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Israel Plans Massive Expansion of West Bank Colonial Settlements: 3,829 New Units

Business  (tags: settlement expansion-construction, stolenPalestinian land annexations, settlements illegal, zionism-colonialism, zionism-ethnic cleansing of Palestine, world, israel, middle-east, media-news, International Law, usa, Palestine, Refugees&Relief, activism )

- 255 days ago -
The expansion plan follows a number of Israeli directives to take over more Palestinian land in the West Bank, including Jerusalem, in direct violation of international law, following Donald Trumps December 6


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fly b (26)
Friday January 5, 2018, 3:57 pm
Israel Plans Massive Expansion of West Bank Colonial Settlements: 3,829 New Units

In a report by the Israeli Channel Two news, the Israeli government plan was revealed, to give final approval to 3,829 new colonial settlement units next week. The expansion plan follows a number of Israeli directives to take over more Palestinian land in the West Bank, including Jerusalem, in direct violation of international law, following Donald Trump’s December 6th claim that ‘Jerusalem is the capital of Israel’.

Israeli Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman issued a statement Thursday that Israel should seize this moment to take over as much land as they can, calling on the government to “approve new programs for the planning and sale of housing units in all parts of the West Bank.” The statement added that this expansion is “part of the policy of Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman to strengthen settlement in [the West Bank]”. Lieberman said Thursday the government will soon be announcing bids for the construction of 900 new units in Ariel colony and 1145 units in several other West Bank colonies.

Lieberman is known as an extreme right politician who began as a night club bouncer and colonial settler who was arrested as an adult for beating a 12-year old child. As a politician, he called for the cleansing of Palestinians so that Israel could forcibly expand its territory onto Palestinian land.

According to Yisrael Hayom, the 3,829 new units expected to be approved will include projects in Ariel, Beit El, Tzofim, Rehalim, Nogohot, Hevron, Givat Zeev, Tekoa, Kfar Etzion, Avnei Hefetz, Nofim, Kochav Yaakov, Har Bracha, and Maaleh Michmas.

Other media sources have reported that construction has been confirmed for the following units:

Ariel, 9 units

Eliezer, 11 units

Peza’el, 55 units

Hinnanit, 79 units

Susiya, 30 units

Ma’ale Adumim, 44 units

Kfar Adumim, 381 units

Givat Ze’ev, 196 units

Beit Arye, 8 units

Ma’on, 27 units

Karmei Zur, 120 units

Oranit, 212 units

Zufin, 72 units

Metzad, 16 units

Efrat, 66 units

The units are set to be approved by the Israeli Civil Administration Higher Planning Committee, which will meet next week to give the final approval.

Although more than 600,000 Israelis have moved into colonial settlements over the past 25 years, up to this point most settlements were constructed illegally, without Israeli government approval. Once a colony establishes itself and gains a foothold on a site, the Israeli authorities will then provide plumbing, electricity and roads. This is the usual process whereby Israel acquires Palestinian territory in the West Bank – but Thursday’s announcement will allow a rapid expansion of Israeli colonies without the colonizers having to go through the process of constructing illegally and then getting approval.

In a video statement, Israeli Prime Minister addressed the paramilitary settler colony in “From Beit El will come forth Torah and good tidings – the message of the return of the people to its land, the message of settlement. I will give you more good tidings. Very soon another 300 housing units will be approved, as promised,” Netanyahu said in a video message to residents.

Trump’s envoy David Friedman has long been a fan of Beit El settlement, a religious colony constructed on Palestinian land near Ramallah. According to the Jewish ‘Forward’ magazine, “Beit El was founded in 1977, by adherents of the Gush Emunim, or Block of the Faithful movement, who believed they were fulfilling God’s promise by settling the West Bank, which Israel captured from Jordan in 1967. Beit El was the “Mayflower” of the West Bank, said Bobby Brown, a settler and political commentator. Like the English pilgrims to the New World, the settlers saw themselves as pioneers who were charting a course that would change history. They were drawn in particular to the hill outside Ramallah believed to be the site of the biblical patriarch Jacob’s dream. The first 30 families moved to a military outpost near the site, which was built on private Palestinian land seized by the Israeli government.”

