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December 3, 2016 / 3 Kislev, 5777

Posts Tagged ‘Jordan Valley’

Liberman Ready to Freeze Construction Outside Settlement Blocks to Please Trump

Thursday, November 17th, 2016

In a move reminiscent of Woody Allen who he sees the school bully approaching and steps on his own glasses, Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman on Wednesday announced that he is ready to freeze construction outside the Judea and Samaria settlement blocks as part of the understandings to be reached with the Trump Administration.

Proving he never read The Art of the Deal, Liberman suggested that Israel’s aspirations in negotiating with President Donald Trump should be to ask for his confirmation of the Bush-Sharon understandings that recognized the need for construction to support the growth of the existing population in Judea and Samaria inside the settlement blocks — but no launching of new settlements (also known as “outposts,” or, according to the Talia Sasson 2005 government report, “illegal outposts”).

The settlement blocks, outside eastern Jerusalem, which, according to the Obama Administration, is also one big settlement, consist of the regional councils of Gush Etzion, Mount Hebron, Matte Binyamin, Samaria, and Jordan valley; the local councils of Alfei Menashe, Beit Aryeh-Ofarim, Beit El, Efrat, Elkana, Giv’at Ze’ev, Har Adar, Immanuel, Karnei Shomron, Kedumim, Kiryat Arba, Ma’ale Efraim, and Oranit; and the cities of Ariel, Betar Illit, Maale Adumim, and Modi’in Illit. As of 2014, the Jewish population there is estimated at 400,000. At the current growth rate, in 2030 this population is expected to hover just below 600,000.

To be fair, this idea was not originally Liberman’s. In 2009, newly elected Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu declared: “I have no intention of building new settlements in the West Bank… But like all the governments there have been until now, I will have to meet the needs of natural growth in the population. I will not be able to choke the settlements.” Then, on October 15, 2009, Netanyahu said the settlement dispute with the Obama Administration had been resolved.

Sources inside the Liberman camp have suggested that the reason for this defeatist statement from one of the biggest hawks in the current cabinet has to do less with the incoming Trump people than with the outgoing Obama people, who can still cause a lot of damage in the two months or so left on their calendar. Once the evil teacher is gone, we’ll bring out the balloons and cake for the substitute teacher, those sources are implying.

Meanwhile, the defense minister was very critical of those MKs and Ministers who welcomed Trump’s election as the coming of the Messiah for Israel and the settlements, and cited messages received from the president elect’s camp “expecting us to behave humbly.”

Perhaps. But Liberman appeared to be in a “humble” mood about more than just future construction in Judea and Samaria — he was also giving up hope for existing Jewish communities, such as Amona. This community, built with government support, is slated for demolition and evacuation come December 25, by decree of the Israeli Supreme Court. Incidentally, on Nittel Nacht, the Jewish name for Christmas, eastern European Rabbis forbade married couples from having relations, and studying Torah was also forbidden, as this was a day destined for evil occurrences — a historic and cultural fact completely missed by the court, apparently.

Humble to the point of outright depression, Liberman criticized the Arrangements Act the coalition had just passed in a preliminary vote, which takes care of Arab claims on Jewish land in the liberated territories without having to destroy Jewish communities. For one thing, he pointed out, “it is clear it won’t cover Amona because it cannot be applied retroactively.”

“Sometimes truth is also an option, even when it’s very bitter,” he said, stating that “anyone who says Amona can be preserved in its current location is just spreading delusions and fantasies.”

Or, as Bogie says in Allen’s Play It Again, Sam, “Nothing that a bit of bourbon wouldn’t fiksh.”

David Israel

Coalition MKs Propose Removing Diplomatic Immunity to Combat Illegal Construction

Thursday, November 3rd, 2016

By Ilana Messika/TPS

MK Oded Forer (Yisrael Beitenu) tabled on Wednesday a bill that would allow European diplomats to be sued for supporting illegal Palestinian Authority construction in Area C.

The proposal would remove foreign diplomats’ immunity from prosecution if they undertake actions designed to assist in terrorism against Israel, human trafficking or illegal construction.

