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The world is a dangerous place to live; not because of the people who are evil,    but because of the people who don't do anything about it    

Knesset Enacts Law That Would Force Labeling of Israeli Businesses That Refuse Service to Settlements Jonathan Lis - Haaretz - An article in the amendment specifies that its purpose is to help settlers address the refusal by many business owners to cross the border out of security concerns or ideology. “It cannot be that residents of Judea and Samaria, for example, will purchase a product but never receive services or shipping for it because they live beyond the Green Line, or they will be required to pay a ‘special charge,’” said KM Moalem-Refaeli, referring to the West Bank and Israel’s pre-1967 borders. [bz]21/2/2017
Israeli authorities move to demolish entire Bedouin communityMa`an - Rights groups and Bedouin community members have sharply criticized Israel`s relocation plans for the Bedouin residing near the illegal Israeli settlement of Maale Adumim, claiming that the removal would displace indigenous Palestinians for the sake of expanding Israeli settlements across the occupied West Bank in violation of international law. Meanwhile, discussion of an Israeli bill seeking to annex Maale Adumim was postponed last month, reportedly until after Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and US President Donald Trump held their first meeting after Trump`s inauguration. The meeting took place Wednesday... [bz]21/2/2017
Netanyahu says Trump’s settlement moratorium request may preclude Amona resettlementItamar Eichner - Ynet - Speaking at a Security Cabinet meeting on Sunday, Netanyahu said President Trump’s recent request to ‘hold back’ on construction in the West Bank may impede his ability to deliver a promise to found an alternative settlement for the evacuees on the land of their choosing; Likud members fear failure to fulfill pledge could precipitate Bayit Yehudi`s exit from the government, risking its demise [ry]20/2/2017
Palestinian Jordan Valley February 7, 2017 AM and PMNurit Popper, Daphne Banai, translated by Tal Haran - Machsomwatch report - Ali lives in Ras Al Ahmar with his wife Dalal and their five children. The place is highly fertile, its ground containing plenty of water. Ali, however, may not pump a single drop. Since the region has been declared a firing zone, many generations after Ali’s family began living there, he may not even introduce a tractor to carry water and feed for his flock. For three months Ali’s tractor as well as the tractors of 6 other residents have been held by the Civil Administration. These people call me on a daily basis, desperate – these tractors are as vital to them as hands and feet. Two weeks ago they were notified of the fine they must pay. They ran to the postal bank and paid. All of them. But then the Civil Administration got clever – now they must also sign a commitment not to re-introduce tractors into the area. What can they do with the tractor if it cannot bring them water? Without water, this is no less than expulsion. It has no other name!-rh 16/2/2017
In commemoration of the Ibrahimi Mosque Massacre: #DismantleTheGhetto take the settlers out of of HebronInternational Solidarity Movement - February 25th marks the 23rd commemoration of the Ibrahim Mosque Massacre in Hebron. This year’s commemoration coincides with Israel’s unprecedented escalation in seizing Palestinian land in the West Bank for settlement expansion. This has been accompanied with ideas from Israeli ministers to construct settlements and annex most of the C areas in the West Bank. The commemoration also coincides with Israel’s increasing campaigns to Judaize the Naqab, similar to what has happened in Um Al-Hiran recently, with a general rise in the policy of demolishing Palestinian houses whether in the occupied territories or within the Green Line.-rh16/2/2017
The law to legalize settlements: Inching toward a one-state solutionYacov Ben Efrat - Challenge - "Naftali Bennett is in a hurry. Bennett`s position is crystal clear: He sees Trump`s election as a game changer, an opportunity to take a historic step toward annexing Area C of the West Bank to Israel. The Legalization Law is the key. Bennett wants Netanyahu to arrive in Washington “armed” with the law and to put Trump to the test." - id 15/2/2017
President Rivlin: "Applying sovereignty to an area gives citizenship to all those living there" Daniel K. Eisenbud - Jerusalem Post - Stating that he believes “Zion is entirely ours,” and that “the sovereignty of the State of Israel must be in all the blocs,” President Rivlin may have tested the waters for the one-state solution he has long championed.“It must be clear: If we extend sovereignty, the law must apply equally to all,” he told a packed auditorium of mostly right-wing participants. “Applying sovereignty to an area gives citizenship to all those living there.” [ak]14/2/2017
