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January 24, 2017 / 26 Tevet, 5777

Posts Tagged ‘Jordan Valley’

Mayors of Efrat and Maale Adumim Invited to Trump’s Inauguration Ceremony

Friday, January 13th, 2017

The heads of Moetzet Yesha – The Council of Judea and Samaria, received an invitation to President Donald Trump’s inauguration ceremony in Washington D.C., according to a report in Makor Rishon. The invitation was passed on to them via the Chamber of Commerce of Orthodox Jews (US), who are connected to Trump’s special advisor Jason D. Greenblatt.

The settlement council will most likely be represented at the inauguration by Mayor of Efrat, Oded Revivi, who also heads the foreign desk for Moetzet Yesha, and Beni Kashriel, the Mayor of Maale Adumim.

In addition, several other people connected to Jewish life in Judea and Samaria have been invited, but according to the report, they prefer not to publicize their invitations.

This is the first time that settlement leaders have been invited to a presidential inauguration.

Yigal Dilmoni, spokesperson for Moetzet Yesha, praised the move, saying it “foretells the new spirit emanating from the US regarding the change in [Washington’s] attitude towards Israel, and in particular, [Jewish] settlement in Judea, Samaria and the Jordan Valley. This new spirit was also expressed by the recent visit of Governor Mike Huckabee last week to Maale Adumim, and we are preparing for it.”

PM Netanyahu won’t be attending the ceremony, and will instead be represented by Israel’s Ambassador to the US, Ron Dermer.

Jewish Press News Briefs

Terrorist Killed in Jordan Valley Early Morning Stabbing Attempt

Tuesday, January 10th, 2017

An Arab terrorist was killed early Tuesday morning at the al-Fari’ah refugee camp in the foothills of the Jordan Valley in northeastern Samaria, after trying to stab Israel soldiers, Israel Radio reported.

The terrorist, yelling Allahu Akbar, rushed with a knife in his hand a unit of the IDF Duvdevan special forces who were arresting suspects for questioning at the camp. The soldiers began a suspect apprehension protocol, but as the man continued to advance in their direction with his knife and yelling they shot him dead.

Throughout the raid the IDF force was pelted with explosives and was shot at. No one was hurt.

According to the Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics (PCBS), the al-Fari’ah camp had a population of 5,750 in 2006, but according to UNRWA the population reaches 7,244. They are all registered as refugees, even though their vast majority were born there well after 1949, when the camp was established.

David Israel

Bennett in Ma’aleh Adumim: It’s Either Sovereignty or Palestine

Monday, January 2nd, 2017

The Habayit Hayehudi Knesset faction conducted its weekly meeting in Ma’aleh Adumim, which is the focal point of a legislative effort to bring it into the fold of Israel’s sovereign territory.

Today we continue in the path of [Labor Prime Minister] Levi Eshkol, applied Israeli law in [unified] Jerusalem, of Yitzhak Rabin, who built Ma’aleh Adumim, and of Menachem Begin, who applied Israeli sovereignty in the Golan Heights. Today, we continue to Ma’aleh Adumim and later to the rest of the regions of our country.”

“After having lived here for 50 years, it’s time to terminate the martial law,” Bennett said, referring to the fact that, due to the ambiguity of all of Israel’s governments, hundreds of thousands of Jews are deprived of their right to access to many of the state’s civil services, and are instead being largely governed by a military ruler.

“Which is why, by month’s end, we’ll submit a bill calling for applying Israeli law in Judea and Samaria and embark on a new path,” Bennett announced, explaining, “We’ll submit to the government a proposal to apply Israeli law in Ma’aleh Adumim, together with all the coalition parties. I expect all my fellow government ministers to support this important path.”

“A national government has no other option,” Bennett stressed. “We must move from retreat to sovereignty.”

