Area C and East Jerusalem is steadily growing; a Palestinian activist was wounded on Friday by Israeli army fire during a violent dispersion of a protest demonstration against a new settler outpost in Samiya, in the West Bank hill range, and a paramedic was detained; activists from Palestine, Israel and abroad took part in tree planting in the lands of Sa’ir and Shuyukh, close to the settlement ‘Asfar’.26/11/2020
Mike Pompeo makes unprecedented visit to Israeli settlementsOliver Holmes - The Guardian - Trump’s top diplomat becomes first US secretary of state to officially visit a settlement [ry] 23/11/2020
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Settlers resort to open theft and robbery Ta`ayush - The settlers intensify their looting and robbery activities: 20 sheep stolen from Palestinian shepherds near the Tayibe junction were delivered to the settler-colony ‘Rimonim’ on the West Bank hill range – settlers stole equipment worth tens of thousands of NIS from Turmus Aya and left the graffiti “The People of Israel lives!” – and at Tel Rumeida in Hebron settlers were documented stealing the Palestinian inhabitants’ harvest of olives; more demolitions by the Israeli occupation forces in East Jerusalem; volunteers worked during the weekend to repair demolition damages in Humsa, in the Palestinian Jordan Valley; activists helped a Safa inhabitant harvest his groves bordering on ‘Bat Ayin’, under threats of the Israeli army and the settlement’s security official. [ak]18/11/2020
Reassured by Biden Win, Palestinians Will Resume Cooperation With IsraelDavid M. Halbfinger and Adam Rasgon - New York Times - Palestinian leaders had abundant reasons to resume cooperation with Israel and few reasons not to. Their banks, whose liquidity had been depleted by the self-inflicted cash crunch, had informed them they could no longer lend the Palestinian Authority money, endangering its ability to operate. International donors, chiefly in Europe, had been insisting that the Palestinians resume accepting the tax transfers from Israel before seeking further aid. Israeli and Palestinian experts also said that Democrats seeking to facilitate a return to a peace process under Mr. Biden have urged the Palestinians to take specific steps to show that they will not be obstructionist if the new administration engages on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. [bz]18/11/2020
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EU Mission Visits Site of Planned Israeli Settlement Expansion; Heckled by Right-Wing IsraelisIMEMC - Seeking to use the last months of the Trump Presidency to create some more "accomplished facts", the Israeli authorities announced the intended construction of 1257 new settler housing units at the highly contentious Givat Hamatos site in East Jerusalem. As pointed out by Peace Now, the new construction would complete the encirclement of the Palestinian Beit Tsafa and entirely cut it off from the West Bank. In cooperation with Peace Now and other Israeli civil society organizations, an extensive EU delegation visited the site - including representatives from Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Malta, Netherlands, Poland, Spain and Sweden - as well as from the non-EU Norway and Switzerland. Speaking for all of them, Sven Kühn von Burgsdorff, said the proposed settlement, “forms part of a worrying trend where Israel continues its policy of advancing settlements in the occupied Palestinian territory”, and that "it would cause serious damage to the prospects for a viable and contiguous Palestinian State. More broadly, it will threaten the viability of a negotiated two-state solution, in line with the internationally agreed parameters and with Jerusalem as the future capital of two states.” As they were leaving the site, they were confronted by a ban of extreme right Israelis, accusing them of being "antisemites" and asserting that the land scheduled for settling was "Jewish land according to the Bible". In accordance with diplomatic protocol, the EU representatives declined to debate with them. [ak] 18/11/2020
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November 6, 2020. Harat Makhul. Humsa al-Foqa. David Shulman - The rains have come in force, the hills are muddy, and there is food for the goats and sheep. Over morning tea in Makhul we get the weekly litany of hurts. Walid—still a boy—was out alone with the herd, and settlers came and beat him. It’s really dangerous to be alone on the hills. A large posse of settlers attacked Qadri and several others; there were two broken legs. A few days earlier, settlers killed Qadri’s uncle’s cow. At Ibziq the army confiscated 21 Palestinian tractors, private vehicles, and water tanks. It’s hard to survive in the Jordan Valley without a tractor. At Ein Sukut there was the murdered sheep I wrote about in my last report. It goes on and on. No day passes without