“Immunity granted to foreign countries, however important, cannot be used to legitimize activities which will as a consequence harm the State of Israel or its citizens,” stated Forer.

Forer added that should the bill be approved, it will make easier for the Israel to defend itself against such practices holding the EU criminally accountable for its diplomats’ activities.

Along with Forer, the bill was sponsored by 11 MKs from the Likud, Jewish Home and Yisrael Beitenu parties, along with Zionist Union MK Eitan Broshi.

The bill comes on the heels of protests by residents of Ma’ale Adumim, right-wing activists and politicians and in particular the Regavim organization against illegal construction in the E1 Area, the northeastern slope connecting Jerusalem to the Jordan Valley, especially the area around Ma’ale Adumim.

Last May, Regavim released a report accusing the EU of having turned from humanitarian aid and diplomatic assistance to active political intervention by supporting Palestinian Authority illegal construction. The group says the construction is an indirect move to create a Palestinian state on the disputed territory.

Regavim had initially filed a petition to the Israeli High Court of Justice in June in order to remove the EU’s diplomatic immunity over those violations, but the petition was rejected.

Also Wednesday, EU Representative Ralph Tarraf and Palestinian Authority Minister of Local Government Hussein al-Araj announced the inauguration of the first batch of EU-funded social infrastructure projects in Area C.

”The EU works with the Palestinian Authority to develop Area C and support the Palestinian presence there,” stated Tarraf.

“The EU supports projects promoting economic development and improving the quality of life of Palestinian communities in Area C in the areas of private sector development, the environment and agriculture. Area C is part of the occupied Palestinian territory and will be part of any viable future Palestinian state,” he concluded.

TPS / Tazpit News Agency

PA Official Gets Heavy UN Support in Getting FIFA to Ban Israeli Teams

Thursday, October 13th, 2016

The UN secretary general’s special advisor on sport Wilfried Lemke has been lobbying on behalf of the PA soccer association ban Israeli teams from Judea and Samaria, and sent FIFA a letter advising that all Jewish life in Judea and Samaria is illegal, which includes Jewish soccer teams.

Jibril Rajoub, President of the PA soccer association, has warned the Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA) that if it would not suspend six Israeli teams from the liberated territories, he’d take the association to court. That’s the Court of Arbitration for Sports conflicts, not the Criminal Court in the Hague, in case you were wondering.

Jibril Rajoub, whose history of terrorism goes back to 1968, and who spent a good chunk of his life in Israeli security prisons, was renowned as one of Chairman Arafat’s cruelest enforcers, when the PLO was invited by a Labor government supported by the Arab parties in Knesset to take over Judea, Samaria and Gaza. Starting in 1994, Rajoub served as head of Arafat’s Preventive Security Force until 2003, when Arafat appointed him his national security advisor. During his tenure, Rajoub was accused of using brutal force and harrassment to quash political dissent, including the frequent use of torture. Witnesses described him as shooting adversaries in their kneecaps in broad daylight.

The same Rajoub, who has moved down from murder to sports, told a press conference that “Israel receives quite a few benefits from FIFA, and some of those benefits also reach the settlements teams, which is unacceptable. Our message to FIFA is clear. The time has come to decide this issue and bring an end to Palestinian suffering, and thereby grant freedom of action to Palestinian sport and football, on one hand, and stop giving legitimacy to clubs active in the settlements, on the other.”

According to FIFA’s bylaws, one country may not allow a team located in the territory of another country play in its league without the other country’s consent, and Rajoub argues that six teams from Jewish communities in Judea and Samaria violate this law: Ma’aleh Adumim, Ariel, Kiryat Arba, Givat Ze’ev, the Jordan Valley and Oranit.

“Until a week and a half ago, we were very worried about what was likely to happen at the FIFA Council meeting,” an Israeli official told Reuters. “Now, we’re more relaxed, and believe that nothing dramatic will happen [during FIFA’s Thursday meeting] aside from a discussion of the issue. The big battle over the issue of the settlement teams will effectively be postponed until the FIFA Congress, which will take place in Bahrain in May 2017.”