All Israeli settlements are considered illegal under international law, and under Israel’s obligations as an occupying power under the Fourth Geneva Convention.

Kathleen Mireault (210)
Friday January 5, 2018, 4:09 pm
Grimly S&N. Thx Jess. Damn the F***ing crooks!

fly b (26)
Friday January 5, 2018, 4:14 pm
Jerusalem still speaks Arabic.

It doesn't matter where anyone builds their diplomatic palaces. Jerusalem still speaks Arabic. I've heard her.

Hundreds of restaurants offer falafel, hummus, shawarma, pomegranate juice, and knafeh. Believe me. I've tried them all. But there aren't any delis. No corned beef sandwiches on rye. No bagel shops. No lox. Don't get me wrong. All those things are delicious. They're just not there. Because Jerusalem eats rice and yogurt with every meal. She uses bread as a spoon. She checks her teeth for leftover tabbouli. She's an Arab.

Certain aromas waft through the air. Cumin. Coriander. Nutmeg. Cinnamon. Turmeric. Sumac. Allspice. Those spices don't come from Poland and Brooklyn. Her women push their herbs in her markets. Thyme. Sage. Basil. Mint. Lots of mint. Those herbs don't come from Russia and Miami Beach. I've hung out with her. She drinks coffee that's almost too strong for human consumption. She eats parsley-infused meats. She sweats garlic like the rest of us. She's an Arab.

It's easy to get confused in her alleyways. They meander every which way, twisting and turning, each corner bringing a new little journey. But if you ask for directions from one part of the Old city to another, her children will just tell you, "Just go straight." Jerusalem is still an Arab. I promise you.

Look in her closets. She collects ornately embroidered gowns.
Visit her weddings. She "changes the light bulb" when she dances.
Go out to dinner with her. She fights over the bill.

Talk to her for more than five minutes. She asks you if you're married. And if you're not... Well, then prepare yourself for a much longer, and quite uncomfortable, conversation.

She wears a keffiyeh. Sometimes it's because she's protesting. And sometimes it's just to keep warm.

When she has some time for herself to listen to some music, she sings along with Fairouz, Abdel Halim, and Um Kalthum.

Jerusalem's been Arab for 1400 years. Crusader campaigns tried to change her. It didn't work. Israeli colonization, settlement, and profanity have tried to change her. They've failed terribly. Some stuttering speech about an embassy won't succeed either.

She's been through decades of foreign occupation, more than once. She has suffered the attempted theft of her heritage. She has watched the dispossession, expulsion, and looting of her children's lives, homes, and histories. She has even endured the propaganda that she still solely belongs to someone who doesn't remotely understand the beautiful creature she grown into today. Yet, despite these attempts to defeat her, Jerusalem still speaks Arabic. With a Palestinian accent.

She's one of us. Don’t worry. She can handle this.

Beverly D (12)
Friday January 5, 2018, 5:17 pm
As much as I love Israel - In my opinion this is a despicable act against Palestine! Noted!

fly b (26)
Friday January 5, 2018, 9:09 pm
video ~ Irish Minister Advocates Palestinian State, Calls for Boycott of Israel.
January 5, 2018

Irish Minister Finian McGrath has expressed support for boycotting Israel over “unfair” treatment of Palestinians. Reported the Irish Examiner.

The Irish Independent politician, who has served as Minister of State for Disability Issues since May 2016 made his comments following Trumps declaration of Jerusalem being the capital of Israel and after threatening to cut off aid to UNRWA, the main UN agency established in 1949 to provide relief assistance to millions of Palestinian refugees.

In a recent interview with The Irish Examiner McGrath was critical of the US role in inciting violence in the area, and expressed that his views are shared by many Irish citizens.


Talking about an Irish prioritization of a Palestinian state in 2018, McGrath said, “It is something that we all feel very strongly about and that is something that I put into the program for government.”

“We want to make sure that that message goes to the United Nations and we are advocating that at the UN and that is our position. It is non-negotiable; it is a very important issue for us.”

He also advocated for boycotting Israel until they comply with international law:

“I don’t like boycotts in my heart because I prefer dialogue and interaction but I think we have reached the stage now and particularly in recent weeks now where [Donald] Trump and the Israelis were saying that Jerusalem will become a capital of Israel. And that has provoked me, that has provoked me very seriously.

