Netanyahu Pushes Annexation Plan as New Elections Loom

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu

 December 8, 2019

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Sunday touted his plan to annex a swathe of the occupied West Bank and Israeli settlements in a last-ditch effort to prevent another general election.

“It’s time to apply Israeli sovereignty over the Jordan Valley and legalise all the Judea and Samaria settlements, those that are in settlement blocs and those outside of them,” he said, using the biblical term for the West Bank.

“They will be part of the ‘State of Israel’.”

Netanyahu announced in September, a week before general elections, that he planned to annex the Jordan Valley, which accounts for around a third of the West Bank, if re-elected.

His Sunday remarks, at a conference organized by rightwing newspaper Makor Rishon, came alongside an appeal to rival Benny Gantz to form a unity government and save the time and money involved in elections.

“I have offered to Benny Gantz to join a unity government and today too I’m telling him to join a unity government with me,” Netanyahu said.

“It’s not too late.”

Source: AFP

Israel to ‘double’ number of settlers in al-Khalil with new project

Sunday, 01 December 2019 2:29 PM


US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)

A picture taken on December 1, 2019 shows the settlement of Negohot (R), located near the Palestinian village of Beit Awwa (L), in the Israeli-occupied West Bank. (By AFP)

Israel has announced a controversial plan to construct a new settlement in the heart of the West Bank city of al-Khalil (Hebron) that will purportedly accommodate as many settlers as are currently housed in the city.

Israel’s Minister for Military Affairs Naftali Bennett announced the decision on Sunday, saying he had ordered officials to notify the al-Khalil municipality of the decision to build the new Israeli settlement, which is planned to be constructed in a wholesale market complex.

The planned project will “double” the number of Israeli settlers in the city, Bennett said.

Al-Khalil (Hebron) is a flashpoint of clashes between Palestinians and Israeli settlers.

Hundreds of Israeli settlers, backed by tens of thousands of soldiers, occupy significant parts of the city center.

An Israeli settler looks over his flock as they feed in the West Bank village of Beit Awwa, southwest of al-Khalil (Hebron), on December 1, 2019. (Photo by AFP)

The Israeli settlers and forces harass the Palestinians in the city on an almost daily basis.

The announcement comes at a time of political turmoil in Israel, after general elections in April and September that ended in a deadlock. Neither Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu nor his main opponent has managed to secure a parliamentary majority.

Bennett’s New Right party is leaning heavily on settlers for support at the polls, as the prospects of a third snap election looms large.

More than 600,000 Israelis live in over 230 settlements built since the 1967 Israeli occupation of the Palestinian territories of the West Bank and East Jerusalem al-Quds.

The United Nations Security Council has condemned Israel’s settlement activities in the occupied territories in several resolutions. Less than a month before US President Donald Trump took office, in December 2016, the Council adopted Resolution 2334, calling on Israel to “immediately and completely cease all settlement activities in the occupied Palestinian territories, including East Jerusalem” al-Quds.

Palestinians want the West Bank as part of a future independent Palestinian state with East Jerusalem al-Quds as its capital.

دعماً للأسرى والمحررين المقطوعة رواتبهم وسبيلاً للتحرير ورفضاً لاستمرار الفلسطينيين تحت العبودية

دعماً للأسرى والمحررين المقطوعة رواتبهم وسبيلاً للتحرير ورفضاً لاستمرار الفلسطينيين تحت العبودية

نوفمبر 28, 2019

دعا رئيس الهيئة الشعبية العالمية لعدالة وسلام القدس الأب مانويل مسلم جميع الفلسطينيين للعصيان المدني، دعماً للأسرى المحررين المقطوعة رواتبهم وسبيلاً للتحرير.

وقال مسلم في مقطع فيديو نشره مساء أمس: «أيها الفلسطينيون اصرخوا فإن الأمم جميعاً أداروا أعينهم وآذانهم نحو بيت لحم وفلسطين، هذا زمان الصراخ فاصرخوا في آذان العالم، وهذا زمان الغضب فاغضب يا شعبي واشتدّي يا سواعده».

وطالب مسلم «بإشعال الثورة والمقاومة للظلم والظالمين وقرارات السجن التعسفية والتوقيف الإداري وسجن النساء والأطفال وقطع رواتب السجناء والمعارضين للنظام الشيطاني القائم».