Buoyed by Trump-Netanyahu summit, ministers openly scratch annexation itchMarissa Newman - The Times of Israel - Right-wing lawmakers, policy wonks and several government ministers gathered to fete what they see as a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity created by the ascension of Donald Trump to the US presidency. Undampened by some warning signals from Trump`s White House itself, the annexationists` reached fever pitch, demanding that Netanyahu discard his declared support for the two-state solution - lip service as it is generally perceived to be. There was, however, considerable dispute about the details - especially, on which devious scheme to use in order to carry out annexation and still avoid giving civil rights to the Palestinians. [ak]14/2/2017
Berlin protesters target exploitive Israeli settler date producers BDS Berlin - Protesters picketed Fruit Logiscitica 2017, a major international agricultural fair held annually in Berlin. Visitors could not avoid the big signs held on the porch, before the entrance to the fair: "Boycott the companies which profit from Israeli Apartheid: Mhehadrin, Arava, Hadiklaim" and "Ignorance is a choice". The Israeli companies named participate in Fruit Logiscitica to promote their dates, which compete for the European consumer market. They neglect to tell visitors that most of these dates come from settlements in the Jordan Valley, part of the occupied West Bank, or that harvesting the dates is done by highly exploited, low paid Palestinian workers - many of them minors. [ak] 14/2/2017
Israeli forces deliver land confiscation notices in Ramallah-area villageMa`an - According to the Applied Research Institute - Jerusalem (ARIJ), at least 60 percent of the village is under threat of confiscation and isolation owing to the construction of Israel’s separation wall. The land confiscated by Israeli authorities has been repurposed for the construction of illegal Israeli settlements, ARIJ said. [bz for dn]12/2/2017
Some 1,000 olive trees uprooted to build bypass road on ‘Azzun village landB`tselem - [background] On 21 December 2015, the head of the Civil Administration issued an expropriation order for 10.4 hectares of land earmarked for the bypass road. The order noted that the new road will “serve the public good” and improve mobility between Nablus and Qalqilya. In March 2016, the Palestinian village councils and landowners petitioned Israel’s High Court of Justice (HCJ) against the expropriation, on the grounds that the road will not serve all residents of the area but only settlers. On 16 November 2016, the HCJ denied the petition after accepting the state’s claim that the road is intended to serve the entire population of the area. The seizure of the land and uprooting of olive trees have severely harmed the landowners, who have lost a source of income and a major financial asset, as well as an open space that served all local residents for leisure and recreational activities. [bz for dn] 12/2/2017
Israel Passes Law To Legalize Theft Of Private Palestinian Land Charlotte Silver - Countercurrents - Late Monday night, Israel’s parliament, the Knesset, approved a bill to retroactively legalize the expropriation by settlers of private Palestinian land that has taken place over the last two decades. Passed by 60-52, the so-called Regularization Bill will legalize around 4,000 settlement homes in so-called unauthorized outposts and settlements. Human Rights Watch swiftly condemned the vote, noting that the Regularization Bill “undoes years of established Israeli law and, coming just weeks after the [UN] Security Council’s unanimous passage of Resolution 2334 on the illegality of settlements, reflects Israel’s manifest disregard of international law.”.rh 9/2/2017
Palestinian historical city of Sebastia besieged by settlementsZuheir Dolah - Al-Monitor - Sebastia, the gateway of historical civilizations, is facing a future of invaders different from those in previous eras. These invaders are committing serious violations to eliminate the city’s history and impose the Jewish story on it. One of the most dangerous violations is the Israeli decision to ban the entry of foreign tourists to the land of Palestinian antiquities. To tighten the noose on Sebastia, Israel established the Shavei Shomron settlement after confiscating and controlling most of the city’s lands.-rh 9/2/2017
Israel’s New Land Law: Clearing the Path to AnnexationJonathan Cook - Counter Punch - The legalisation law – also commonly translated from Hebrew as the regulation or validation law – was the right’s forceful response to the eviction last week of a few dozen families from a settlement “outpost” called Amona. It was a rare and brief setback for the settlers, provoked by a court ruling that took three years to enforce. The evacuation of 40 families was transformed into an expensive piece of political theatre, costing $40 million. It was choreographed as a national trauma to ensure such an event is never repeated.-rh 9/2/2017
