provinceorstate:west bank

  • Israel accepts Chinese demand not to employ Chinese laborers in settlements -
    Agreement avoids explicit Israeli consent to a settlement boycott, but annex lists where Chinese laborers will be employed: None of the locations is in the West Bank
    Barak Ravid and Yotam Berger Apr 23, 2017 11:15 AM!/image/3248385694.jpg_gen/derivatives/headline_1200x630/3248385694.jpg

    The cabinet on Sunday ratified an agreement with China relating to the employment of Chinese construction workers in Israel. The agreement was made possible after Israel agreed to a condition demanded by the Chinese government that in practice provides that Chinese construction workers in Israel will not be employed in settlements in the West Bank or East Jerusalem.

    Israel and China engaged in negotiations for several years over an agreement on Chinese citizens coming to work in Israel. In 2015, the talks faltered over China’s demand that Chinese laborers in Israel not be employed in the settlements. The official reason given by the Chinese was concern for the workers’ personal safety, but officials at the Israeli Foreign Ministry expressed the view that the real reason was political, relating to the fact that China and the rest of the international community view the settlements as illegal and their locations as occupied territory.


  • Anti-settlements resolution in Mass could be ’last straw’ for many Dems, warns party boss in AIPAC’s pocket

    This is good news. The Massachusetts Democratic Party is getting involved in the Israel/Palestine issue, with rival resolutions that are already dividing the state committee.

    Writes Shira Schoenberg at Mass Live:

    Democratic State Committeewoman Carol Coakley, of Millis, introduced a resolution, which will be voted on by the State Committee later this month, condemning Israeli settlements as “obstacles to peace” and urging Massachusetts’ members of Congress to oppose the settlements.

    James Segel, a former aide to Congressman Barney Frank, at a public hearing on Wednesday introduced an alternative resolution urging support for a two-state solution and acknowledging that there are many impediments to peace — including both Israeli settlement expansion and Palestinian incitement and terrorism.

    Longtime Democratic Party boss/treasurer Steve Grossman, who also headed the Israel lobby group AIPAC, is upset that anyone would take a stance against settlements:

    “I think passage of the Coakley resolution would be deeply divisive at a time when Democrats should be working on common shared principles and values, and I think it would harm the Democratic Party,” warned Steve Grossman, a former state Democratic Party chairman and a lifetime member of the Democratic State Committee who previously led the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, a national pro-Israel lobby.

    Here’s the Globe’s panicky report, which gives Grossman paragraph after paragraph to sound off:

    State Democratic Party heavyweights are sounding a red alert against a provocative proposal for their state committee to declare opposition to Israeli settlements in the West Bank without specifically mentioning Palestinian violence, a step some top leaders fear would lead to an exodus of Democratic voters…

    Grossman… said it feeds a “one-sided blame game,” which is playing out across college campuses and in pockets of the “progressive wing of the Democratic Party,” and would send a disturbing message to many Democratic activists.

    “A lot of people would read about it and would read the language and say: ‘Frankly, that’s the last straw. This is not a place I feel comfortable any longer,’ ” Grossman said.

    “Many would see it as an attempt to drive a rhetorical stake through Israel’s heart and lay the blame — not part of the blame, but virtually the exclusive blame — for the failure of the peace process at Israel’s door, to the exclusion of any responsibility by Palestinians,” he said.

    Here’s that resolution. Very mild! We affirm our support for longstanding US policy, from Johnson to Obama, that settlements “are an obstacle to peace.”

    #Israël #colonies #Etats-Unis

  • Palestinian killed by Israeli forces after hitting 1 with his car at settlement bus stop
    April 19, 2017 4:53 P.M. (Updated: April 20, 2017 12:54 P.M.)

    BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) — A Palestinian was shot and killed by Israeli forces at a junction near the illegal Israeli settlement of Gush Etzion in the southern occupied West Bank on Wednesday afternoon.

    An Israeli army spokesperson told Ma’an that a Palestinian vehicle hit a bus stop at the junction, injuring an Israeli civilian, adding that Israeli forces in the area shot at the driver, who they described as an “assailant.”

    However, photographs of the scene published by Israeli media showed that the Palestinian vehicle had seemingly collided with the back of a bus.

    The Palestinian Ministry of Health confirmed later in the afternoon that the Palestinian succumbed to wounds sustained when he was shot by soldiers at the scene, identifying him as Suhaib Moussa Mashour Mashahra, 21, from the Jerusalem-district village of al-Sawahira.

    Official Palestinian news agency Wafa quoted Palestinian Red Crescent emergency services head Muhammad Awwad as saying that Israeli forces prevented Palestinian medics from reaching Mashahra and treating him, while the army spokesperson told Ma’an that the Palestinian had been treated by army medics on the scene and evacuated to an unspecified hospital. (...)


    • Wednesday, 19 April 2017

      In a new crime of using lethal force, Israeli forces killed civilian Suheib Mashahrah (21), from al-Sheikh Sa’ad village, south east of East Jerusalem. The soldiers opened fire at a car driven by the abovementioned civilian at the intersection of “Kfar Etzion” settlement, south of Bethlehem, after his car hit an Israeli bus from the back. They claimed that Mashahrah attempted to carry out a run-over attack against a number of settlers, but the photos that were published on the accident showed it was a normal car accident. According to preliminary information about the crime, at approximately 16:00 on the same day, Suheib Mousa Mashhour Mashahrah (21) was returning from Hebron to his house in al-Sheikh Sa’ad village, southeast of East Jerusalem. When he turned around the intersection of the abovementioned settlement, his car hit an Israeli bus from the back as a group of settlers were waiting at the bus station. The Israeli soldiers, who were in the area, opened fire at the windshield and side glass of the car. As a result, the abovementioned civilian sustained several live bullets wounds throughout his body. He was then transferred by an Israeli ambulance to “Shaare Zedek” Medical Center in West Jerusalem, but he died upon arrival. The Israeli media said that a 60year-old Israeli civilian was wounded after he a Palestinian young man ran over him. He was transferred to “Shaare Zedek” Medical Center to receive medical treatment as his injury was classified as minor. The Israeli media also said that the soldiers opened fire at the car driver to neutralize him. However, the photos published showed that the car hit the bus from the back, but the car was badly damaged from the front, indicating that it was a normal accident and the driver has no intention to carry out a run-over attack.

  • Israel fighting to stop FIFA from suspending settlement soccer teams -
    Move against six teams initiated by Palestinians, backed by FIFA panel; Israelis pessimistic

    Barak Ravid Apr 20, 2017
    read more:

    Israel is increasingly concerned that when the FIFA Congress holds its annual meeting in another four weeks, the international soccer federation will decide to suspend six Israeli soccer teams based in West Bank settlements.
    Consequently, ambassadors in dozens of capitals worldwide have been ordered to work with officials of their host countries to foil the move.
    An official involved in the issue said that two weeks ago, Israel learned that Palestinian Football Association President Jibril Rajoub had asked to put the issue of the settlement teams on the agenda of both the FIFA Council, which will meet in Manama, Bahrain on May 9, and the FIFA Congress, which will meet in the same city on May 10 and 11.
    On Tuesday, the Foreign Ministry sent a cable to dozens of Israeli embassies instructing embassy staffers to try to persuade their host countries to remove the issue from FIFA’s agenda or ensure that no vote on it takes place. But the official said Israel must be prepared for the worst-case scenario, in which a vote does take place. If so, Israel’s chances of winning are negligible.
    “Our growing assessment is that the FIFA Congress is liable to make a decision on suspending six Israeli teams that play over the Green Line, or even on suspending Israel from FIFA,” the cable said. “We urge you to contact your countries’ representatives on the FIFA Council as soon as possible to obtain their support for Israel’s position, which rejects mixing politics with sport and calls for reaching an agreed solution between the parties ... and to thwart an anti-Israel decision if it is brought before the council.”

