Israel/Palestine (OpenDemocracy) – A two-state solution has international legitimacy, while a deeply integrated polity seems the only realistic option on-the-ground. Does Two States One Homeland square the circle while giving dignity and human rights a chance The UN’s extraordinary resolution 2334 of December Read More
The recent resolution passed by the United Nations Security Council condemning the growth of the illegal colonial Israeli settlements in occupied Palestinian land of East Jerusalem and the West Bank was a necessary reprimand for the Netanyahu Government. What made it all the more remarkable was the fact it passed the Security Council without being vetoed by the United States. Historically the United States has shielded Israel from censure by the UN Security Council but this time the Obama administration rightly abstained.
Now, I am about as pro-Israel as they come and feel very protective of Israel. I strongly believe in Israel’s right to exist and I am a huge admirer of the State of Israel and the Israeli and Jewish people. All my closest friends at university were Jewish and I attended meetings of the Cambridge University Jewish Society as well as speaking in defence of Israel at the Cambridge Union. It was one of the greatest privileges of my life to visit the great State of Israel back in November 2013. It was one of the most poignant and memorable trips of my life. My group were taken to Jerusalem and Tel Aviv as well as the Israeli-Lebanese border and the Israeli-Syrian border up in the Golan Heights. We got to visit the Knesset, the Israeli Parliament where we had consultations with various Israeli MPs from the Labor Party, Kadima and Likud. We also visited the inspiring Shimon Peres Peace Centre as well as Galilee and Yad Vashem. I would one day love to live in Israel. A magnificent country, only the size of Wales, yet extremely dynamic, innovative, cultured and intellectual with a prodigious output and work ethic. Truly an amazing country and people. But it was not just Israel we visited. We went into the West Bank to Ramallah and met with the de facto Palestinian Foreign Minister as well as Palestinian peace activists.
Israeli officials have reportedly scrapped plans to build hundreds more illegal settler units on the occupied Palestinian territory, which would amount to a clear violation of the recent UN Security Council resolution demanding a halt to the regime’s land grab policy.
Hanan Rubin, with the Jerusalem (al-Quds) Local Planning and Building Committee, said on Wednesday that the bid to approve construction permits for nearly 500 homes in East al-Quds had been shelved upon the request of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
Rubin said the decision came as US Secretary of State John Kerry is to offer a purported “comprehensive vision” for the Israeli-Palestinian conflict during a speech in Washington later in the day, according to Press TV.
Following the vote on Friday by the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) calling for a halt to further Israeli settlements in the West Bank, the Jerusalem Planning Committee has approved hundreds of new settlement homes in East Jerusalem.
The Israeli government began approving new settlements over the weekend that were previously deemed ‘diplomatically sensitive’ by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s office prior to the election of Donald Trump. Despite a noticeable slowdown in the construction of settlements over the last few years of the Obama presidency, Israel seems to be banking on further support for their settlement projects from incoming President Donald Trump.
The British Department for International Development (DFID) has announced it will continue to provide funding to aid the Palestinian Authority (PA), but a series of “critical changes” will be made in order to ensure value for money.
The money will be funded by the taxpayer and its objective is to help “maintain stability, provide vital services and build and strengthen the institutions needed for a viable two-state solution.”
The global community has been outraged over the past week as Israeli legislators try to pass a law to retroactively make their criminal settlements in the West Bank legal.
The settlement bill, on the verge of passing through the Israeli parliament, is being considered by many outside observers (as well as right wing Israeli proponents) as what essentially amounts to annexation of a large portion of Palestinian land. The bill would legalize over 4,000 settlement homes already built on stolen Palestinian land.
The United Kingdom is deeply concerned over reports of Jerusalem receiving plans for some 500 new “illegal” housing units in a settlement in East Jerusalem, UK Minister for the Middle East Tobias Ellwood said Monday.
Last week, media reports emerged claiming that Jerusalem’s municipality had proposed construction of 500 housing units in Ramat Shlomo, an area annexed by Israel.
“We are deeply concerned by reports that the Jerusalem Municipality has revived a plan for constructing 500 new units in the illegal settlement of Ramat Shlomo in East Jerusalem,” Ellwood said in a statement.