Bennett noted that Israel sacrificed thousands of its citizens, absorbed thousands of rockets, received countless condemnations because of the same messianic policy seeking a Palestinian State. “The conclusion is to stop marching on the tracks of folly of a Palestinian State and to apply Israeli law in Ma’aleh Adumim, the Jordan Valley, Ofra, Ariel and all the rest of Area C, as soon as possible. That’s the way to win.”

Referring to the change of Administrations this month in Washington, Bennett said, “You must understand, ladies and gentlemen, we are in a narrow window of opportunity, it’s our last chance before the world forces on us a terror state along Route 6 (a new toll highway running north-to-south along the old ‘green line’).”

“It’s either sovereignty or a Palestinian State,” he concluded, “If there’s no sovereignty, there will be a Palestinian State.”

JNi.Media

Netanyahu Slams Obama’s Betrayal at Security Council

Saturday, December 24th, 2016

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu issued an irate message following the US’ betrayal of its most loyal Middle East ally. On Friday, the US chose to abstain at a critical anti-Israel vote at the UN Security Council, for the first time since the Carter Administration in 1980. The Council passed a resolution condemning Israel’s settlements enterprise in the liberated areas of Judea, Samaria and Jerusalem. The vote passed with the vote of 14 of the council’s 15 members, to the sound of great applause. A veto by the US – or any of the five permanent members of the council – would have killed the resolution.

Netanyahu’s message was unabashed: “Israel rejects the anti-Israel resolution at the UN and will not abide by its terms. At a time when the Security Council does nothing to stop the slaughter of half a million people in Syria, it disgracefully gangs up on the one true democracy in the Middle East, Israel, and calls the Western Wall ‘occupied territory.

“The Obama administration not only failed to protect Israel against this gang-up at the UN, it collaborated with the UN behind the scenes.

“Israel looks forward to working with President-elect Trump and with all our friends in Congress, Republicans and Democrats alike, to negate the harmful effects of this absurd resolution.”

Indeed, the president-elect tweeted Friday evening: “As to the UN, things will be different after Jan. 20th.”

Obama’s deputy national security adviser Ben Rhodes said Netanyahu had only himself to blame for being knifed in the back as he had been, for failing to heed repeated US warnings against his increased settlement activity. “Prime Minister Netanyahu had the opportunity to pursue policies that would have led to a different outcome today,” Rhodes said.

But The Hill’s Jordan Fabian noted that Rhodes couldn’t really explain how the betrayal at the UNSC would improve the situation in the Middle East. Instead, it appears Obama just used his last chance to smack Netanyahu right where it hurt, in a final show of force, once he was free of the need to restrain himself on account of the elections.

As Rhodes put it, quite shamelessly, “There is one president at a time, [and] President Obama is the president of the United States until Jan. 20 and we are taking this action, of course, as US policy.”

In other words, we’re doing it because we can.

Netanyahu has begun to retaliate for the vote, ordering the Israeli ambassadors to New Zealand and Senegal for consultation. Israel does not have diplomatic ties with the two other states that called for a vote on the resolution – Venezuela and Malaysia. The PM also canceled a scheduled visit of the Senegal’s foreign minister to Israel in retribution for its vote as a temporary UNSC member, and voided Israel’s entire aid package to that country. He also canceled the visits of the non-resident ambassadors from Senegal and New Zealand.

Israel’s UN envoy Danny Danon said the US betrayed Israel, saying in a statement: “It was to be expected that Israel’s greatest ally would act in accordance with the values that we share – and would have vetoed this disgraceful resolution”

Sen. Tom Cotton (R-AR) attacked President Obama, stating: “President Obama is personally responsible for this anti-Israel resolution. His diplomats secretly coordinated the vote, yet he doesn’t even have the courage of his own convictions to vote for it. This cowardly, disgraceful action cements President Obama’s richly deserved legacy as the most anti-Israel president in American history.”

Actually, Obama will probably have to fight Jimmy Carter for the title, but it’s close.