Israel`s land theft law is just the tip of the settlement icebergHaggai Matar - +972 - "...the West Bank is home to Israeli citizens who live under the Israeli democracy and enjoy all the same rights as those who live inside Israel, and alongside them Palestinians who live under an Israeli military regime. The latter group lacks basic rights, cannot choose who governs them, and their lives are determined by military laws issued by Israeli army officers." - id 8/2/2017
European Union condemns Regulation Bill in sharp statement.Itamar Eichner - Ynet - The law may provide for `legalizing` numerous settlements and outposts previously considered as illegal even under Israeli law, which would be contrary to previous commitments by Israeli governments and illegal under international law. "In passing this new law, the Israeli parliament has legislated on the legal status of land within occupied territory, which is an issue that remains beyond its jurisdiction," said Mogherini. "Should it be implemented, the law would further entrench a one-state reality of unequal rights, perpetual occupation and conflict." [bz] 7/2/2017
Palestinians in Nablus-area village say settlers cut down hundreds of olive, almond treesMa`an - The trees were planted two years after the eviction of the nearby Homesh settlement which was located in northwest Nablus. After the eviction, the Palestinian landowners obtained decisions from Israeli courts, including the Supreme Court, that neither settlers, nor Israeli forces would harass the landowners. However, in 2016 settlers started to "camp" in the area under protection of Israeli troops, making it very difficult for farmers to tend their fields and water their trees. [bz]7/2/2017
EU puts off summit with Israel over Settlement Regularization LawBarak Ravid - Haaretz/Palestine News Network - Passage of the Land Grab Law, added to the large-scale settlement construction plans announced last week, caused the cancellation of a summit between the European Union and Israel, which was due to take place on February 28 and which was to signal "a thaw" in EU-Israel relations. Following the Knesset vote, Palestinian diplomat Saeb Erekat said that if the EU would go on with plans to hold the summit it would be “rewarding Israel" and "helping to bury the two-state solution". Among the countries urging the EU to put off indefinitely the summit were France, Sweden, Ireland, The Netherlands and Finland. [ak]7/2/2017
Israel Passes Contentious Palestinian Land-grab Bill in Late Night Vote - opposition warns: bill will land Israel in The HagueJonathan Lis and Barak Ravid - Haaretz - B`Tselem condemned the bill`s passage, saying it "proves yet again that Israel has no intention of ending its control over the Palestinians or its theft of their land. Lending a semblance of legality to this ongoing act of plunder is a disgrace of the state and its legislature. Passing the bill mere weeks after UN Security Council Resolution 2334 is a slap in the face of the international community." [bz]7/2/2017
Netanyahu calls for postponing Regulation BillYoni Ariel/TPS, Elisha Ben Kimon & Itamar Eichner - Ynet - After Regulation Bill has already been postponed once before, PM Benjamin Netanyahu calls to postpone the voting on it yet again, sparking objection by its supporters and a large protest by the residents of Ofra [ry]6/2/2017
Israel’s Hard-Liners Want to ‘Go Big’: Annex a SettlementIAN FISHER - NYT - After eight years of little building, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu just allotted 100 new building units to Ma’ale Adumim, part of 2,500 new proposed housing units around the West Bank settlements, and another 560 in East Jerusalem. Mr. Netanyanu has proclaimed this as just the beginning of a new wave of building. [bz]4/2/2017
White House says new Israeli settlements `may not be helpful` AFP - "The White House on Thursday said it had not yet taken a position on the construction of new Israeli settlements, but suggested they "may not be helpful" in securing peace. "While we don`t believe the existence of settlements is an impediment to peace, the construction of new settlements or the expansion of existing settlements beyond their current borders may not be helpful," said... " ca 3/2/2017
PA challenges Israeli settlement expansion, official urges UN to interveneMa`an News Agency - "Walid Assaf, head of the PA Committee Against the Wall and Settlements said on Wednesday that a Palestinian government plan was being developed to “strengthen Palestinian determination” in Area C -- the more than 60 percent of the West Bank under full Israeli military and civil control -- and to counter Israeli attempts at annexation and settlement expansion." ca3/2/2017