violence, insult, and hurt. The rains have come in force, the hills are muddy, and there is food for the goats and sheep. Over morning tea in Makhul we get the weekly litany of hurts. Walid—still a boy— was out alone with the herd, and settlers came and beat him. It’s really dangerous to be alone on the hills. A large posse of settlers attacked Qadri and several others; there were two broken legs. A few days earlier, settlers killed Qadri’s uncle’s cow. (rh) At Ibziq the army confiscated 21 Palestinian tractors, private vehicles, and water tanks. It’s hard to survive in the Jordan Valley without a tractor. At Ein Sukut there was the murdered sheep I wrote about in my last report. It goes on and on. No day passes without violence, insult, and hurt.15/11/2020
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Official annexation deferred - de-facto annexation creeps and gallops Two-State Index - Geneva Initiative - Renewed effort by Trump administration to erase Green Line: US moves to allow taxpayer money to be spent in settlements and takes action to predetermine final status of Jerusalem New announcements of Israeli settlement expansion in the West Bank: Promotion of almost 5,000 housing units makes 2020 a record year, while Trump administration enables US taxpayer money to be spent in settlements Israel and Sudan agree to normalize ties: US-brokered pact, along with prior UAE and Bahrain deals, leads to further shift in Israeli attitudes on peace Palestinian economic crisis in the West Bank continues: Effects of the coronavirus pandemic and resulting lockdown, along with continued refusal of tax revenues, wreaking severe economic damage. Poll shows rise in Israeli support for a single, undemocratic state [ak] 3/11/2020
West Bank Palestinians` olive trees burn as U.N. urges protection for harvestReuters/Ynet - In normal years peace monitors accompany the farmers to protect the harvest. But the coronavirus pandemic has made this harder. Some Israeli activists are still deploying. "With COVID-19 it is impossible for foreigners to come, harder for Israelis," said one activist, Guy Butavia. Olive farmers in areas near some Israeli settlements say they face problems each year. "When we try to reach our fields, the army protects the settlers and prevents us from accessing our olives," said Adnan Barakat, council head of Burqa village, near Ramallah. In Burqa, Israeli settlers "stoned and physically assaulted Palestinian olive pickers on three occasions, triggering clashes." [bz] 30/10/2020
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Friedman: US-Israel ‘righting old wrongs’ by extending W. Bank agreementsLAHAV HARKOV - Jerusalem Post - Netanyahu and Friedman signed new versions of three agreements on research cooperation, which erase a line that says "cooperative projects sponsored by the Foundation may not be conducted in geographic areas which came under the administration of the Government of Israel after June 5, 1967, and may not relate to subjects primarily pertinent to such areas.” [bz]28/10/2020
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October 18-24, 2020 - in the Occupied Palestinian TerritoriesTaayush - Also this week settler attacks against Palestinian olive harvesters, with the robbing of olive crops and heavy damages to olive trees, and the ongoing harassment and chasing away of shepherds from their grazing grounds. The army demolished structures in the South Hebron Hills and in the northern Palestinian Jordan Valley, in the Bethlehem district, in Qalqiliya and Beit Iqsa. A new settler outpost was established on "antenna hill", on the lands of Birin village. Activists accompanied shepherds on Saturday at Umm Al Amad, and helped with the olive harvest at Susya. To join Ta`ayush this Saturday call 055-2770168 [bz]27/10/2020
Exclusive: Documents reveal decades of close cooperation between JNF and EladUri Blau - +972 magazine - The Sumarin family has long been a symbol for the struggle between Palestinians and Israeli settlers over the East Jerusalem neighborhood of Silwan. Located next to Al-Aqsa Mosque and sharing a fence with the City of David, an archaeological site and Jewish tourist attraction, the Sumarin home has been the target of an eviction legal battle since the early 1990s, led by the Jewish National Fund (JNF). Recently, however, the struggle over the Sumarin home has exposed an even deeper story. In August, it was unveiled that Elad, an organization that promotes Jewish settlement in East Jerusalem, has been advancing the case in the Israeli courts from behind the scenes. As international public pressure has mounted on the JNF over the slated eviction, the relationship between Elad and the JNF appears to have soured. It was even reported last week that some inside the organization are trying to pull the plug on the cooperation with Elad around the Sumarin home. Yet the Sumarin case is only the tip of the iceberg. (The detailed article appears with an abundance of documents.) [bz] 20/10/2020