The Republican Jewish Coalition released a statement saying that “by allowing the United Nations’ anti-Israel resolution to be adopted by the Security Council, in the face of fierce bi-partisan opposition, the actions of the Obama Administration will forever be remembered as a dark, shameful moment for our country. The resolution passed today will only serve as a greater barrier to peace, which can only truly be achieved through negotiations. Instead of pressuring the Palestinians to be a partner for peace, President Obama chose to break with long-standing diplomatic practices and allowed the one-sided, anti-Israel United Nations to be used as a tool to bludgeon Israel, our greatest ally in the Middle East.

“We applaud the efforts of Republican Senators, led by Senator Graham, to strip funding to the United Nations, which has time and again showed their anti-Israel bias. What happened today will forever be on the heads of the President, his Party, and groups like J Street that remained silent.”

This last part might not be such a smart move – some in Israel have pointed out that the last time the US cut its UNESCO funding it lost its influence on that vehemently anti-Semitic body, and remained unable to assist Israel when it is being attacked there. If anything, the Trump White House should enhance its involvement to be able to sway the support of the members in a desired direction.

Knesset opposition leader Isaac Herzog (Zionist Camp) condemned the UNSC vote and Netanyahu with the same breath, stating: “This is a difficult night for Israel. I strongly oppose this harsh resolution of the UN Security Council, which is a strategic defeat for Israel.”

The far-left was giddy. Meretz Chair MK Zehava Galon said she was happy the US did not veto the resolution “against the policy of annexation and settlement and not against Israel.” She pointed out the vote was “the direct result of the law to legalize settlements, with Israel having lost all its shame and the world having lost its patience.”

The party to the right of Netanyahu’s Likud was also pleased with the vote, recognizing a rare opportunity to use the unifying anger of the vast majority of Israelis to get some positive action going. Habayit Hayehudi Chairman MK Naftali Bennett said on Saturday night that now is the time to “switch from retreat to sovereignty.” Bennett added that “thousands of terrorists the world over are watching the UN resolution, seeing it as a call to arms. This resolution is the direct outcome of the policies of Oslo, of concessions, withdrawals and splitting – and the result of our public agreement to establish a Palestinian State at the heart of our country. [This resolution] must be discarded to the trash heap of history like all its predecessors.”

“This is the time for a U-turn,” Bennett said, “It’s time to switch from retreat to sovereignty. The conclusion is that we must stop marching on the suicidal track of a Palestinian State and to impose Israeli law on Ma’aleh Adumim, the Jordan Valley, Ofra and the entire Area C, as soon as possible.”

JNi.Media

PA Arabs Build Ilegal ‘Outpost’ Near Jewish Town in Jordan Valley

Thursday, November 17th, 2016

By Andrew Friedman/TPS

Dozens of Palestinian Authority Arab activists erected a large tent on state land in the northern Jordan Valley Thursday, near the Israeli town of Mehola.

Eyewitness Hezy Eyal told Tazpit Press Service (TPS) that the Arabs called it a “settlement outpost” and said the move was intended to “protest Jewish settlements in the region.” They named the area Yasser Arafat Village.

Eyal said about two dozen Israeli activists joined the protest, asking why Israelis were living on “Palestinian land” and demanding that IDF forces not expel the Arabs from the site.

IDF and local security forces responded to the demonstration, and field commanders on site ordered the protesters to leave. As of this writing, the protesters have not left, and security forces have not removed them.

Jordan Valley Regional Council head David Elhayani told TPS that the move is reflective of a years-long reticence on the part of the government to exercise Israel’s sovereignty in the area.

“In recent years, [Arabs in the region] have become bolder than they were in the past,” he said. “They have been building illegal structures and taking over state lands. [They are nothing more than] law breakers who have figured out that law enforcement in this region has become lax.

“Today’s attempt by Palestinians to take over state lands is a challenge to the rule of law,” added Elhayani. “I demand not only that they be removed immediately, but that they also face criminal prosecution. Their cars should also be confiscated in order to set an example.”

TPS / Tazpit News Agency

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

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/coalition-mks-propose-removing-diplomatic-immunity-to-combat-illegal-construction/2016/11/03/

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