Ashrawi conducts separate meetings with diplomatsPNN/ Ramallah - "PLO Executive Committee Member Dr. Hanan Ashrawi conducted separate meetings with Spanish Consul General Rafael Matos, US Deputy Consul General Dorothy Shea and Turkish Consul General Gürcan Türkoğlu.Dr. Ashrawi briefed the diplomats on the current political and regional developments, as well as Israel’s massive campaign of land theft and its enormous wave of settlement activities: “It is clear that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is creating facts on the ground and destroying the very foundations of the two-state solution and the chances for peace. We cannot afford four more years as Israel rushes to complete the unjust and illegal transformation and ethnic cleansing of Jerusalem and the final annexation of the Occupied West Bank." ca 3/2/2017
Last hard-liners evicted from illegal West Bank settlement Joe Dyke with Laurent Lozano - Arab News "AMONA, Palestine: Israeli police forced hard-line Jewish settlers from the barricaded synagogue of a wildcat outpost in the occupied West Bank on Thursday, completing an emotive battle to evict residents.The operation, by hundreds of police at the Amona outpost near Ramallah, was the final act of a drama which prompted the government to pledge building a new settlement for the first time in 25 years." ca3/2/2017
Amona`s evacuation is no victoryOrly Noy - +972 "The Israeli legal system has never been neutral in everything having to do with the settlement enterprise. It certainly does not see itself as responsible for bringing about justice vis-a-vis the settlements, and its famed judicial activism has been expressed mainly in authorizing land theft on both sides of the Green Line... But an effective struggle requires a wider strategy — one which, first and foremost, requires of us to understand our reality. In this reality, the legal system, the state, the police, and the settlers are all on the same side — and it’s not our side." ca3/2/2017
Israel’s Hard-Liners Want to ‘Go Big’: Annex a SettlementIAN FISHER - The New York Times - Ma’ale Adumim has become a flash point of the conflict between Palestinians and Israelis. Right-wing politicians, emboldened by a more sympathetic Trump administration, want to annex it to Israel proper — the first formal annexation of a settlement. Supporters of the move argue that in the long absence of negotiations, Israel cannot stand still, and Ma’ale Adumim would likely be a part of Israel in any case.-rh 2/2/2017
Israeli settlers hold 2 Palestinian teens returning home from school at gunpointMa`an News - Israeli forces and settlers detained two Palestinians teens at gunpoint on Sunday near an illegal Israeli settlement east of Qalqiliya in the northern occupied West Bank, according to reports from Israeli media, which alleged that the two Palestinians approached the settlement intending to carry out an attack.-rh2/2/2017
Two families, die-hard protesters remain in AmonaYnet reporters & Reuters - Ynet - Police plan to first evacuate the remaining families of the 40 that have been evacuated that day, followed by the evacuation of those barricaded in the synagogue. Thursday morning, Ministry of Defense officials will commence the next stage of the evacuation—pack the belongings and removing the houses. Violent clashes had broken earlier in the afternoon as hundreds of activists staged fierce resistance against thousands of policemen deployed to the outpost to implement an evacuation ordered by the High Court of Justice (HCJ).-rh 1/2/2017
Israel evicts Amona settlers as 3,000 new homes approved elsewhere Peter Beaumont - The Guardian - "Bezalel Smotrich, a lawmaker from the Jewish Home party, who went to Amona to show support, added. “There is a great pain, a huge disappointment. They are uprooting a community in Israel. It is a terrible thing.”" - id 1/2/2017
Israel Approves 3000 Colonialist Units, After One Illegal Outpost Was Scheduled For RemovalIMEMC - "The decision was officially announced by the office of Israel’s Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman, in which it confirmed the approval of the 3000 units, in direct coordination with Netanyahu." - id 1/2/2017
Hundreds infiltrate security blocks outside AmonaElisha Ben Kimon & Moran Azulay - Ynet - "Hundreds of teenagers managed to infiltrate the Amona outpost Tuesday night in a last-ditch effort to hinder the evacuation which is supposed to take place under court order no later than next Wednesday, February 8." - id   1/2/2017