“So my personal view is we have to start looking at the whole economic sanctions area now because it just is unfair. The vast majority of the international community, they want to see Palestine recognized, they want to seem treated with respect and their human rights recognized and that’s not going to happen, so I think we have to up it a gear.

“But we have to up it a gear at the UN and at the EU. But also in relation to if it comes to it [boycotting] I will support it.”

McGrath’s determination to declare a Palestinian state in 2018 is shared by other Irish Ministers, such as Tánaiste Simon Coveney, Minister of Foreign Affairs, who declared that Trump’s decision was “premature and ill advised”.

“Jerusalem is one of the permanent status issues which is to be settled in a final peace agreement in the Middle East. It has been the united position of the international community for decades, as set out in UN Security Council resolutions, that a resolution of the Middle East conflict will include agreement for Jerusalem to be the capital of both Israel and the future state of Palestine,” Coveney said to the Irish Times.

Animae C (506)
Friday January 5, 2018, 9:10 pm

TY Jess

fly b (26)
Friday January 5, 2018, 9:18 pm
Israel to Seize Equipment Used on Worksites without Permits.
January 5, 2018

Israel has illegally notified construction companies in the Naqab (Negev) region that they must, themselves, verify that every project in which they are involved has been approved by authorities, and warned them that equipment and vehicles used in unauthorized construction will be confiscated.

Adalah – The Legal Center for Arab Minority Rights in Israel sent a letter to the Israeli National Planning and Construction Enforcement Unit demanding it cancel notices specifying that construction material suppliers and owners or drivers of construction vehicles are obligated to verify in advance that “construction projects” – defined to include even minor works such as digging a hole – for which they have been contracted to work have received authorization from the relevant Israeli authorities.

Article 218 of the Kaminitz Law, approved by the Knesset in April 2017, grants inspectors the authority to confiscate construction equipment if “the inspector has reasonable grounds to assume that unauthorized construction work is taking place before him.”

The amendment to Planning and Building Law – 1965, also known as the Kaminitz Law, is intended to increase the “enforcement and penalization of planning and building offenses.” However, it will have a disparate impact on Arab citizens of Israel because it fails to take into account the decades of Israeli confiscations of Arab lands and systematic discrimination in land planning and allocation that has resulted in a severe housing crisis in Arab communities throughout Israel.

Adalah Attorney Myssana Morany wrote, in her letter, that the National Planning and Construction Enforcement Unit had inaccurately interpreted Article 218. Indeed, the article specifies that it is not enough that an inspector has “reasonable grounds” to assume that a construction violation is taking place, but rather that the inspector must witness this violation taking place with his/her own eyes.

“The purpose of this authority [granted to inspectors] is strictly to prevent continued construction violations as they occur,” Adalah Attorney Myssana Morany wrote, in the letter.

The Israeli Attorney General has already declared that confiscating construction equipment is “a drastic law enforcement step and this authority must therefore be used very carefully… [and] upon consideration of the question of proportionality and the possibility of preventing the violation via other, less damaging, means.”

Adalah stresses that the notices issued to construction-related businesses in the Naqab region constitute a blatant abuse of authority and are legally baseless.

“Ultimately, all [these notices] do is intimidate people and mislead them into believing that building suppliers are legally obliged to verify that construction work is conducted with construction permits,” Attorney Morany wrote.

Evelyn B (61)
Saturday January 6, 2018, 3:31 am
"Israel should seize this moment to take over as much land as they can,"

This is part of what Trump has effectively endorsed, guaranteeing additional impunity. :>(

Thanks, Jess

Darren Woolsey (218)
Saturday January 6, 2018, 5:28 am
Shared ALL articles over social media to raise and spread awareness.

Sue H (7)
Saturday January 6, 2018, 10:15 am
Outrageous injustice. :(

fly b (26)
Saturday January 6, 2018, 10:32 am
Evelyn, posted the text. Please note and share!!

What Happened When a Jewish Settler Slapped An Israeli Soldier.