    #BDS #Israel #Palestine

  • Barghouti’s N.Y. Times article met by Israeli ritual of diversion and denial -

    Comparing article to terror attack and suggesting sanctions against the Times, as Michael Oren did, is more damaging to Israel’s image

    Chemi Shalev Apr 19, 2017
    read more:

    At the end of his opinion piece in the New York Times about the Palestinian prisoners’ strike, Marwan Barghouti was originally described as “a Palestinian leader and parliamentarian.” After 24 hours of outrage and condemnation, an editor’s note conceded that further context was needed, pointing out that Barghouti had been convicted on “five counts of murder and membership in a terrorist organization.” News of the clarification spread like wildfire on social media. It was described in glowing terms as yet another historic victory of good over evil and of the Jewish people over its eternal enemies.
    It was another example of the time-tested Israeli ritual of accentuating the insignificant at the expense of the essence, the results of which are well known in advance. First you manufacture righteous indignation over a minor fault in an article or the problematic identity of its writer, then you assault the newspaper or media that publicized it and cast doubt on its motives, then you demand to know how this was even possible and who will pay the price. In this way, the Israeli public is absolved of the need to actually contend with the gist of the article or public utterance, in this case Barghouti’s claims that he was physically tortured, that almost a million Palestinians have been detained over the years, that their conviction rate in the Israeli military court system is absurdly high, whether it’s really wise to hold as many as 6,500 security prisoners in custody at one time and so on.
    The guiding principle of this perpetual war waged by Israel and its supporters against the so-called hostile press - to paraphrase a legendary John Cleese episode about a visit by German visitors to Fawlty Towers - is “Don’t mention the occupation!” After one spends so much energy on protestations and exclamations of how unthinkable, how outrageous and how dare they, there’s very little enthusiasm left to consider eternal control over another people or the malignant status quo that many Israelis view as the best of all possible worlds or how is it even possible that someone who is defined by former Israeli Ambassador and current deputy minister Michael Oren as a terrorist and a murderer on a par with Dylann Roof, who killed nine African American worshippers in a church in Charleston, is considered by many people around the world, including those at the New York Times, as an authentic leader whose words should be read and heard.
    In an interview with IDF Radio on Tuesday, Oren put the ingenious diversionary strategy on full display. He described Barghouti’s op-ed as nothing less than a “media terror attack.” To this he added a pinch of conspiracy theory with a dash of anti-Semitism by claiming that the Times purposely published Barghouti’s article on Passover, so that Israeli and Jewish leaders wouldn’t have time to react. Then he approvingly cited the wise words of his new oracle, Donald Trump, describing the publication of the article and its content as “fake news.” And for his grand finale, Oren intimated that the proper Zionist response would be to close down the Times’ Israel office, no less.
    In this way, anyone who wants to address Barghouti’s claims substantively, even if it’s to criticize them, is seen as collaborating with a terrorist and enabling terror. It’s the same system by which anti-occupation groups such as Breaking the Silence are tarred as traitorous, backstabbing informants so that no one dares consider the actual testimonies they present about the hardships of occupation and the immorality of forcing the IDF to police the West Bank. What’s hilarious, however, is that so many Israelis and Jews are convinced that articles such as the one written by Barghouti, which most readers probably view as yet another tedious polemic about an intractable Middle East conflict, somehow causes more harm to Israel’s image than a senior government official who compares a news article to a terror attack and who recommends closing down the offices of the most widely respected news organization in the world, a la Putin or Erdogan.

    #Palestine #Israel #Barghouti

  • When the rapist is also the judge | Amira Hass Apr 09, 2017 9:58 PM!/image/268725878.jpg_gen/derivatives/headline_1200x630/268725878.jpg

    The entire Israeli military legal system that operates in the West Bank is corrupt

    Agents nicknamed Niso, Herzl and Arye signed an almost identical document, on different dates. Its heading reads: State of Israel, General Security Service [Shin Bet], unclassified. Under that it says: to the Israel Police’s crime investigations unit in Judea and Samaria. The subject: denial of a detainee’s request to meet a lawyer. The name of the detainee comes next. In this case it’s Kifah Quzmar, with his identity number included. (The word “nicknamed” the quotation marks around the names appear in the original document.)

    The one nicknamed Niso was in charge of the investigation. He heads the Ramallah team of investigators, and was the one who signed the first three orders prohibiting the 28 year-old Quzmar from meeting his lawyer. The first one was signed on March 8, a day after Quzmar was arrested at the Allenby border crossing, and was valid until March 13, at 11:59 p.m. The second and third orders were signed on March 13 and 16, respectively. The one nicknamed Herzl, who heads another investigations unit, signed an identical order on March 21 while Arye, who heads yet another unit, signed such an order on March 23, valid until 11:59 p.m. on March 26.

    This is what the order says: “By my authority … having examined the circumstances I hereby order that the detainee not be allowed to meet a lawyer for a further period … since I believe this is necessary for the following reasons …” In the first two documents signed by Niso the reason given is “for the area’s security” and that’s all. The third document bearing his signature and the other two documents give the same reason, as well as one stating “for the benefit of the investigation.”

    In other words, from March 16 the investigators admit the investigation ran into serious trouble. It did not yield what was expected. Advancing the investigation required the continued violation of basic principles of jurisprudence and detainee rights. A bit more pressure, somewhat less moderate, a few more painful positions and sleep deprivation, threats and insults and who knows, maybe a shred of evidence would pop up.

    On March 16 the detainee was brought before the president of the military court, Lt. Col. Menachem Lieberman. His lawyer, Anan Odeh, waited outside while the investigator told the judge that “Quzmar was suspected of activity that would endanger the security of the area.” How original. Quzmar, who is studying business administration at Bir Zeit University, said (according to the minutes of this hearing) that “the investigators are trying to find something to pin on me and destroy my future. They have no proof and I constitute no danger.”

    Quzmar was led out of the courtroom trailer and his attorney went in. He asked questions and the investigator said he couldn’t answer them. He was asked if Quzmar was cooperating with the investigation and replied that he wasn’t. When asked if there were any criminal charges against Quzmar he referred to a “secret report.” Was police testimony taken from the detainee? “No.” How many times has he been questioned since his arrest? “Nine times.” For how many hours? “Yesterday (March 15) he was questioned for four hours, with breaks.” Is he subjected to pressure? The investigator replied that “the report would refer to that issue if that was the case.”

    Lt. Col. Lieberman did a copy and paste from innumerable previous rulings and wrote that “there are grave suspicions against the detainee, which require detention and interrogation. … I’ve taken into account the fact that the suspect is not allowed to see his attorney, but due to the severity of the transgressions and the need to reach the truth there is justification in extending his remand for the entire requested period, in order to give investigators a continuous detention period.” Lieberman extended detention until March 27.

    On March 24 attorney Odeh submitted an urgent petition to the High Court of Justice, asking that his client be allowed to meet with a lawyer. Without waiting for a ruling the investigators removed their objection to such a meeting.