British Parliament to hold debate on Israeli settlements - Feb. 9 Palestine Solidarity Campaign (UK) - On February 9, the British Parliament is due to hold a debate on Israeli settlement construction on the West Bank. Theresa May`s government had voted in the UN Security Council in favor of the anti-settlement Resolution 2334. But later on May - seeking to establish close ties with the incoming US President Trump - was manifestly lukewarm in her criticism of Israeli government policies. The PSC launced a petition, calling upon Britons to contact their MPs and urge them to "speak out about the stark impact of settlement building on Palestinian lives" and demand that the UK government "take concrete steps to cease all trade and financial ties with settlements". [ak] 31/1/2017
IDF tells Amona settlers to vacate within 48 hoursTova Lazaroff - The Jerusalem Post - The IDF ordered all residents of the illegal Amona outpost to get out within 48 hours - i.e.until February 2 - after which the area will become a Closed military zone". The settlers were taken by surprise by this order, which accelerates the timetable set by the Supreme Court. Declaring Amona to be located on privately owned Palestinian land, the judges gave February 8 as the deadline for evacuation. The Amona settlers at one stage agreed to move peacefully away, but have reneged on this promise and were reputed to be contemplating large-scale resistance by their supporters for the expected February 8 evacuation date. [ak] 31/1/2017
Netanyahu advances settlement legalization billAIC - The Israeli Prime Minister encourages the Knesset to issue a final vote on the ‘formalization bill’ as early as tomorrow [ry] 30/1/2017
Attorney general tells PM he won`t defend the Regulation Bill or Amona policyTova Tzimuki - Ynet - The Amona situation gets even more complex as the attorney general announces to the prime minister that he will not support the Regulation Bill or represent the state in its petition to the High Court of Justice in the case of the Amona evacuation [ry]30/1/2017
PHOTOS: Palestinians plant trees to defy Israeli land confiscationAhmad al-Bazz - "The activity was organized to protest against the recent Israeli military order to confiscate over half an acre of private Palestinian land for the nearby settlement of Yitzhar for “security reasons.” The order was issued on January 12, 2017, and a military watchtower was recently installed on the land.Yitzhar is known as one of the most radical West Bank settlements, and is home to Od Yosef Chai, considered the most extreme yeshiva in the occupied territories." ca 27/1/2017
Will settlement lawsuit set legal precedent?Charlotte Silver - Electronic Intifada "A lawsuit filed with Israel’s high court might open a new legal course for scores of Palestinians in the occupied West Bank who have had their land seized by the military over the last 50 years.Though Israel’s high court has a history of ruling favorably on expanding settlements, Dror Etkes, a longtime Israeli settlement researcher, promises the new lawsuit is a first of its kind that could trigger dozens more like it."ca 27/1/2017
Israel approves 2,500 settlement units in West BankPNN - Palestine News Network - "The construction was okayed by Israeli PM, Benjamin Netanyahu, and Minister of Army, Avigdor Lieberman. According to Haaretz, most of the units are located in settlement blocs, and 100 of which are located in Beit El." - id 25/1/2017
High Court freezes `Amona Deal`: setters will not be offered a new parcel of privately owned Palestinian landTovah Lazaroff - Jerusalem Post - The High Court in Jerusalem effectively put an end to the "deal" which the government offered to residents of the West Bank settlement outpost of Amona. After the court earlier ruled that the Amona settlers were illegally occupying privately-owned Palestinian land and had to vacate it, the government suggested that they move to nearby parcels of land, considered "abandoned property" under Israeli occupation law. However, the Israeli legal aid center "Yesh Din" offered proof that the plots in question were not "abandoned" but the valid property of other Palestinian owners. Thus, the court spiked the "deal". With time running out until the evacuation deadline of February 8, Netanyahu faces an onslaught by the settlers and their political allies. [ak] 24/1/2017
PHOTOS: How the state builds a road for West Bank settlersActivestills - +972 - "Israeli authorities uprooted dozens of olive trees in order to build a settler road near the West Bank city of Qalqilya on Monday morning. The Israeli army declared the area a closed military zone after the landowners, along with a number of Israeli activists, arrived in the area to protest and try to nonviolently stop the uprooting. Three of the demonstrators were arrested." - id 18/1/2017
