Palestine (Tasnim) – Israel’s so-called security cabinet has unanimously voted in favor of construction of the regime’s first new settlement in the occupied Palestinian territories in 25 years, drawing strong condemnation from Palestinians. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s office released a…
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…
Israeli forces have killed more Palestinian children in the occupied West Bank and al-Quds in 2016 than any other year in the last decade, rights group Defense for Children International (DCI) said.
The organization’s chapter in the occupied Palestinian territories recorded the killings of 32 Palestinian children (under 18), making 2016 “the deadliest year of the past decade” for them, the group said in a recent report.
Many of those killings happened during Israeli military raids on Palestinian towns in the occupied West Bank, confrontations with the Israeli army or during unarmed protests.
Calls for Extrajudicial Killings of Palestinian Suspects Proliferate
Some senior Israeli officials have been encouraging Israeli soldiers and police to kill Palestinians they suspect of attacking Israelis even when they are no longer a threat, Human Rights Watch said today in an analysis of those statements. Other Israeli officials have failed to repudiate the calls for excessive use of force.
Human Rights Watch has documented numerous statements since October 2015, by senior Israeli politicians, including the police minister and defense minister, calling on police and soldiers to shoot to kill suspected attackers, irrespective of whether lethal force is actually strictly necessary to protect life.
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.
The Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) spokesman reminded the Tel Aviv regime of a certain defeat it will have to suffer in a war that may break out as a result of pressing ahead with illegal settlement construction in Palestine, saying it will result in Israel’s annihilation.
Speaking at a meeting in Iran’s northwestern city of Oroumiyeh on Thursday, Head of the IRGC Public Relations Department General Ramezan Sharif said Israel’s decision to continue settlement projects on occupied Palestinian territories will “definitely provoke a reaction”, noting that a possible subsequent war will certainly end in the Zionist regime’s defeat and complete destruction.
The general also described the US refusal to veto a UN Security Council resolution against Israeli settlement activity on Palestinian territory as a sign that Washington has come to realize that the course of events and continued settlement construction will result in the collapse of the Zionist regime of Israel.
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 United Nations Security Council was scheduled to vote the evening of December 20 on a resolution demanding Israel halt its settlement expansion policies in all Palestinian territories it occupies. However, according to a UN diplomatic source the vote has been postponed and the new date “is yet unkown.”
The resolution, drafted by Egypt, demands “Israel immediately and completely cease all settlement expansion activities in occupied Palestinian territory, including al-Quds.”
It states such activity is “dangerously imperilling” a two-state solution, and calls for the UN to take “affirmative steps” to reverse this conduct “on the ground.”
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.