    Up to then Quzmar had been questioned by the Shin Bet in the Russian Compound in Jerusalem and at Hashikma Prison in Ashkelon. He was also put in a cell with collaborators disguised as prisoners, which was meant to induce him to talk. He was later transferred to the Ofer Prison in the West Bank. He went on a hunger strike for a few days as a protest against being denied a lawyer’s visit. On April 3, a final hearing regarding the last extension of his detention was scheduled, to decide whether he would be charged or sent home.

    On that sunny morning, Quzmar’s brother and cousin walked along the fenced path linking the Bitunya commercial checkpoint to the military courtroom. The 800 meters separating the two were lined with spring’s greenery and chirping birds. They crossed rotating iron gates that open and shut at the press of a button. They sat in the waiting yard, smoking many cigarettes and waiting. Who didn’t arrive? Kifah. Their guess was that he’d been sent to administrative detention.

    Indeed, the administrative order for a six-month detention is signed by Col. Yossi Sariel, Central Command’s intelligence officer. The Shin Bet failed to extract some hint of an offense, so the simple solution is unlimited administrative detention, based on no evidence, no charges, defense or trial. What else is new?

    The entire Israeli military legal system that operates in the West Bank is corrupt. The serial rapist arrests the victim simply due to her principled or active resistance to the rape. He charges her, tries her and then sentences her. That is it in a nutshell. Denying the right to meet an attorney and administrative detention are but two of the more common practices in the foreordained process of punishing Palestinians for being Palestinians who object to our foreign rule.

  • Australia is in danger - Opinion - Israel News
    The state Down Under recently revoked the visa of a noted Palestinian activist - the long arm of Israel is most apparent
    Amira Hass Apr 12, 2017 4
    read more:

    Why is the Australian government afraid of Bassem Tamimi, a Palestinian from the village Nabi Saleh? Last Wednesday, Australia’s Department of Immigration and Border Protection revoked the entry visa it had given him a day earlier.

    Tamimi, who with other popular resistance activists in his village and across the West Bank have managed to focus international attention on the evils of the Israeli occupation, was invited by a left-wing organization and some pro-Palestinian groups to hold a series of lectures and meetings in Australia. No less than Tamimi, they were shocked by the hysterical revocation of his visa. As expected, pro-occupation and pro-expulsion websites were delighted.

    The revocation document, posted on the website of the Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC), says “the [immigration] department has recently been made aware of information that indicates there is a risk that members of the public will react adversely to Mr. Tamimi’s presence in Australia regarding his views of the ongoing political tensions in the Middle East. his presence in Australia would or might pose a risk to the good order of the Australian community.”

    Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Vladimir Putin couldn’t have better formulated the rationale for silencing any opposition voice. What Tamimi has to say is displeasing to some anonymous parties, it says in Australian. Between the lines: These elements could run wild trying to silence him or disrupt events he participates in, and the Australian authorities would be helpless to confront them due to their power (political, financial, physical, or all of these combined). In other words, he constitutes a risk because others will abuse their power in order to silence him.

    #Australie #Palestine #Israël

  • Palestinian teen succumbs to wounds weeks after being shot by Israeli forces
    April 10, 2017 6:35 P.M. (Updated: April 10, 2017 7:17 P.M.)

    RAMALLAH (Ma’an) — Palestinian teenager Jassem Muhammad Nakhla , who was shot and grievously injured by Israeli forces near the al-Jalazun refugee camp in the central occupied West Bank in March, succumbed to his wounds on Monday, the Palestinian Ministry of Health reported.

    Nakhla, who his family said was 17 years old contrary to earlier reports, died in an Israeli hospital in Tel Aviv after Israeli forces shot him in the head and foot on March 23 when he was in a vehicle with three other young Palestinians.

    One of the other youths, 17-year-old Muhammad Mahmoud Ibrahim al-Hattab, died that day, while the two others, Muhammad Hattab, 18, and Muhammad Moussa Nakhla, 18, were also seriously wounded.

    Medical sources told Ma’an on Monday that Nakhla had been clinically dead since he was injured, and had been kept on life support since.

    Both Jassem and Muhammad Nakhla were transferred for treatment in Israel on March 28 in an attempt to save their lives, while Hattab remained at the Palestine Medical Complex in the occupied West Bank city of Ramallah.


  • Will Israel be a casualty of U.S.-Russian tension after Trump’s missile attack? - Syria - Haaretz

    Putin might want to prove that an attack on Russia’s ally has implications for America’s ally. But Israel needs coordination with Russia over Syria’s skies

    Zvi Bar’el Apr 08, 2017 7:30 AM
    Russian President Vladimir Putin, right, shakes hands with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu during their meeting in the Kremlin in Moscow, Russia, Wednesday, Nov. 20, 2013. AP
    Analysis Syria strike marks complete turnaround in Trump’s policy
    Analysis Trump challenges Putin with first Western punishment for Assad’s massacres since start of Syria war
    Russia: U.S. strike in Syria ’one step away from military clashes with Russia’
    A military strike was warranted but the likelihood was low − so U.S. President Donald Trump surprised everyone, as usual. Russian President Valdimir Putin was furious, Syrian President Bashar Assad screamed, but the 59 Tomahawk cruise missiles fired by the USS Ross and USS Porter weren’t just another tug-of-war or show of strength.
    >> Get all updates on Trump, Israel and the Middle East: Download our free App, and Subscribe >>
    Without a UN Security Council resolution and without exhausting diplomatic chatter, the U.S. strike on the air force base near Homs slapped Assad and Putin in the face, sending a message to many other countries along the way.
    The military response was preceded by a foreign-policy revolution in which Trump announced that Assad can no longer be part of the solution. Only a few days earlier, the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, Nikki Haley, announced that Assad’s removal was no longer an American priority.
    Did American priorities change as a result of the chemical weapons attack on the town of Khan Sheikhoun near Idlib, and will Trump now work to bring down Assad? Not yet. Will Trump renew the military aid to the rebel militias so they can fight the regime? Far from it.

    Donald Trump after U.S. missiles strike Assad regime airbase in Syria, April 7, 2017JIM WATSON/AFP
    >> Read top analyses on U.S. strike in Syria: Trump challenges Putin, punishes Assad for first time | Russia, Iran, denounce strike, Saudi Arabia praises it | Trump’s move could backfire | Trump’s 48-hour policy turnaround <<
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    The American attack also provides no answers to the tactical questions. The Tomahawk missiles didn’t hit the warehouses where Assad’s chemical weapons may be stored, but rather the air force base where the planes that dropped the weapons took off.
    It’s possible the chemical weapons are still safely stored away. The logic behind the attack on the air force base is understandable, but does it hint that Trump won’t hesitate to attack the person who gave the order and the president who gave the initial approval? For now the answers aren’t clear.
    Trump did on a large scale what Israel has been doing on a smaller scale when it attacked weapons convoys leaving Syria for Hezbollah. Unless Washington decides to surprise us once again, it won’t return to being a power on the Syrian front, it won’t steal the show from Russia. Diplomatic efforts, as far as there are any, will be made without active American participation.
    So the immediate and important achievement for Trump is an American political one: He tarred and feathered Barack Obama and proved to the Americans that his United States isn’t chicken. Trump, who demanded that Obama receive Congress’ approval before attacking Syria in 2013, has now painted Congress into a corner, too. Who would dare criticize the attack, even if it wasn’t based on “the proper procedures,” and even though the United States didn’t face a clear and present danger?