وقال: «إن نور شجرة الميلاد وآلام الأسرى المحررين المضربين عن الطعام والماء أرسلت إليكم أيها الفلسطينيون شرارة تشعلون بها نيران شجاعتكم، «وتقولون للاحتلال وللعالم وللسلطة لا للاستمرار تحت العبودية، فبين العبودية والموت لا خيار لنا».

وتابع «الله أكبر على مَن طغى وتجبّر على الأقصى»، موجهاً التحية باسم المسيحيين للأسرى البواسل والأسرى المحرّرين المضربين عن الطعام وسط رام الله.

بدورهم، أضاء الأسرى المحررون المقطوعة رواتبهم شجرة «عيد الميلاد» على ميدان الشهيد ياسر عرفات وسط رام الله بناء على طلب الأب منويل مسلم، ودعوا الفلسطينيين لزيارتها.

ويواصل المُحررون المقطوعة رواتبهم في الضفة الغربية إضرابهم عن الطعام والماء لليوم الثاني على التوالي، بعد أن كانوا مضربين عن الطعام فقط ومعتصمين لنحو 40 يومًا على دوار الشهيد ياسر عرفات، في محاولة منهم للوصول إلى حل نهائي لقضيتم العالقة منذ سنوات.

وهاجمت عناصر ملثمة من الأجهزة الأمنية في مدينة رام الله الاعتصام فجر الثلاثاء واعتدت عليهم، ثم ألقت بهم في منطقة الطيرة بعد هدم خيامهم وإزالة مقتنياتهم، متذرعة بأن الإخلاء لإفساح المجال لاحتفالات عيد الميلاد.

Image result for ‫الصهيوني محمود عباس‬‎

Related Videos

‘Israel’ Bombs Gaza After Anti-settlement Protests Across Palestine

‘Israel’ Bombs Gaza After Anti-settlement Protests Across Palestine

By Staff, Agencies

‘Israeli’ warplanes carried out fresh airstrikes on the Gaza Strip after Palestinians in the blockaded enclave and the occupied West Bank marked a “day of rage” in protest against the US’s contentious declaration of support for the regime’s land grab policy.

The Zionist military said its warplanes had hit a number of targets belonging to the Hamas resistance movement in southern Gaza late Tuesday night and early Wednesday, including one site “for the production of arms.”

The statement claimed that the strikes were carried out in response to the rockets that were fired from the Strip toward the occupied territories.

Relatively, an ‘Israeli’ army spokesperson said two rockets were fired from Gaza on Tuesday. He added that sirens went off in Ashkelon in the aftermath of the rocket fire, sending tens of thousands of settlers into shelters.

Prior to the air raids, Zionist Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu warned Gaza-based resistance groups against firing rockets into the ‘Israeli’-occupied territories.

Related Videos

Related News

Palestinian Prisoner Detained by «Israel» Dies after Cancer Battle

Palestinian Prisoner Detained by «Israel» Dies after Cancer Battle

Palestinian Prisoner Detained by «Israel» Dies after Cancer Battle

By Staff, Agencies

A Palestinian prisoner died Tuesday in “Israeli” custody after battling cancer, the “Israeli” entity’s prisons service said, ahead of demonstrations in the occupied West Bank planned before his death.

The protests, dubbed a “day of rage” by organizers, are against the US announcement last week that it no longer considers “Israeli” settlements in the West Bank to be a violation of international law, reversing four decades of American policy. The protests were also set to call for Sami Abu Diak’s release.

In a statement, the entity’s prison service said Abu Diak, 35, died in an “Israeli” hospital early Tuesday while serving three life sentences.

The Palestinian Authority and Abu Diak’s family had asked for his release to allow him to die at his family’s side, but “Israeli” officials denied the request. The Palestinians also reached out to European countries and the Red Cross to apply pressure on the “Israeli” entity to release him.

Previous deaths of terminally ill Palestinian prisoners have sparked protests and accusations of medical negligence by “Israeli” authorities.

Tuesday’s protests were called before Abu Diak died. The demonstrations were set to protest the Trump administration’s embrace of a hardline “Israeli” view on settlements at the expense of the Palestinian quest for statehood.

Schools, universities and government offices will close their doors just before midday and rallies will be held in city centers around the “Israeli”-occupied West Bank, with marches expected to move to “Israeli” checkpoints where confrontations with “Israeli” security forces are expected.

“Israel” welcomed the US decision last week, while Palestinians and other nations warned that it undercut any chance of a broader deal.