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Israeli municipality of West Jerusalem intends to demolish 13 Palestinians houses in East JerusalemWAFA - The municipality ordered the demolition of the houses under the pretext they were built without a permit, but there are in the same area of Silwan equally unauthorized houses taken over and illegally inhabited by Israeli settlers, but none of them received demolition orders... [bz]20/10/2020
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Settlement Under the Guise of Tourism: The Elad Settler Organization in SilwanPeace Now - Tourism and archaeology have become central to Elad’s operations and they in fact constitute another type of settlement. In addition to the legitimacy that the tourism enterprise provides Elad, it also allows Elad to change the facts on the ground, making Silwan much more “Israeli.” Through tourism, Elad is able to bring hundreds of thousands of Israelis as visitors to Silwan and tell the story of the area as they see it. bz13/10/2020
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October 4-10: The never-ending story, settler harassments all over the West Bank Taayush - Gangs of settlers, massively aided by Israeli soldiers and police,attacked Palestinian shepherds, farmers and property throughout the West Bank this week: 6 olive harvesters attacked in Huwarra were wounded, and the olive grove set on fire; The Israeli army hurled teargas canisters to protect an incursion of settlers into the Palestinian village of Bourin, where two children were hurt and homes were damaged; an entire olive grove was destroyed in Qawawis; settlers` dogs caused destruction and death in a flock of sheep near Umm Zaitouna, and the person  arrested and still under arrest is the attacked Palestinian shepherd; an incursion by  settlers into a privately-owned Palestinian land in the village of Deir Istiya, where they rebuilt a ‘wading pool’ at the same spot where the Civil Administration had demolished their previous attempt – ended with the arrest of the Palestinian landowner and an activist who accompanied him; all this happened behind the silence curtain of the Israeli media, who have consistently ignored all the reports from the ground.[ak]  13/10/2020
Palestinian Shot Dead by Israeli Soldiers near TulkaremIMEMC / the Jerusalem Press - Three Palestinians were shot by Israeli forces east of Tulkarem. Two of them managed to flee the scene, but the third died shortly after being shot. The dead man was identified as Samir Ahmad Hmeidi, 28, a university student and former political prisoner, from Beit Lid, who had spent three years in Israeli prisons. According to the Israeli army communique, the three "terrorists" were shot while throwing Molotov cocktails at an army post, established to protect the nearby Israeli settlement of Einav. The communique noted with relief that no Israeli soldiers were hurt. [ak] 6/10/2020
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Israel to Advance Plans for 4,400 New Settlement HomesDave DeCamp - Anti War - A settlement freeze was rumored to be a part of Israel’s deal to normalize relations with the UAE and Bahrain, but the advancement of settlements shows this is not the case. Reports from September said it is Israeli Defense Minister Benny Gantz who pushed for new settlements, in an apparent effort to gain support among disgruntled Netanyahu supporters. [bz] 6/10/2020
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Ariel U. study rejected because author refused to remove `written in Israel`Tzvi Joffre - Jerusalem Post - Dr. Mindy Levine from Ariel University submitted a paper to the science journal "Molecules", giving her address as "Ariel, Israel". A group of chemists from around the world noted Ariel is located in occupied territory and not in Israel. The group is led by Prof. George Smith, winner of the 2018 Nobel Prize in Chemistry, and Prof. Malcolm Levitt, a fellow of London`s Royal Society. The editors of "Molecules" asked Levine to remove the word Israel from the address at the head of the study, and at her refusal the journal canceled publication of the study. “All that was asked of Dr. Mindy Levine was that she be more exact with facts. Ariel is not part of the State of Israel. That is not a political statement, it is a simple fact,” said Gush Shalom movement spokesman Adam Keller. “Ariel is not part of the State of Israel, not according to international law and also not according to the laws of the State of Israel itself.” A full legal process, including a decision by the government and the passing of an annexation law by the Knesset, would need to be carried out for Ariel to be considered part of Israel. “A process such as this has never been carried out concerning Ariel”. [ak]6/10/2020
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