    U.S. envoy to the UN Nikki Haley holds photographs of victims during a UN Security Council meeting on Syria, April 5, 2017. SHANNON STAPLETON/REUTERS
    The question is whether as a result of the American cruise missile attack, Russia and Syria will opt for a war of revenge in order to prove that the attack didn’t change anything in their military strategy against the rebels and the civilian population. They don’t feel they need chemical weapons to continuously and effectively bomb Idlib and its suburbs. They don’t need to make the entire world man the moral barricades if good results can be achieved through legitimate violence, as has been going on for six years.
    Such a decision is in the hands of Putin, who despite recent rifts with Assad is still committed to stand alongside the Syrian president against the American attack. This isn’t just defending a friend but preserving Russia’s honor. As recently as Thursday, Putin’s spokesman Dmitry Peskov said Russia’s support for Assad was unconditional and “it is not correct to say that Moscow can convince Mr. Assad to do whatever is wanted in Moscow.” But the Kremlin has said such things before, every time Russia has been blamed for Assad’s murderous behavior.
    Read Russia’s response to the attack very carefully. Peskov called it “aggression against a sovereign state in violation of the norms of international law and on a made-up up pretext.” He didn’t embrace Assad and didn’t describe the attack as one that harmed an ally. And he didn’t directly attack Trump − just as Trump didn’t hold Putin responsible for the original chemical weapons attack.
    It seems that despite the loud talk, which included a Russian warning about U.S.-Russian relations, neither country is keen to give Assad the ability to upset the balance between the two superpowers.
    The only practical step taken so far by Russia − suspending aerial coordination between the countries over Syria based on the understandings signed in October 2015 − could turn out a double-edged sword if coalition planes start running into Russian ones. It’s still not clear if this suspension includes the coordination with Israel, which isn’t part of the Russian understandings with the United States.
    But Putin is angry about Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s comments about Assad, and might want to prove to Trump that an attack on Russia’s ally has implications for America’s ally. So he could freeze or cancel the agreements with Israel regarding attacks inside Syria.
    This would mean the war in Syria puts Israel in the diplomatic crossfire too, not just the military one. It could find itself in a conflict between Trump’s policies and its needs for coordination with Russia.

    Zvi Bar’el
    Haaretz Correspondent

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  • Dismissed Fatah leader rules out reconciliation with Abbas

    In April 2016, Dahlan established the Democratic Reformist Current within Fatah, which includes a large number of Fatah leaders who oppose Abbas’ policies. He also has a growing network of regional and international relations in some Arab and Western countries. The dismissed leader sees himself a potential successor of Abbas in the political scene.

    The text of the interview follows:

    Al-Monitor: What is the latest development on your disagreement with President Abbas? Were reconciliation attempts between you stalled? How do you respond to the allegations that you are providing your supporters in the West Bank with money and weapons to destabilize Abbas’ authority there?

    Dahlan: There are no reconciliation efforts for the time being. Abu Mazen [Abbas] has rejected all bona fide efforts, and the issue of reconciling with him, for me, is in the past now. But me and my colleagues in the Fatah Democratic Reformist Current will keep working to preserve Fatah’s national positions regarding Jerusalem and the return of refugees. These issues are supported by Hamas and most factions of the PLO, and they may also be supported by the large majority of the Palestinian people. We are getting ready for the next stage that will witness comprehensive parliamentary and presidential elections, since Abu Mazen’s position today is weakened and he lost legitimacy. He is unable to pass political solutions affecting the rights of our Palestinian people as he lost the popular cover, legitimacy and support.

    Read more:

  • After Trump request, Netanyahu formulating goodwill gestures toward Palestinians -

    At the meeting the security cabinet decided to curb settlement construction, Netanyahu told the ministers: We must not mislead the Americans, they are tracking every house in the settlements, including in East Jerusalem.

    Barak Ravid Apr 02, 2017
    read more:

    The Trump administration is asking Israel to carry out a series of goodwill gestures toward the Palestinians, both in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told the security cabinet last Thursday, when he announced plans to curb construction in the settlements. 
    These measures should have an immediate effect on the Palestinians’ economic situation, ministers and senior officials who attended the meeting told Haaretz.
    >> Get all updates on Israel, Trump and the Palestinians: Download our free App, and Subscribe >>
    During Thursday’s meeting, Netanyahu said several times that U.S. President Donald Trump is determined to advance the Israeli-Palestinian issue and for the two parties to reach an agreement, the sources said.
    >> Analysis: Israel’s most right-wing cabinet ever curbs settlement construction - but the settlers keep mum >>
    Netanyahu said he did not know exactly how Trump wants to make progress, but the prime minister stressed the importance of Israel demonstrating goodwill and not being seen as the one causing the U.S. initiative to fail.
    Three ministers and two senior government officials who participated in Thursday’s meeting, or who were updated on the details of it, briefed Haaretz on what happened behind the scenes during the nighttime discussions about contacts between the United States and Israel on the Palestinian issue.
    All five asked to remain anonymous because of the sensitivity of the matter, and also because it was a closed meeting.
    Netanyahu said he intends to agree to the American demands for additional goodwill steps in the West Bank and Gaza, with the potential for an immediate uptick for the Palestinian economy. He did not provide details about what moves would be taken, but a number of the ministers present understood that one possible step would include granting the Palestinians permission to build in Area C (some 60 percent of the West Bank, under full Israeli civil and security control).
    Education Minister Naftali Bennett, who has blocked previous efforts by Netanyahu to take similar actions, once more presented his reservations. Bennett said he expects that any actions Israel takes on the ground, and the goodwill gestures to the Palestinians, will not expand into moves with major foreign policy implications.

    The Beit Aryeh settlement, north of Ramallah, April 1, 2017. Netanyahu has pledged to curb settlement construction.THOMAS COEX/AFP
    The leader of the far-right Habayit Hayehudi party added that if Netanyahu does consider such moves, he expects the matter to be brought back to the security cabinet for a further discussion and approval.
    Netanyahu scheduled a meeting with the Israel Defense Forces’ Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories, Maj. Gen. Yoav Mordechai, and other officials, for Sunday, when they will attempt to put together the package of goodwill gestures and other steps.
    Even though the Prime Minister’s Office stated in recent days no limitations will exist on construction in the Jewish neighborhoods of Jerusalem situated over the Green Line, Netanyahu sounded less emphatic in the security cabinet meeting and hinted that there would not be full normalization on this issue.
    “There are no limitations on construction in Jerusalem, but we will need to act wisely,” he told ministers, hinting it’s possible that certain limitations may be imposed on building in the capital.
    In addition, Netanyahu informed the security cabinet a decision had been made to limit the activities of the highest-level planning committee of the IDF’s Civil Administration, which approves building plans for the settlements. Instead of meeting once a week, as was customary, the committee will now meet only once every three months.
    Netanyahu told the ministers that each of the committee’s meetings – during which decisions are made and then revealed about building plans for the settlements, even if they are only minor technical decisions – leads to media reports, which then causes friction and tension with the international community. Accumulating such plans and having them brought up for discussion only four times a year will limit the amount of global protest, added Netanyahu.
    At the same time, limiting the activities of the IDF’s planning committee could also have an influence on the number of plans approved, as well as the pace at which they advance.
    A senior member on the Yesha Council of settlements in the West Bank said fewer committee meetings would mean a slowdown in the planning process. It would be enough for Netanyahu or Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman to cancel just a single committee meeting for supposedly technical reasons in order to create a situation in which no plans are approved for a full six months.
    In a meeting of the heads of the coalition, Bennet turned to Netanyahu and said that the new policy on settlement construction will be tested by how it would be implemented. “I ask that after Passover a date would be set for the Supreme Planning Committee to convene in order to approve construction plans,” said the education minister. Netanyahu did not respond, but his chief of staff, Horowitz, said that he will check and will soon schedule a committee meeting.
    Netanyahu also told the ministers Thursday that stricter limitations and supervision will be imposed on construction in unauthorized outposts. It is assumed no further construction will be allowed in existing unauthorized outposts, and new ones will be removed shortly after they go up.