According to the same Israeli official, the new FIFA president, Gianni Infantino, reassured the Israelis  that he would not permit a unilateral decision on the issue. Infantino wants to try to get a compromise that satisfies both sides, when he visits Israel and the PA come November.

According to Reuters, the UN secretary general’s special advisor on sport Wilfried Lemke stressed in his letter to Infantino that the UN Security Council has deemed the settlements a violation of international law, and so they have no legal status, and, therefore, “their soccer teams also have no legal status” and don’t meet the requirement of the FIFA bylaw.

In an interview he gave International Catalan Institute for Peace, Lemke counted among his chief achievements during his tenure as head of UNOSDP the active role he played in building “Extension Building for the Indoor Sports Hall” in the PA, to “empower refugee children and provide safe sporting environments for youth.” He has also supported “Sport for Resilience,” a project implemented by UNRWA. In 2014, UNOSDP also supported the Diyar Women Sports Center, a facility that provides PA women with the necessary skills and education required for them to enter the employment market. “The construction of this center contributes significantly to the enhancement of sporting infrastructure, human resources and social programs in Palestine now,” Lemke boasted.

Will the team of PA and UN officials be able to damage six Israeli soccer teams? We’ll find out in May, in Bahrain.

JNi.Media

Gloves Are Off as Cabinet Revives Settlement Division

Friday, October 7th, 2016

On Sunday, the Netanyahu cabinet is expected to liberate an important tool for the reclamation and development of Israeli lands on either side of the “green line,” as the Settlement Division of the World Zionist Organization will come under tighter government control and at the same time increase its contribution to Jewish communities, Israeli media reported Friday.

Two years ago, Deputy AG Dina Zilber issued a harsh critique of the Settlement Division, accusing it of running a murky operation, especially in Judea and Samaria, outside the control of Israeli governments, mostly due to its status as a private entity. As a result, the Justice Ministry, then under one of the Jewish settlement enterprise’s worst enemies, Tzipi Livni, recommended that the next government (which Tzipi expected to head) dismantle the division by blocking its state budget. Without a budget, the division was expected to wither and die.

On Sunday, apparently, the same Zionist instrument of vitality will roar back to life, with a budget just short of $10 million, to be distributed equally among the Jewish communities of the Negev, Galilee, and Judea and Samaria. In addition, the Settlement Division will be empowered to offer solutions to stressed communities, especially in the periphery. No such first-aid government entity exists today.

The Zilber report was attacked not only by the rightwing parties, but also by communities that are associated with Tzipi Livni’s Labor party, alongside the Gaza border and down in the Jordan Valley. In fact, after the elections that saw Livni retreat to the opposition benches, several of her own party MKs supported a bill submitted by MK Bezalel Smotrich (Habayit Hayehudi), enabling the government to delegate its power to the Settlement Division. Zilber, a civil servant, lobbied against the bill, which passed in three plenum votes. The eager bureaucrat was later rebuked by her new boss, Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked (Habayit Hayehudi), for her acting against the expressed will of the elected officials above her.

The layout of the revived Settlement Division which will be discussed by the cabinet on Sunday will define it as an expert, consulting entity which both counsels the government on settlement issues and carries out specific government assignments. For the first time, the division is expected to be able to act within urban communities in the rural sectors, when in the past it was limited to working with the regional councils. Its policy will no longer be shaped by the division, but instead by the Agriculture Minister, Uri Ariel (Habayit Hayehudi).

One of Zilber’s criticisms was taken seriously by the designers of the renewed Settlement Division — the need for transparency. To that end, it will be placed under the supervision of the Agriculture Ministry’s Accountant General and Legal Counsel. It will also have to comply with Israel’s Freedom of Information Act.

With all those provisos in place, the Settlement Division will be empowered to plan and establish new communities, pave roads, lay down infrastructure, manage mobile homes, and strengthen and rehabilitate communities in need. The division will also manage the lands of Israeli communities in Judea and Samaria until such time as a more permanent legal solution is reached.