Darren Woolsey (218)
Saturday January 6, 2018, 1:24 pm
Spam flagged

fly b (26)
Sunday January 7, 2018, 5:24 pm
US Palestine Solidarity: Reviving Original Patterns of Political Engagement.
January 5, 2018

The past decade has seen major shifts in Palestinian and Palestine solidarity activism in the US. Many of these changes both inform and are caused by the explosion of awareness of the Palestinian struggle. However, Palestine’s newfound popularity does not necessarily translate into more political power or better conditions for Palestinians.

The wins that Palestinians and Palestine solidarity activists have achieved have been grounded in the academic and cultural boycott of Israeli institutions. These efforts have largely been stimulated by the work of student divestment movements that have led student representatives to vote to withdraw university investments from companies profiting from the Israeli occupation.

It is a matter of debate whether these wins are the fruit of Palestinian collective labor in the US or of the growing US Palestine solidarity movement, or of both. The US Palestine solidarity movement is less of a movement and more of a loose network with little structural and political centrality. However, the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) principles have established a consistent reference for allies and are legitimized by international law.

Much of the success of Palestinians’ and Palestine solidarity activists’ work has relied on showing how varying dimensions of the struggle in Palestine symbolize oppression in global contexts—a “joint struggle” approach. This work re-grounds Palestine within the framework that was operative prior to Oslo, in which Zionist repression in the Occupied Palestinian Territory could be linked to forms of oppression impacting communities of color, indigenous and immigrant groups in the US, and Third World people globally.

It was not until 2013 that larger and more mainstream Palestine solidarity institutions responded to calls for a broader joint struggle framework and strategy.

Policy Recommendations
•Palestine solidarity organizers should get clear on what Zionism is and limit engagement in Zionist rhetoric, exceptionalism, and funding in the movement’s collective organizing spaces. The movement’s activists should also fully articulate how Zionism hurts communities beyond Palestinians. They would do well to deepen a focus on the role of Israel in worldwide repression in order to strengthen a global movement that is anti-Zionist.
•The Palestine solidarity movement and its allies stand to achieve wins by working on local campaigns for sanctions that link the oppression of Palestinians to the role that the Israeli arms trade and security training programs play in local US municipal politics and militarized policing systems.
•Palestinians and Palestine solidarity activists must articulate the relationship between Palestine and the War on Terror as well as the connection between the US racialization of affected communities and the Arab homeland.
•Re-kindling the bonds of Palestinian peoplehood must be a critical component of the strategies of all Palestinian organizations. At the same time, solidarity organizations should offer support, resources, skill-sharing, and more to Palestinian collectives as a contribution to the overall movement.

fly b (26)
Sunday January 7, 2018, 5:29 pm
US Palestine Solidarity: Reviving Original Patterns of Political Engagement.
Loubna Qutami

"The severity of injustice for Palestinians as the occupation has intensified and war has swept through the region is now broadcast through new alternative and social media outlets accessible to the public."

fly b (26)
Wednesday January 10, 2018, 9:39 am
Foreign Minister says Israeli settlement plans have a US green light.

RAMALLAH, January 10, 2018 (WAFA) – Foreign Minister Riyad Malki said on Wednesday that Israeli announcement of plans to build 1285 new settlement units in the occupied West Bank was one outcome of US President Donald Trump's recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, which gave Israel the green light to do whatever it wants with the Palestinian land.

Malki told Voice of Palestine radio that the Israeli decision was also a result of the international community’s failure to hold Israel accountable for its acts, particularly with regard to settlement construction.

He expressed concern that the international community is currently afraid to take a stand on settlements because of US threats to cut aid to states and organizations who speak against Israeli policies.

Malki said that the Palestinian leadership cannot rely on anyone anymore because of the US threats, yet it will continue to struggle against Israel’s ongoing violations on the political, diplomatic and legal fronts.

He said a meeting of Arab foreign ministers will be held on the 31st of this month to determine the next Arab move regarding Trump’s announcement and Israel’s measures, explaining that the last foreign ministers meeting in the Jordanian capital, Amman, was for consultation purposes.

fly b (26)
Sunday January 14, 2018, 8:39 pm
Palestine is still the issue. (Darren's post).
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