    Palestinian women in Rafah, in the southern Gaza Strip, March 30, 2017. New goodwill gestures would aim to improve the Strip’s dire economic situation.SAID KHATIB/AFP
    Even though the new construction policy is not part of an agreement with the United States, or even part of the unofficial understandings with the White House, the Trump administration is following their implementation very closely, said Netanyahu.
    Israel must keep to its new policy of restraint and implement it strictly, without trying to deceive the Trump administration, because the Americans know about every house being built in the settlements, he added.
    At Sunday’s Likud ministerial meeting Monday morning, Horowitz, who manages communications with the White House on the issue of the settlements, said that originally the Americans had requested a complete freeze in construction. "It started from zero," Horowitz told the ministers. “The result we reached was much better.” Prime Minister Netanyahu said in response: “I won’t go into it here, but you don’t know how right he is.”

    #Israël #Palestine #Etats-Unis #colonisation

  • Palestinian teen ’executed’ by Israeli police after stabbing, lightly injuring 3 Israelis
    April 1, 2017 3:37 P.M. (Updated: April 1, 2017 9:44 P.M.) 17-year-old Ahmad Zahir Fathi Ghazal

    BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) — Israeli forces shot and killed a Palestinian teenager in occupied East Jerusalem’s Old City on Saturday, after he carried out a stab attack that left three Israelis lightly injured, with witnesses asserting Israeli police could have easily detained the boy without killing him.

    Israeli police spokeswoman Luba al-Samri said in a written statement that a 17-year-old Palestinian armed with a knife stabbed and lightly injured two “Jewish young men” — aged 18 and 23, at around 3:30 p.m.

    Israeli forces chased after the teen, who ran inside a building that had its door left open, al-Samri said. As Israeli police struggled to detain him, one policeman was lightly injured, according to al-Samri.

    More Israeli police officers arrived to the scene and opened heavy fire on the boy, killing him.

    The slain Palestinian was identified by the Palestinian Ministry of Health as 17-year-old Ahmad Zahir Fathi Ghazal from Nablus in the northern occupied West Bank.

    An eyewitness told Ma’an that he saw the the boy stab “two settlers” on al-Wad street in the Old City and escape into the nearby building, before Israeli forces ambushed Ghazal in a small apartment, which had no alternate exit.

    “Then we heard sounds of intensive shooting coming from the building," he said."They could have detained him — he was surrounded by a large number of soldiers. But they executed him."

    According to the witness’ testimony, a female border police officer was seen exiting the building with a minor foot injury.
    In a recording shared on social media by local watchdog the Wadi Hilweh Information Center, another eyewitness and shop owner on al-Wad street also said that Israeli police “could have detained him (Ghazal), but they didn’t want to.”

    “They ambushed him in the staircase. They could have detained him without any problem, but they wanted to kill him instead. We heard four soldiers riddling him with bullets. It was like a battlefield.”

    A video was shared on social media purporting to show the moment after the two Israelis were stabbed, with one of their shirts visibly stained with blood.

    The two, in traditional Haredi dress, can be seen walking away from the scene after a group of Israeli border police rush inside an open doorway, after which at least a dozen gunshots can be heard from inside.(...)


    • Un Palestinien poignarde trois Israéliens avant d’être abattu (police)
      AFP / 01 avril 2017 16h07
      Jérusalem - Un Palestinien de Cisjordanie occupée a blessé samedi à coups de couteau trois Israéliens dans la vieille ville de Jérusalem avant d’être abattu par des garde-frontières, a annoncé la police.

      Ce Palestinien a agressé deux passants juifs avant de s’enfuir. Des garde-frontières l’ont ensuite pourchassé et abattu après qu’il a blessé l’un d’entre eux, selon la version de la police. C’est la deuxième attaque de ce type depuis mercredi près de la porte de Damas, dans la vieille ville.

      Deux des Israéliens ont été légèrement blessés et le troisième a été plus gravement atteint. Ils ont été évacués vers un hôpital, a ajouté la police.

      Des affrontements ont ensuite éclaté entre des Palestiniens qui ont jeté des pierres vers les policiers qui ont utilisé des grenades assourdissantes, a constaté un photographe de l’AFP.

    • Funeral held for Palestinian teen killed by Israeli forces following stab attack
      April 22, 2017 3:24 P.M. (Updated: April 23, 2017 11:08 A.M.)

      NABLUS (Ma’an) — A funeral was held in the northern occupied West Bank district of Nablus on Saturday for 17-year-old Ahmad Ghazal, who was killed by Israeli forces after carrying out a stabbing attack earlier this month, which lightly injured three Israelis.

      Israeli authorities had returned Ghazal’s body to his family on Friday evening.

      Mourners marched from Rafidia hospital to the Martyrs’ Square in the center of Nablus city while carrying Ghazal’s body. His body was then carried to the city’s western cemetery where he was laid to rest.

  • Netanyahu announces policy of restrained settlement construction in ’show of good will’ to Trump

    Prime Minister informs ministers that while no formal understandings have been reached in talks with the White House, Israel will unilaterally limit new construction almost exclusively to already-developed areas of existing settlements.

    Barak Ravid Mar 31, 2017
    read more:

    Israel will adopt a policy of limiting new construction in West Bank settlements to within the boundaries of areas that have already been built upon or in some specific cases precisely adjacent to them, Prime Minister Netanyahu said at a security cabinet meeting late Thursday night
    >> Get all updates on Israel, Trump and the Palestinians: Download our free App, and Subscribe >>
    A minister who was present at the meeting and requested to remain anonymous said Netanyahu informed the cabinet that despite several weeks of discussions on the issue, no understandings have yet been reached between Israel and the United States regarding settlement construction and that the differences between the sides remained unchanged.
    >>U.S. senator slams decision to build new settlement: ’Netanyahu not serious about two states’>>
    However, Netanyahu said he had decided to respond to U.S. President Donald Trump’s reservations regarding the settlements by unilaterally adopting a policy of restrained construction that will almost exclusively include building in already-developed areas of existing settlements to avoid appropriating new land or expanding the territory of established settlements.
    “There are no understandings with the Americans and this wasn’t agreed one with the administration, but rather these are restrictions that Israel is taking upon itself in response to the president’s request,” said the minister. “In any case, the ’payment’ to the Americans isn’t over.”

