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Settlements

TitleDescriptionDate
How `archaeological settlements` are destroying Palestinian homesMersiha Gadzo - Aljazeera - "Long, jagged cracks have formed every which way in his home - on the stairs, by the windows in the bathroom and living room, while chunks of the wall in some areas have fallen out. On the outside of the house, a 1.5-metre-long crack stretches from the ground. But his nephew`s home, located in the same building, was the most badly damaged. He was forced to move out with his wife and five children in early 2018 as the ground weakened and could barely hold the walls." - id18/7/2019
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Netanyahu`s free trade deal with South Korea would exclude West Bank and Golan settlementsStuart Winer - Times of Israel - PM Netanyahu is hoping to travel to Seoul by the end of the month to ink a Free Trade Deal with South Korea, which might be worth billions in increased Israeli exports. Reportedly, the Government of Israel has until now held back from signing this agreement because of the Koreans` insistence that it exclude enterprises located in West Bank and Golan settlements. Now, Netanyahu seems ready to give in on this point, and content himself with a face-saving clause stating that Israel`s signature of the agreement does not change the official Israeli position on the legitimacy of the settlements. Towards the September 17 repeat general elections, Netanyahu`s propaganda is focused on his foreign policy successes. It seems that being able to show the general Israeli public another such highly publicized success is worth the possible criticism which the agreement may get from the settlers. [ak] 16/7/2019
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Touring the Israeli Occupation: Young U.S. Jews Get an Unflinching ViewDavid M. Halbfinger - New York Times - Birthright Israel`s free trips have become a rite of passage for hundreds of thousands of young American Jews. But Birthright’s avoidance of the Israeli occupation of the West Bank has made it the target of angry protests by left-leaning Jewish activists. For sheer ambition, no critique has approached this week’s attempt by the liberal lobbying group J Street to map out an alternative route for Birthright’s tours. The organizers said they embraced Birthright’s goal of helping young American Jews connect with Israel and with their Jewishness, but that they also needed to be exposed to the realities of the occupation. After several upbeat days hiking in the Galilee, learning about the kibbutz movement and bonding over buffets and Israeli pop songs, the J Street cohort took a sharp left turn into territory where Birthright does not go. In the West Bank settlement of Har Gilo, they received a harsh history lesson from a veteran opponent of the occupation. Then they toured an impoverished, water- starved Palestinian village that Israeli settlers want to demolish, and visited the city of Hebron, where repeated outbreaks of violence have turned an entire Palestinian business district into a ghost town.[ak]16/7/2019
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Right wing group hangs Palestinian flags as a stunt, confuses its own founderTimes of Israel - The Right-wing group "Regavim" ("Clods of Earth") conducted a “secret campaign”, systematically hanging Palestinian flags along West Bank highways. Their aim was to alert "the residents of Judea and Samaria" (i.e. Israeli settlers) to the "Palestinian takeover" - as "Regavim" defines "The construction of thousands of Palestinian houses with European funding". However, many settlers took the hanging of Palestinian flags at face value and lodged complaints with army and police. Also the Extreme-Right Transportation Minister Bezalel Smotrich, who himself co-founded Regavim in 2006, was initially confused, issuing a statement strongly condemning "The intolerable audacity of the Palestinians who hand their flags along the highways". [ak] 9/7/2019
AG green-lights legalization of 2,000 settler homes built on Palestinian landJacob Magid - Times of Israel "After PM says he’ll regulate thousands of illegal Israeli homes built in ‘good faith,’ Avichai Mandeliblit signs off on legal tactic that allows approval. The authorization followed an earlier announcement by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s office outlining a series of measures he would take in response to a wave of terror attacks, which included the regulation of thousands of settlement homes. " ca6/7/2019
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Five Days after Demolition: Picking Up the PiecesInternational Solidarity Movement - Palestinian flags fluttered over the rubble of Mohammad al Dababsh’s home in the South Hebron Hills, this week, as local activists helped the family put up a a tarpaulin tent as a temporary shelter. Pots and pans lay scattered amongst bricks, metal and dust – the only remnants left of the two-roomed house which was demolished on Monday. The tent was cold and dark, the solar panels that once supplied energy to the house now destroyed or confiscated by soldiers. In stark contrast, the illegal settlement of Havat Maon glared in the distance. ‘The settlers have big homes, running water and electricity,’ a member of the committee told ISM. ‘This family just has a tent.’[ak] 25/6/2019
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EU legal opinion likens Israeli wine to apartheid South Africa goodsAdri Nieuwhof - Electronic Intifada - Selling settlement products as “Made in Israel” may mislead consumers and stop them from making what they consider to be ethical buying choices, a senior European Union legal official says.“Just as many European consumers objected to the purchase of South African goods in the pre-1994 apartheid era, present-day consumers may object on similar grounds to the purchase of goods from a particular country” wrote Gerard Hogan, advocate general of the Court of Justice of the European Union in an advisory opinion published last week. The opinion was part of an ongoing case, started by the Psagot Winery, located at a West bank settlment, and the right-wing Jewish communal group Organisation Juive Européenne. The settler winery asserted at the French Council of State, the country’s highest administrative court, that a EU policy requiring goods coming from settlements to be labeled as such constituted "ethnic discrimination" contrary to French law. In response, the French authorities suspended the labeling requirement and referred the case to the EU Court of Justice seeking guidance. The advocate general issued his opinion in preparation for the EU Court rendering its ruling on the case. The advocate general’s legal opinions are not binding on the EU court, but they are authoritative and are followed in the majority of cases.[ak]18/6/2019
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WATCH: What occupation looks like in the occupied Jordan ValleySocial TV/+972 - Palestinian residents of the Jordan Valley are forced on a daily basis to cope with Israel’s arbitrary military policies, from imposing restrictions on movement to home demolitions to a lack of access to water — all while Israeli settlers living on the same land face none of the same issues. [bz]11/6/2019
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Settler leader: McDonald`s boycotts settlements, keep it out of airportElisha Ben Kimon - Ynet - The head of Samaria Regional Council, Yossi Dagan, wrote a letter to the finance and transportation ministers claiming that McDonald`s Israel, under the guidance of owner Omri Padan has continuously refused to open any McDonald`s branches in the West Bank, and therefore effectively boycotting Israeli citizens. Padan was among the founders of the Peace Now movement. In response, McDonald’s Israel said the global McDonald’s headquarters did not approve branches in the West Bank. [bz]4/6/2019
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