Israel’s moral claim to land comes from the Bible and not Google, Israeli Communications Minister Tzahi HaNegbi said in Washington this week, at an event supporting placing the West Bank settlements within the final borders of the Jewish state. He spoke on Tuesday at an event hosted by the Council of Jewish Communities of Judea and Samaria to mark the upcoming 50th anniversary of the Six-Day War, titled “Celebrate 50 years of rejuvenation in Judea and Samaria”. Israel has got the control of the Area C and this is very important for the nation. Deputy Foreign Minister Tzipi Hotovely said there were three quick arguments for placing Area C of the West Bank within Israel’s borders, all of which centered around the word “just” and which mentioned Israel’s victory in the Six Day War. The occupation is a myth, and ISrael never occupied other people’s land. Judea and Samaria are Jewish land and should be an Israel land said the Foreign Minister. Finally Area C of the West Bank is outside the boundaries of sovereign Israel, but is under IDF military and civilian rule. The Palestinians believe that it is part of their future state. The Israeli politicians spoke out as the Trump Administration is in the midst of attempting to break the three-year deadlock on the peace process between Israelis and Palestinians.
The Israeli Planning and Construction Committee Wednesday approved the construction of 770 housing units in the illegal Gilo settlement in the south of Jerusalem in the occupied West Bank, according to Israeli sources. Rachel Greenspan, a spokesperson for the Jerusalem municipality, told Ma’an that the building plans were approved in 2013, and were “currently undergoing routine processes of allocation regarding roads and public spaces.” Greenspan added that the municipality “continues to work according to the city’s master plan and will continue to develop Jerusalem for the benefit of all residents, Jewish and Arab alike.”
Israeli forces on Friday fired tear gas canisters and other “non-lethal” crowd dispersal means at Palestinians and their homes in the village of Beit Ummar in the occupied West Bank district of Hebron after clashes broke out between Israeli soldiers and Palestinian youths, causing tens of Palestinians to suffer tear gas suffocation. Local activist Muhammad Ayyad Awad told Ma’an that the clashes broke out between Palestinian youths and Israeli soldiers who fired soundbombs and tear gas canisters into the community, while Palestinian youths responded by throwing rocks and empty bottles at Israeli forces.
Facing a court-ordered evacuation, residents of the settlement outpost of Amona in the West Bank are digging in for a fight to the finish. Vowing fierce but nonviolent resistance, they have built shelters, bathrooms and a large kitchen to host thousands of supporters they hope will join them in their struggle to stay put. With the December 25 evacuation date approaching, Israel’s pro-settlement government is scrambling to find a solution, fearing a repeat of the violent showdown between extremist settlers and security forces that took place on this same wind-swept hilltop a decade ago.
Hundreds of Israeli soldiers and Border Police officers were taking part in a training exercise this week at an IDF base in southern Israel ahead of the evacuation of the West Bank outpost of Amona, set for later this month. The training was conducted at the Tzeelim base in the Negev Desert. Simulations of various scenarios included the forcible evacuation of people passively resisting and violent reactions as well. The troops and officers also trained for a possible need to cordon off the illegal outpost to secure the evacuation, which is expected to take place before or on December 25, a deadline set by the High Court in a ruling determining it was built on privately owned Palestinian land.
Israeli forces detained at least 12 Palestinians during overnight and predawn military raids and operations between Monday and Tuesday across the occupied West Bank. Israeli forces conduct night raids across the occupied Palestinian territory on a near-daily basis. According to UN documentation, the Israeli army carried out 252 military detention raids between Nov. 15 and Nov. 28. According to prisoners rights group Addameer, 7,000 Palestinians were held in Israeli prisons as of October. The organization estimates that 40 percent of Palestinian men have been detained by Israel at some point in their lives.
For the first time, Israel on Monday refused entry to a supporter of the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) campaign, Hebrew language media reported. Isabel Piri, from Malawi, arrived at Ben Gurion International Airport as a tourist, but was refused entry as information available to immigration control showed Piri was active in the World Council of Churches, which supports boycotting products from West Bank settlements. The WCC also sends volunteers from all over the world to the West Bank and East Jerusalem for periods of three months to serve as so-called “Ecumenical Accompaniers” to “experience life under occupation”
Residents of the West Bank outpost of Amona indicated they would not accede to a government plan to move them to a nearby plot and derided the Jewish Home party for joining other coalition members in backing a bill that won’t keep bulldozers from razing their homes. The Knesset pushed forward on a controversial bill on Monday that will allow the government to recognize outposts built on private Palestinian land, after the Jewish Home dropped its demand that the legislation include a clause retroactively overriding a High Court ruling for Amona to be evacuated by December 25.
Israeli Occupation Forces Monday overnight arrested 13 Palestinians from cities all over the West Bank, in a wide raid and arrest campaign. Israeli military sources claimed that eight of those were allegedly involved in anti-occupation attacks. Raids included areas in Jenin, Bethlehem, Hebron, Qalqilia, Jordan Valley, and Jerusalem, where four Jerusalemites, including two ex-prisoners and a minor have been arrested. Several homes were raided and a youth was “brutally attacked and beaten” at the hands of Israeli forces in Hebron.
Israeli forces carry out raid and arrest campaigns throughout occupied West Bank and Jerusalem almost on daily basis.
Israeli forces closed the road connecting the towns of Silwad and Ein Yabrud in the occupied West Bank district of Ramallah with a large cement block early Wednesday, imposing a complete closure on the two Palestinian towns. According to locals, residents were forced to use dirt roads or roads far out in the outskirts of the town in order to avoid the cement block, while others were forced to exit and enter on foot. An Israeli army spokesperson told Ma’an she would look into reports on the closure.