    >> Israel’s settlers are beginning to miss Obama | Analysis >>
    Another senior source who also requested to remain anonymous said Netanyahu told the cabinet ministers that out of consideration for Trump’s positions, Israel will take significant steps to reduce, in so much as possible, the expansion of existing settlement territory beyond already-developed areas and that this too would be significantly restricted to allow for the progress of a peace process.
    At the meeting, Netanyahu presented four main points outlining Israel’s new policy in the settlements:
    1. Israel will continue construction, when permissible, within previously developed areas.
    2. Where this is not permissible, Israel will allow construction in areas adjacent to those already developed.
    3. Where neither of these criteria are met, due to legal, security or topographical constraints, Israel will allow construction on the closest land possible to developed areas.
    4. Israel will not allow the creation of any new illegal outposts.
    A second minister who participated in the meeting said that Netanyahu said no understanding had been reached in the talks with the White House and that, in effect, the sides had decided “to agree to disagree.”
    However, Israel unilaterally agreed to adopt a policy that would take into consideration Trump’s concerns that continued construction in the settlements would expand its West Bank territory to a point that would prevent the creation of a Palestinian country in the future.
    “This isn’t an agreement with the Americans, but rather unilateral policy by the government of Israel,” said the second minister. “The Americans said that they don’t agree with construction in the settlements in any case, but that they can live with it and there won’t be an international crisis over every new home that’s built.”
    Netanyahu told the ministers in the meeting that he believes Israel should limit construction in a show of good will toward Trump.
    “This is a very friendly administration and we need to take his requests into consideration,” Netanyahu told the ministers. No vote was taken during the meeting, but all the ministers agreed to the policy of restrained construction and there were no arguments or conflicts between Netanyahu and any of the ministers.
    “This is moderate, reasonable policy,” said one of the cabinet ministers. “There’s no limit on the number of housing units and no distinction between the blocs and the solitary settlements. It will be possible to build, but in a gradual and measured way and without taking more and more hills.” 
    Netanyahu’s announcement of new policy came as the cabinet approved the construction of a new settlement for the first time in over 20 years, in part to house those evacuated from the illegal outpost of Amona in February. 
    A White House official told Haaretz that Netanyahu had informed the Trump administration that he intended to stand by his commitment to build this new settlement, but that a new policy would then be adopted that would restrict new construction in consideration of Trump’s concerns.
    Over the past few weeks, Netanyahu mostly kept the minister’s in the dark on the details of the talks with the American government and managed them with only his closest advisors. The only minister who was briefed was Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman, who had to know because the Civil Administration, which is responsible for planning and building in the settlements, is under his authority.
    Last week, Netanyahu’s senior advisors held four days of talks in Washington with U.S. envoy Jason Greenblatt and his team, but didn’t succeed in reaching a final understanding. However, in a joint statement released by the two sides at the end of the round of talks, they said that Israel is prepared, in principle, to restrict construction in the settlements in consideration of Trump’s desire to push forward with a peace process.
    Israel’s umbrella organization for settlers, the Yesha Council, responded to the news, but did not attack the decision. “In wake of the decision and despite some restrictions, the understandings reached between the governments of Israel and the U.S. administration permit the continued settlement construction in all the communities in Judea and Samaria, and even the establishment of a new settlement for the residents of Amona,” the council said.
    “The true test will be the immediate renewal of planning and development throughout the settlements. We will stand guard and work to make sure that the Israeli government will actualize this plan,” they said.

  • The Arc: Building a Palestinian State

    Je ne mets pas les liens parce que ça a planté seenthis hier, mais la visite du site est particulièrement intéressante avec ce projet époustouflant de transport pour relier les différentes parties de la population palestinienne de Gaza à haïfa en passant par la Cisjordanie

    Developed by RAND and Suisman, this widely acclaimed vision and strategy would help a prospective Palestinian state emerge, and succeed

    The RAND Corporation, in partnership with Suisman Urban Design, has published the most comprehensive recommendations ever developed for the creation of a new Palestinian state, including a landmark proposal for a new national transportation and infrastructure corridor called the Arc. Doug Suisman is the lead author of the book, entitled, “The Arc: A Formal Structure for a Palestinian State”. The Arc is a vision for an integrated interurban rail and infrastructure line linking the West Bank and Gaza. It connects existing Palestinian urban centers with a series of new development areas along the rail line, providing a framework for significant population growth.

  • Israel assassinates Shalit-deal prisoner in Gaza, Hamas says
    March 25, 2017 10:33 A.M.

    GAZA CITY (Ma’an) — The Hamas movement announced Friday night that former prisoner 35-year-old Mazen Fuqahaa was assassinated by unidentified assailants in southern Gaza City, accusing Israel of carrying out the targeted killing.

    Unknown assailants opened fire at Fuqahaa at the entrance to a residence in the Tal al-Hawa neighborhood in southwestern Gaza City, shooting four bullets into the man’s head before they fled the area, witnesses said.

    The assassination was carried out with a gun equipped with a silencer, according to member of Hamas’s politburo Izzat al-Rishq.

    Fuqahaa, from the northern occupied West Bank district of Tubas, was released from serving a life sentence in Israeli custody in the 2011 Gilad Shalit prisoners exchange deal, and then exiled to the besieged Gaza Strip.

    According to Israeli media, Fuqahaa was a senior member of the al-Qassam Brigades, and had been sentenced to life in prison for planning a suicide bombing in northern Israel in 2002 that left nine people dead and tens of others wounded.

    In a statement, the brigades said that it was “clear and obvious that this crime was arranged by the Zionist enemy,” referring to the state of Israel.

    They went on to warn that “this enemy will be the ones who suffer the consequences and take responsibility for this crime,” and that Israel would “regret the day” they began carrying out stealth assassinations against “resistance fighters in Gaza.”

    The Hamas movement called the assassination “a cowardly attack by the occupation,” promising that Israel would “pay for its crimes.”

    The Abu Ali Mustafa Brigades, the military wing of the leftist Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine also denounced the assassination, saying the killing “must be met with a harsh response by all resistance factions.”

    The Islamic Jihad movement said Fuqahaa’s assassination marked the start of “a new offensive” by Israel against Palestinian resistance, and that the resistance had the right to respond and defend themselves.

    Spokesperson for Gaza’s Ministry of Interior Iyad al-Buzm said security services had opened an investigation into the details of the incident.


    • Le Hamas ferme le point de passage entre Gaza et Israël
      AFP | 26/03/2017

      Le Hamas a fermé dimanche le point de passage entre la bande de Gaza qu’il dirige et Israël après l’assassinat d’un de ses responsables, que le mouvement islamiste palestinien a imputé aux services israéliens de renseignement.

      Dans un communiqué, le ministère de l’Intérieur à Gaza précise avoir fermé le point de passage d’Erez pour une durée indéterminée le temps que se déroule l’enquête sur le meurtre de Mazen Faqha, 38 ans, tué par balles vendredi par des inconnus dans l’enclave palestinienne.
      Israël n’a fait aucun commentaire sur la fermeture du point de passage côté gazaoui ni sur le meurtre de ce responsable palestinien.

      Selon des médias israéliens, Mazen Faqha dirigeait des cellules de la branche armée du Hamas en Cisjordanie, territoire palestinien occupé depuis 50 ans par Israël et séparé géographiquement de la bande de Gaza par l’Etat hébreu.
      Faqha avait été arrêté et condamné à de la prison pour des attaques suicide qui avait tué des Israéliens durant la deuxième intifada entre 2000 et 2005.
      Il faisait partie du millier de prisonniers palestiniens libérés en 2011 en échange du soldat israélien Gilad Shalit, que le Hamas détenait depuis cinq ans. M. Faqha avait été transféré vers Gaza.