Yesh Din group submits Palestinian objections over AmonaElisha Ben Kimon - Ynet - The process of building new homes for the evicted Amona residents began last week. Once the plots were announced, land owners had just 96 hours to petition the location of the designated land in the case that also these plots were on private Palestinian land. With Yesh Din involvement the Palestinian owners were able to petition the construction of the structures. [bz]17/1/2017
Palestinian villager and two Israeli activists detained when clinging to olive treesYa`akov Manor- Olive Harvest Coalition - Massive Israeli military forces and numerous bulldozers arrived at the Palestinian olive groves of farmers from Nabi Elias, Azun and Izbat Tabib, and embarked on mass uprooting of olive trees. Dozens of residents, as well as Israeli volunteers, scattered through the groves, clinging to olive trees in an effort to protect them from being uprooted. The army began expelling the protesters. A Palestinian villager and two Israelis were detained. [ak]17/1/2017
Israeli settlers attack Palestinian videographer of Hebron shooting in attempt to ‘silence documentation and resistance’ Sheren Khalel - Mondoweiss - Emad Abu Shamsiyah first started receiving death threats in March, after a video he filmed for Israeli rights group B’Tselem, which captured Israeli soldier Elor Azaria shooting dead Abed al-Fattah al-Sharif, 21, was released to the public. The video sparked a media frenzy surrounding the incident, and directly led to the initial indictment of Azaria. Shamsiyah has not had a good night’s rest since.-rh 12/1/2017
Moving the US embassy to Jerusalem would destroy Palestine’s hopes of justice Nur Arafeh - The Guardian - By moving the US embassy to Jerusalem, the Trump administration would not only be violating international law, it would also be denying the Palestinian right to self-determination and freedom. Since 1967, Israel has been transforming Jerusalem from a multi-religious and multicultural city into a “reunified” Jewish city under its exclusive control. It has accelerated Jerusalem’s “Judaisation” through policies that specifically aim to minimise the number of Palestinians. Such policies have included the revocation of the residency of Palestinian Jerusalemites under the pretext of “breach of allegiance”, restrictions on family unification, discriminatory urban and zoning policies, the construction of the wall that slices through Jerusalem and the West Bank, starting in 2002, and the closure of major Palestinian institutions in East Jerusalem.-rh12/1/2017
January 7, 2017 Asael, Susya, Twaneh, Umm al-KhairDavid Shulman, Margaret Olin - Touching Photographs - Asael, possibly the ugliest of all the illegal outposts in the southern West Bank—and the competition is fierce—is rapidly expanding. Yellow bulldozers, parked at the perimeter fence of the settlement, have carved out a huge swathe of intermeshed, criss-crossing gashes in the hill and valley just below. This wide, deep wound in the soil has been sliced, needless to say, through privately owned Palestinian land. We know the families. We’ve plowed here, on the edge of the outpost. There have been many bad moments with the Asael settlers, the ones we can see this Shabbat morning walking their dogs over the hill or praying to their rapacious god or swinging their children on the swings in the painted park just under their pre-fab caravans.-rh11/1/2017
New Year, New Settlement Outpost, New DemolitionMadeeha Araj - Palestine News Network - "Recently, it has demolished 11 houses and an animal husbandry barn in Al-Khan Al-Ahmar area east of Jerusalem at “Wade Snisl” and “Be’er Al-Maskob, known as area “E1” where more than 200 people, most of them children and women were displaced." - id 11/1/2017
`Israel must build and build in Judea and Samaria after Trump takes office` says Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked Jeremy Sharon - Jerusalem Post - Two senior figures in the coalition, Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman and senior Likud MK Tzachi Hanegbi objected however saying that unilateral steps without coordination with the Trump administration could be diplomatically dangerous. Liberman also referred to the Settlements Arrangements Law. Its approval in its first Knesset reading had been “one of the straws that broke the back of the US president [Barack Obama].” - “Because of this law we were attacked in the UN Security Council." [bz]10/1/2017
Soldiers use force on non-violent protest against illegal West Bank outpostsHaggai Matar - +972 "Dozens of Palestinian and Israeli activists gathered in the Jordan Valley, West Bank, on Thursday morning in order to protest the establishment of new illegal outposts in the area. The demonstrators, from joint Arab Jewish activist group Ta’ayush, were forcefully dispersed by Israeli soldiers, who fired tear gas at them. The outposts remained where they were." ca6/1/2017
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