Minister Ariel, who has been a major force behind the efforts to revive the division, told Makor Rishon on Thursday that “in the past few years there have been many different attempts by judicial entities to lock down the Settlement Division which endeavors to develop periphery communities across the land. I believe and hope that once the Settlement Division returns to full capacity the regional councils and the local residents will once again receive solutions to their enormous needs.”

JNi.Media

Judea, Samaria, Golan Communities Bypassing BDS, Taking Products Directly to US Consumers

Tuesday, September 27th, 2016

This week, Yesha Council, the umbrella organization of municipal councils of Jewish communities in Judea and Samaria this week joined forces with the Israeli Ministry of Strategic Affairs to promote their products as well as products from the Golan Heights at the annual IAC National Conference in Washington. Representatives of the council and ministry handed out five thousands Medjoul dates from the Jordan Valley, two hundred bottles of wine, and hundreds of samples of Ahava cosmetics and other products to conference participants.

The imitative was part of a broader plan to educate and encourage Israel supporters worldwide to buy blue and white and support businesses most threatened by the BDS campaign. Three months ago, a similar program was held in Moscow, and many more such events are anticipated worldwide in the coming months.

Oded Revivi, Chief Foreign Envoy of Yesha Council said in statement: “Israeli industrial zones in Judea and Samaria are islands of peace and coexistence where Israelis and Palestinians work together for a better future. With no political solution on the horizon, it’s time to tell the world that Israelis and Palestinians can live and work together in peace without being pushed into an agreement that neither side wants. Boycotting Israeli companies in Judea and Samaria actually harms Palestinian workers far more than the Israeli economy and is therefore and act against peace.”

While in Washington, Revivi met with more than a dozen Senators, Congressmen and staffers on Capitol Hill from both the Republican and Democrat parties, where he stressed that Yesha Council would welcome continued dialogue and cooperation with both sides of the aisle.

Yesha Council reps having lunch with Sheldon Adelson. / Courtesy

Yesha Council reps having lunch with Sheldon Adelson. / Courtesy

The Yesha Council delegation met privately with casino magnate Sheldon Adelson, and requested his assistance with new initiatives to strengthen the connection between the Jewish people and their ancestral homeland. They reported that Adelson was extremely excited to hear about a new Amazon-like Boycott website that the Council is in the process of launching. He also agreed to come on a VIP tour of the thriving Israeli communities in Judea and Samaria.

Revivi told Adelson that “businesses in Judea and Samaria are on the frontline of the battle against BDS, [which is] currently targeting Ariel and Efrat but their ultimate goal is the destruction of the entire Jewish State. The Yesha Council is now going on the offensive launching a new Boycott website to promote Israeli goods directly to consumers.”

JNi.Media

Stoning in Jordan Valley

Friday, September 16th, 2016

Stoning attacks against Israeli drivers are continuing on roads the Palestinian Authority government tries to claim for its hoped-for Arab state.

On Thursday evening, Arab terrorists attacked an Israeli bus as it traveled through the Jordan Valley.

The bus came under a hail of rocks, but none of the passengers were physically injured, and no damage to the vehicle was reported, according to Hatzoloh of Judea and Samaria.

Hana Levi Julian

Update: Driver Runs Over Stone Thrower in Jordan Valley

Sunday, August 21st, 2016

A person was throwing stones at passing Israeli vehicles on Saturday night on Highway 90, in the Jordan Valley.

The attacks happened near Mechola, around 500 meters from the checkpoint.

One of the Israeli drivers swerved due to the stone throwing and ran over the stone thrower, according to Hatzalah Judea and Samaria.

IDF trackers examined the scene and IDF troops entered the village of Bardala looking for suspects, and if in fact anyone was run over.

It turns out the stone thrower was not an Arab terrorist as originally thought, but a drunk Thai foreign worker, who worked in the local hot houses, according to Jordan Valley officials.

The man was arrested by the police and taken to the Emek Hospital. He is listed as lightly injured.

The police are investigating to confirm the details of the incident.

Jewish Press News Briefs

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/israeli-driver-runs-over-arab-stone-thrower/2016/08/21/

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