      Erez, dans le nord de la bande de Gaza, est la seule porte d’entrée et de sortie pour les personnes entre l’enclave palestinienne et Israël. Un autre point de passage, Kerem Shalom, est réservé au passage des marchandises.

      La bande de Gaza est soumise depuis dix ans à un blocus de la part d’Israël et les deux parties se sont livré trois guerres depuis 2008.

  • Israel prevents Palestinians from accessing agricultural lands to make settlers ’comfortable’
    March 24, 2017 1:53 P.M. (Updated: March 24, 2017 6:10 P.M.)

    SALFIT (Ma’an) — Israeli forces on Friday prevented Palestinians from accessing areas around the Wadi Qana valley west of Deir Istiya village in northern Salfit in the central occupied West Bank, in order to create a “comfortable atmosphere” for illegal Israeli settlers in the area.

    Member of the Deir Istiya Municipality Nathmi Salman told Ma’an that Israeli authorities closed the entrance of Wadi Qana, preventing Palestinians from entering the area from 8 a.m to 3 p.m Friday to provide a “comfortable atmosphere” for Israeli settlers from the nearby Karnei Shomron settlement who organize an annual “spring march” in the area.

    According to Salman, Israeli forces had put up signs in Hebrew reading “no entry” late Thursday and informed farmers that the area was closed by Israeli forces on Friday.

    Salman said that Israeli settlers arrived in the area early Friday with power generators and “entertainment tools.”


  • 1 Palestinian teen killed, 3 critically injured after Israeli forces open fire on vehicle
    March 23, 2017 9:15 P.M. (Updated: March 25, 2017 3:37 P.M.) Muhammad Mahmoud Ibrahim al-Hattab

    RAMALLAH (Ma’an) — A Palestinian youth was killed and three others were critically injured Thursday evening after Israeli forces opened fire on a Palestinian vehicle near the al-Jalazun refugee camp north of Ramallah city in the central occupied West Bank.

    Ambulances of the Palestinian Red Crescent Society transferred the four youths, all residents of al-Jalazun camp, to the Ramallah Government Hospital, where one was pronounced dead.

    Ma’an previously reported based on reports from medical officials at the hospital that a second teen succumbed to his wounds, though the ministry later clarified that while three were still undergoing surgery, only one teen had been pronounced dead. .

    The Palestinian Ministry of Health identified one of the slain Palestinians as 17-year-old Muhammad Mahmoud Ibrahim al-Hattab , who was shot in the chest and shoulder.

    The ministry identified the three injured as 18-year-old Jassem Muhammed Nakhla, who was shot in the head and foot, 18-year-old Muhammad Hattab, who was shot in the abdomen, and 18-year-old Muhammed Musa Nakhla, who was shot in the foot and shoulder. The three remained in critical condition.

    Local sources told Ma’an that Israeli soldiers fired heavily at the the vehicle while the teens were inside, from military tower near the entrance of the camp.

    An Israeli army spokesperson told Ma’an that “three suspects exited a vehicle adjacent to the community of Beit El,” referring to the illegal Israeli settlement adjacent to al-Jalazun, “where the suspects threw firebombs at the community. In response to the threat Israeli forces in the area fired towards the suspects, and several hits were confirmed. The suspects then fled the scene.”


    • Palestinians in Bilin protest against Israel’s occupation, ’cold blooded killing’ of teenager
      March 24, 2017 6:09 P.M. (Updated: March 24, 2017 6:09 P.M.)

      RAMALLAH (Ma’an) — Palestinians from the central occupied West Bank Ramallah-area village of Bilin set out on their weekly march Friday, in protest of Israeli settlement expansion and the construction of the Israeli separation wall on the village’s lands. Marchers also protested against the killing of 17-year-old Muhammad Mahmoud Ibrahim al-Hattab , who was shot and killed by Israeli forces Thursday night.

      Bilin locals and foreign peace activists held Palestinian flags and marched through the village’s streets, chanting slogans and songs that called for national unity, resistance, releasing Palestinian prisoners, and other issues related to the Palestinian cause.

      Media coordinator of the popular committee against wall and settlements Ratib Abu Rahma said that Israeli soldiers took pictures of protesters who threw rocks at the separation wall and Israeli military vehicles in the area.

      Abu Rahma highlighted that the march — which Bilin residents have staged every Friday for 12 years — was also held to condemn the “cold blooded killing” of al-Hattab, and the critical injury of three other teens, when Israeli forces opened fire on their vehicle under contested circumstances Thursday night.

      A German delegation also visited the village and participated in the march to express solidarity with Palestinian people.

  • Palestinian officer killed, 2 gunmen injured during armed clashes in Balata
    March 20, 2017 10:36 A.M. (Updated: March 21, 2017 12:10 P.M.)

    NABLUS (Ma’an) — A Palestinian policeman was killed Sunday night during armed clashes that erupted in Balata refugee camp in the northern occupied West Bank district of Nablus, after Palestinian forces raided the camp to detain “wanted fugitives,” Palestinian security forces said.

    The clashes left another policeman and at least two gunmen injured — one of whom was detained while the other managed to escape.

    Local sources told Ma’an that Palestinian security forces ambushed the camp at the eastern cemetery dressed as civilians, sparking clashes with gunmen that lasted some 15 minutes.

    Governor of Nablus Akram Rujoub said that Palestinian security forces officer Hasaan Ali Abu al-Hajj was killed after being shot in the head, and was declared dead sometime later after succumbing to the injury. Rujoub noted that Abu al-Hajj was newly married, just six months ago.

    Abu al-Hajj was buried on Monday afternoon in his hometown of Kobar northwest of Ramallah.(...)


  • What are Israel’s Liberman, Fatah’s Dahlan plotting?

    The one Israeli leader who Dahlan is interested to engage with is Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman. Dahlan and Liberman know each other for many years and share the same language of crude force. According to the official, Dahlan is ready to test the defense minister’s alleged pragmatism and possibly negotiate with him on the basis of his plan for territorial and population exchange, as well as the 2002 Arab Peace Initiative.

    The official noted that some elements in Liberman’s plan could possibly serve as the basis for a two-state solution. The way Dahlan interprets the plan, a framework for a two-state solution should include elements such as advocating two independent states; that the scope and territory of the Palestinian state be equal in size to the West Bank and Gaza; that in most areas the border could be the 1967 lines; that land swaps for the Palestinian state could include some pre-1967 Israeli territory (Dahlan estimates that such land swaps could reinforce Palestinian society cohesion); and that East Jerusalem, with its Palestinian population, would come under Palestinian sovereignty.

    Evidently, Dahlan would consider these elements only as a basis for negotiations, together with all of the elements of the Arab Peace Initiative. With Liberman, Dahlan could actually agree to negotiate with an Israeli right-wing partner. This is a point he would impress upon the United States, the support of which he may need one day. Given the volatility of the PA and Egypt’s shifting approach — which according to Palestinian press reports is adopting nowadays a more lenient approach vis-a-vis Hamas — this scenario is a possibility to be considered.

    Read more:

  • Palestinian teen shot dead, another injured by Israeli forces in al-Arrub refugee camp
    March 17, 2017 9:33 P.M. (Updated: March 17, 2017 9:44 P.M.) Image shared on social media of 16-year-old Murad Yusif Abu Ghazi

    HEBRON (Ma’an) — A 16-year-old Palestinian was shot and killed and at least one other Palestinian teen was injured, after Israeli forces opened fire at a group of Palestinian youth in al-Arrub refugee camp in the southern occupied West Bank district of Hebron on Friday evening.