The Palestinians and most of the world say the settlements undermine hopes for a so-called two-state solution by gobbling up land sought by the Palestinians. The “Israeli” entity says the fate of the settlements should be determined in negotiations, even as it steadily expands them.

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo had announced that the US was repudiating the 1978 State Department legal opinion that held that settlements in the occupied territories are “inconsistent with international law.”

See also


«Israeli» Ex-Soldiers Depict Life in IOF: Troops Are «Drunk On Power and Boredom»

«Israeli» Ex-Soldiers Depict Life in IOF: Troops Are «Drunk On Power and Boredom»

By Staff, The Guardian

Former “Israeli” soldiers depict their life in the military; day-to-day memories of their time in the military that continue to jolt them in post-army life. Regular house searches, arrest and hours at checkpoints fill their minds when they look back and wince.

When several dozen ex-combatants were asked about a time that most affected them, former First Sergeant Omry Balely remembered weeks of boredom at a roadblock near the parched Palestinian city of Ariha [Jericho].

“The general feeling was that it was a quiet and very safe area,” he says. “When you’re at a checkpoint, you’re in a daily routine of controlling the lives of other people. Who enters and who doesn’t is in your hands – a 19-year-old kid with power.”

They would get agitated and taunt the Palestinians, denying entry or exit to those who said the “wrong” thing, or cuffing one to a barrier for having incorrect documentation. Looking for amusement, his unit handwrote bogus VIP permits for the Palestinians who crossed regularly. They were legally meaningless but added some fun to the long hours in the sun.

Once, an older man in his 50s arrived. He had one of these paper VIP permits, but that day, he came with a donkey. “Where was the donkey’s VIP pass? the soldiers demanded.

“We all laughed at the situation, including the Palestinian,” says Balely, now 30. “But looking back a few years later, I realize what being drunk with power combined with boredom can do to you. You toy with the life and livelihood of a person for entertainment.”

Testimonies like these from 52 “Israel” Occupation Forces veterans are being displayed this month at a gallery in Tel Aviv alongside their portraits for an exhibition called EXPOSE[D]. For a decade, Quique Kierszenbaum, a news photographer and journalist, has been documenting those who agreed to speak out about the abuses they saw and often perpetrated. He did this with the help of Breaking the Silence, a not-for-profit organization founded in 2004 that has been collecting personal military stories, hoping it will show the public the reality of everyday life for Palestinians.

The whistleblower organization, widely derided in “Israel”, says abuse is systematic and institutionalized – an unavoidable part of five decades of occupation – rather than the rare the rare anomalies that such incidents are often explained away as. To date, Breaking the Silence has meticulously collected testimonies from more than 1,200 soldiers, although the vast majority do not have their identities revealed. This has led to the army and others questioning the accuracy of their accounts.

Yehuda Shaul, an ex-combat soldier, was one of the group’s founders and still runs it. His portrait forms part of the exhibition, one of the first people Kierszenbaum photographed. The accompanying text is a story he has shared for more than a decade, from his time in the early 2000s during the street fighting of the second intifada.

“I would shoot directly at Palestinian neighborhoods using a grenade launcher in response to Palestinian fire towards the [Jewish] settlements in the city,” the text reads. “It’s clear to me that many civilians were hurt by this fire. We did it without any identification of the sources of shooting from the Palestinian side.” A decision was later made to carry out what he calls “deterrent firing”, shooting every day before the Palestinians had even started attacking.

Trump Accepts Israeli ‘Realities on Ground’ – Realities Funded by His Administration

Image result for Trump Accepts Israeli ‘Realities on Ground’ – Realities Funded by His Administration
Finian Cunningham 
November 21, 2019

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo this week announced yet another radical shift in Washington’s policy towards the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, by way of saying that the United States “was accepting realities on the ground”.

What the mendacious and cynical Pompeo omits to add is that the Trump administration has been dramatically fueling the change in “realities” – specifically the expansion of illegal Israeli settlements on Palestinian territory and the demolition of Palestinian homes.

This week the top US diplomat declared that Washington would no longer adopt the international consensus position, backed by several UN resolutions, that Israeli settlement-building and occupation of Palestinian territory was a violation of international law. Washington is henceforth recognizing Israeli settlements as legitimate.

The move overturns more than four decades of official US policy which adhered to the UN-backed position of condemning Israeli occupation in the Palestinian West Bank and in East Jerusalem as illegal and a violation of the Geneva Convention.