    The Palestinian Ministry of Health confirmed that 16-year-old Murad Yusif Abu Ghazi died after succumbing to a gunshot wound in his chest, after he was evacuated to the intensive care unit at Hebron’s Al-Ahli Hospital.

    Doctors at the hospital told Ma’an that another Palestinian, identified as 17-year-old Saif Salim Rushdi, was brought to the ICU after he was also shot by Israeli forces in the camp.

    The details behind the shooting remained unclear. However, Israeli media sites reported that Israeli forces had opened fire at a group of Palestinian youths, after the teens allegedly attempted the throw Molotov cocktails at soldiers.


  • Netanyahu expects to reach deal with U.S. on restrained settlement construction -

    ’There’s no blank check from Trump for construction in the settlements and that was known from the first minute he entered the White House,’ says Israeli official.

    Barak Ravid Mar 15, 2017
    read more:

    Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu expects to reach understandings with the United States within a few weeks on curbing construction in the settlements, according to an Israeli official.
    Although the understandings with U.S. President Donald Trump’s administration are likely to include Israeli willingness to impose significant restrictions on construction in West Bank settlements, the Prime Minister’s Bureau believes that this will not weaken the coalition.
    “There’s no blank check from Trump for construction in the settlements and that was known from the first minute he entered the White House,” said the official, who is involved in contacts between Israel and the United States on the subject. “We are looking for the common denominator with the Americans that will allow construction on the one hand, and on the other promote with the Trump administration diplomatic moves in many areas.”

    Israeli-U.S. negotiations on restraining settlements.
    Netanyahu met on Monday evening for more than five hours with American envoy Jason Greenblatt. Israel’s ambassador to the United States, Ron Dermer, was present for most of the meeting and the most significant part of the conversation dealt with the attempt to formulate understandings on construction in the settlements.
    Netanyahu and Greenblatt are expected to meet again this week before the envoy leaves the country.
    Speaking at a Tuesday press conference at his office, Netanyahu described his conversations with Greenblatt as “good and thorough.” Netanyahu added: “I can’t say that we finished or summed things up; we are in a process, but a process of true and sincere dialogue in the positive meaning of the word. It is not yet open to the press.”

    #colonies #Israël #Palestine #Etats-Unis

  • Israeli army denies soldiers intended to plant knife on Palestinian boy in Hebron
    March 14, 2017 8:07 P.M. (Updated: March 14, 2017 10:05 P.M.)

    BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) — After footage emerged of a 15-year-old Palestinian being detained at gunpoint in Hebron in the occupied West Bank — which local activists said depicted an attempt by Israeli forces to plant a knife on the teen before killing him — the Israeli army denied the activists’ claim, calling the reports “false manipulations and an attempt to distort the truth.”

    The footage showed an Israeli soldiers approaching the checkpoint with a knife in his hand, before another soldier leads 15-year-old Muhammad Qazzaz away.

    In response to a request for comment, an Israeli army spokesperson wrote to Ma’an on Tuesday saying that the knife was found in the “terrorist’s” possession after he arrived at the checkpoint.

    According to the spokesperson, who asked Ma’an to change the headline in the initial report of the incident, Qazzaz later admitted during interrogation that “he planned to carry out a terror attack in the Jewish Quarter in Hebron.”

    The spokesperson confirmed that Qazzaz had not yet been charged and investigations were still underway.

    However, local activists with the group Human Rights Defenders — Zeidan al-Sharabati, who filmed the incident, and eyewitness Badi al-Dweik — claimed that the detention could have taken a deadly turn if the encounter had not been filmed, and alleged soldiers were planning on planting the knife on the scene.

    When al-Sharabati arrived near the checkpoint, he said he saw Qazzaz flat on the ground with a soldier, pointing a machine gun the boy’s head, placing his boot on Qazzaz’s neck.

    A second soldier was seen carrying a knife and then throwing it near the checkpoint. Sometime later, another soldier was seen picking up the same knife and then moving with the young Palestinian towards the Israeli police station, when the footage was taken.

    According to al-Sharabati and al-Dweik, many local Palestinians had gathered around the checkpoint to witnesses the violent detention, one of which, who understood Hebrew, heard a soldier telling another soldier to shoot and kill Qazzaz.

    The Palestinian bystander repeatedly shouted out to the soldiers “I understand Hebrew! Don’t kill him!”

    Later, Israeli soldiers tried to force those who were filming to go away, the activists said, who insisted if that if witnesses hadn’t been there to document the event, Qazzaz would have been killed and the knife would have been planted beside his body.

    Israeli forces have detained scores of Palestinians for allegedly being in possession of knives in recent months following a spate of alleged and actual small-scale knife attacks by Palestinians that surged in the fall of 2015.

    Rights groups have disputed Israel’s version of events in a number of cases, denouncing what they have termed as a “shoot-to-kill” policy against Palestinians who did not constitute a threat at the time of their death, or who could have been subdued in a non-lethal manner — amid a backdrop of impunity for Israeli forces who have committed the killings.

    Eyewitnesses have also said in a number of cases that Israeli security forces planted knives on slain Palestinians to claim that they were acting in self-defense during a stabbing attack.

    Meanwhile, rights groups have widely documented the abuse and mistreatment of Palestinian children by Israeli forces and the harsh interrogation practices used to force their confessions.

    Hebron in particular grew as the epicenter of upheaval, with a number of Palestinians having been shot while being detained at military checkpoints in the area.

    Al-Dweik said that after the killing of Palestinian Abd al-Fattah al-Sharif was caught on camera by Human Rights Defenders member Imad Abu Shamsiya in March 2016, the group had increased its efforts to capture Israeli violations of human rights on camera.

  • Egypt-Fatah tensions come to a head at Cairo airport

    A Palestinian politician in Gaza and a close associate of Dahlan told Al-Monitor on condition of anonymity, “Egypt was very offended by Rajoub’s recent meetings with Fatah leaders in the West Bank. He even attacked Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi. This angered many Egyptian officials who were offended. The deportation was a prelude to completely eliminate his chances of becoming head of the PA, as Egyptians can now veto Rajoub’s plan to become Abbas’ successor.”

    Egypt does not hide its desire to play a key role in choosing Abbas’ successor. This was made clear in August 2016, when Egypt made the first move toward achieving reconciliation between Dahlan and Abbas, but the latter continues to reject and exclude Dahlan from any opportunity to succeed him, thus angering Egypt.

    Rajoub’s deportation from Egypt reverberated in Israel. Writing in Haaretz on March 6, author Jack Khoury said Rajoub’s deportation was due to Sisi’s anger toward Abbas for rejecting Sisi’s initiative, announced in May 2016, to hold a regional conference in Cairo with the participation of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu alongside Arab leaders.

    Read more:

  • British royal family may visit Israel to mark Balfour Declaration centenary - Israel News -!/image/1525355058.jpg_gen/derivatives/headline_1200x630/1525355058.jpg

    The British royal family may visit Israel in an official capacity later this year, on the 100th anniversary of the Balfour Declaration, according to British media reports.

    Quand Israël et la Grande-Bretagne célèbrent le traumatisme historique des Palestiniens
    16 février 2017
    par Samah Jabr