Since the 1967 Six War, successive Israeli governments have overseen a relentless process of annexing Palestinian territory. Over that period, Palestinian lands have diminished and become increasingly fragmented with little contiguity that would be normal for a future state. There are estimated to be around 200 Israeli new-build settlements of towns and villages with a population of 600,000 Jewish settlers who have usurped Palestinian land and properties. The UN has repeatedly condemned the annexation and occupation as illegal, to no avail.

The latest move by the Trump administration is a flagrant repudiation of UN resolutions and international law. It follows previous declarations by President Trump recognizing Israeli claims to Jerusalem as its capital, as well as Israel’s annexation of Syrian territory in the Golan Heights.

“Calling the establishment of civilian settlements inconsistent with international law has not advanced the cause of peace,” said Pompeo on Monday. “The hard truth is that there will never be a judicial resolution to the conflict, and arguments about who is right and who is wrong as a matter of international law will not bring peace.”

That is an astounding dereliction of international law by the American government. The “hard truth” that Pompeo ignores is that US administrations have constantly undermined “judicial resolution of the conflict” because they have, to varying degrees, over the decades pandered to Israeli criminal occupation of Palestinian lands.

What the Trump administration is doing is not entirely unprecedented. Successive American presidents have merely paid lip service to a supposed peace process between Israelis and Palestinians, declaring their support for a “two-state solution” and presenting Washington as some kind of “honest broker”. The reality is that Washington has consistently undermined Palestinian national rights by its systematic bias towards Israel, indulging the latter’s criminal policies of occupation and military aggression towards Palestinian population.

However, Trump and his coterie of Middle East aides have taken the American bias and complicity with Israel to naked levels. Part of that is no doubt payback for the multi-million-dollar funding of Trump’s 2016 election campaign by Jewish-American billionaire and arch-Zionist Sheldon Adelson.

Israeli peace groups have recorded a surge in Israeli expansion of settlements across the West Bank and East Jerusalem over the past three years of the Trump administration. Demolition of Palestinian homes by Israeli bulldozers are at a record high.

There is an imperative business reason for this. President Donald Trump has personally invested in Israeli settlements, as have his ambassador to Israel David Friedman, and the White House’s special envoy to the region, Jared Kushner, Trump’s son-in-law.

One of those settlements is at Beit El which is described as “one of the most aggressive” in terms of expansionist scope. It overlooks the Palestinian city of Ramallah in the West Bank which is supposed to be the administrative seat of the Palestinian Authority.

Trump, Friedman and the Kushner family have in the past funneled millions of dollars into Beit El and other Israeli settlements. In return, Israeli financial companies have made huge investments in Jared Kushner’s family real-estate business back in the US. For example, Menora Mivtachim, a pension and insurance firm, invested $30 million in apartments in Maryland owned by the Kushner family.

Jared Kushner officially stepped away from his family’s property conglomerate when he was appointed by his father-in-law as special envoy on the Middle East “peace process”. But few would believe his future wealth will not benefit from investments in and from Israel. He is still a beneficiary of trusts that have holdings in Kushner properties, notes Haaretz newspaper.

It seems incredible given this blatant conflict of interest that Kushner has been tasked with producing a “peace plan” for the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, which Trump had previously boasted about as being the “deal of the century”. That plan has since wilted to non-existence. The media don’t even talk about its expected publication, so far off the radar is it.

The latest move by the Trump administration to effectively reward and accelerate further Israeli occupation of Palestinian territory has American self-interest and profit written all over it. It mirrors Trump’s declaration in March this year recognizing the Golan Heights as Israeli territory, where there is irrefutable evidence that Trump and the Zionist clique in the White House have major business interests in oil exploration and production in that contested region.

Russia warned this week that Washington’s policy is inflaming further conflict amid an intensification of air strikes by Israel on Gaza where more than 30 people have been killed over the past week, including one Palestinian family of three adults and five children. The bloodshed makes Pompeo’s announcement all the more repulsive.

The Arab League and the European Union have also condemned the unilateral rejection of international law by the US. Jordan, Egypt and other Arab states said the United States has forfeited its right to act as a peace broker in the region.

The “reality on the ground” – to use a talking point favored by Israeli leader Benjamin Netanyahu and now Mike Pompeo – is that the US is an accomplice in Israel’s illegal occupation and war crimes. Even more heinous, the US policy is being driven by Trump’s family business profits.

%d bloggers like this: