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September 30, 2014 / 6 Tishri, 5775
At a Glance

Posts Tagged ‘settlements’

Israel Goes on Offensive with Announcement of New Homes in Samaria

Friday, September 5th, 2014

Israel announced on Friday it is issuing tenders for 283 new homes in the community Elkana, located on the western side of Samaria and approximately 10 miles east of Kfar Saba, on the northern edge of metropolitan Tel Aviv.

The news is certain to draw the ire of the United States at the daily press briefing at the State Dept. which earlier this week virtually ordered Israel to “reverse” its decision to create a new community in Gush Etzion and build homes for Jews in Jerusalem.

Plans for 2,200 new homes for Arabs in Jerusalem did not draw a whisper from the Obama Defense Minister, as reported here on Thursday,

The new homes for Elkana, where more than 4,000 people were reported as a “land grab” by the AFP news agency, a total lie since, as lawyer-journalist Lori Marcus Lowenthau wrote here yesterday, the land is not “grabbed” from anyone because it has no owners since the time of the Ottoman Empire and Jordanian occupation.

This week’s flurry of announcements for new homes is not a coincidence. Palestinian Authority negotiator Saed Erekat met with U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry Wednesday to present PA chairman Mahmoud Abbas’ three-year-ultimatum that Israel withdraw from every inch of land in Judea and Samaria as well as area of Jerusalem where he claims sovereignty.

A Palestinian Authority said that Israel rejected the idea.

State Dept. spokeswoman Jen Psaki said that the meeting between Kerry and Erekat was “constructive.” But did not reveal any details.

Obama Silent on Plans for New Homes for Jerusalem (Arabs)

Thursday, September 4th, 2014

Jerusalem’s announcement Wednesday that a new Arab neighborhood for Arabs will be built was met by a thundering silence by the European Union and the United States, which throw a tantrum every time plans are drawn up for a single house for a Jew in parts of the capital claimed by the Palestinian Authority.

The Jerusalem Local Building and Planning Committee approved building 2,200 housing units on 375 acres in the Arav al-Swahara neighborhood.

Approval was secured after pressure by the judicial system, which was approached by a human rights legal council of the Hebrew University. Right-wing activists and Haredi city councilmen previously have blocked the plan, Haaretz reported.

“The planning of neighborhoods in eastern Jerusalem by the municipality is a clear expression of Israeli sovereignty over all parts of the city and strengthens the unity of Jerusalem,” said Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat.

He warned that the city faced a wave of illegal construction and accompanying damage to long-term environmental planning, if it did not act to provide more housing for Arabs.

Barkat’s claim that the new neighborhood will help unify the city will be judged in the future, but the lack of American response is nothing less than another admission that it considers Palestinian Authority demands a “done deal.”

On Sunday, the U.S. State Dept. expressed “concern” over plans for new homes for Jews in Gush Etzion and eastern Jerusalem, claimed by the Palestinian Authority, and U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry’s spokeswoman Jen Psaki went so far as to state on Tuesday that Israel must “reverse” the decision.

Psaki, who apparently thinks she also is Israel’s Housing Minister, said it was “contrary to Israel’s stated goal of negotiating a permanent status agreement with the Palestinians, and it would send a very troubling message if they proceed.”

Kerry then picked up the phone complained to Netanyahu in what has been reported as a very uncordial conversation.

How, pray tell, can building for Jews be an obstacle to a permanent status agreement and building when building for Arabs is not an obstacle?

Any intelligent person, except for those in the Obama administration – and yes, they are very intelligent but equally ignorant – must conclude that President Barack Obama and U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry are lying through their teeth when they claim they are not pushing PA chairman Mahmoud Abbas’ agenda.

They want “negotiations” by holding Abbas’ hand and standing behind Israel with a diplomatic knife to rip Jerusalem apart and returning to the 1049 Temporary Armistice Lines that the want to be permanent, 47 years after the borders were finally dismantled by the Six-Day War in 1967.

Despite all the criticism, including on these pages, of Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu for caving in so often to American pressure, it really is a wonder that Israel still is one piece considering the open hypocrisy of the White House and State Dept.

Abbas is well aware of that, so he can expect that his negotiator Saeb Erekat, the one who has quite several times but miraculously doesn’t quit, is enjoying a friendly reception in Washington this week.

He reportedly is bringing with him Abbas’ three-year ”plan, to be read “ultimatum,” that Judea and Samaria and half of Jerusalem be rid of Jews by 2017.

Ya’alon Seeks Peaceful Means to Evacuate New Outposts

Sunday, August 17th, 2014

In Gush Etzion, Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon has suggested a swap in order to convince residents of a newly-established outpost to leave their homes in communities with fresh wounds attached to the sites.

Move out, Ya’alon told the Gush Etzion Regional Council, and he would approve legal status for 24 new homes and a new farm instead.

Three outposts were started in July in the memory of the three teens who were kidnapped and murdered by Hamas terrorists in Gush Etzion as they were hitchhiking home for the Sabbath on June 12.

One was located near Bat Ayin and close to where the boys were kidnapped. Another was set up in Tekoa Hey, a hill near the town of Tekoa in eastern Gush Etzion. The new outposts, named Ramat HaShlosha (Heights of The Three) were expected to grow into a Jewish community established in their names in July as a response to the terror attack.

The third was Talmei Chaim, established on Hill 22 just north of Kiryat Aba but within the city limits, and intended to reach towards the area where they boys’ bodies were found.

Two more sites were also established on the night the boys’ bodies were found: one near the northeastern Jerusalem suburb of Ma’ale Adumim and the other near the community of Karmei Tzur, very close to the burial site.

Their bodies were discovered in a field belonging to the Qawasme clan near the Palestinian Arab town of Halhul, north of Hevron and south of Gush Etzion, on June 30.

Bennett Talks Israel on HardTalk

Sunday, August 10th, 2014

Annexation ‘Only Sane Plan’ Says Bennett

Monday, June 9th, 2014

Economy Minister Naftali Bennett says annexing Area C – the Jewish settlement blocs and the areas of the Judea and Samaria that are totally under Israeli control in accordance with the internationally-recognized Oslo Accords – is the “only sane plan” left.

Speaking in an interview with IDF Army Radio this morning (Monday), the Bayit Yehudi party chairman said, “It’s no secret that for dozens of years there has been a massive disagreement on how to leave the settlements. But there’s been no justification for the argument. It hasn’t proven itself.”

Since 1967, the number of Israeli Jews living in Judea and Samaria – known abroad by the euphemism used by Jordan after it occupied the territory, the “West Bank” (of the Jordan River, that is) – has grown exponentially. Today the region is home to more than 350,000 Jews, most living in what is known as “Area C” – the area under complete Israeli government control.

Bennett — a former member of an IDF special forces unit — has taken a pragmatic approach and maintained for years the only way to resolve the impasse with the Palestinian Authority is to simply annex Area C — beginning with Gush Etzion — and be done with it. In any event the international community is going to kick a fuss just as they did over the Golan Heights and Jerusalem, according to his way of thinking; one may as well be hung for a sheep as a lamb, and at least keep the family safe.

But Finance Minister Yair Lapid – head of the leftist ‘Yesh Atid’ party and firmly opposed to annexation of any kind – has threatened to bring down the government over the plan.

It’s not yet clear what role the United States is playing in Lapid’s intransigence on the issue or for that matter, his maneuvering a fifth column against Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu with Hatnua party chairwoman Tzipi Livni, former alleged “chief negotiator” for the government. It’s no secret the White House despises the Netanyahu government and would just love to see someone else sitting in the prime minister’s residence.

“If there is any effort to annex even one settlement unilaterally, Yesh Atid will not just leave the government, it will bring it down,” Lapid announced late Sunday in Herzliya.

Instead, it appears that Lapid has become the new Kerry, pressuring Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu to return to the negotiating table with the PA ‘unity’ government. He advocates withdrawal from “some” PA territory and has insisted that Netanyahu come up with a map showing borders for a new PA state – essentially the same demands made by PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas.

Justice Minister Livni is aligning with him against Netanyahu; together, the two comprise 25 of the 68 seats held by the current coalition. If they withdraw their support, Netanyahu could lose the government – or would have to call new elections.

In the long run, that might not be a half-bad idea; given the current options. It is more than likely that Likud would gain the votes it lost in the last election and even possible that Livni might be shaken out in the process.

Meanwhile, although none of the new PA unity government ministers are technically drawn from any terrorist group, Gaza’s ruling Hamas terrorist organization is a full partner with Fatah in the government. Hamas, along with its allied group, the Islamic Jihad terrorist organization, has sworn to annihilate the State of Israel. In fact neither has abandoned that cause. Somehow these facts have managed to escape the notice of Israel’s finance minister, who seems only to see the necessity of pleasing the United States and Europe.

Lapid Calls for Unilateral Disengagement 

Sunday, June 8th, 2014

Yesh Atid leader Yair Lapid slammed Economy Minister Naftali Bennett Sunday, and threatened to bring down the government if Bennett’s plan to annex Judea and Samaria is adopted. Lapid also called for a building freeze.

In addition, Lapid called for an Ariel Sharon-style flight from Judea and Samaria “in order to preserve Israel’s Jewish character.”

Lapid warned that “if a Palestinian state is not established alongside Israel, the Palestinians will come to us sooner or later, with full backing of the world’s nations, and tell us: ‘Since you don’t intend to give us our own state, at least allow us to become citizens.’”

But he did not reference demographic evidence that the Palestinian population in Judea and Samaria continued to decline in 2013, and refused to address the fact that neither the Arabs or the United Nations accept Israel’s unilaterally-drawn Gaza border. Despite Israel’s withdrawal, Palestinians and their supporters continue to describe the Gaza Strip as “occupied.”

In addition, Lapid failed to explain whether or not he had learned any lessons from the destruction of Gush Katif in 2005, or how he would prevent the security nightmare that plagues southern Israel – Israeli Civilians in Sderot and other Gaza border region communities have withstood nearly 10,000 rocket attacks from Gaza since the Gush Katif manoeuvre – from reaching other parts of the country, particularly Ben Gurion Airport, well within rocket distance of the Binyamin region of Samaria.

Witness: Police Choke, Beat 10-year-old

Tuesday, May 20th, 2014

Police investigators descended on the Gush Etzion town of Bat Ayin Tuesday to arrest three brothers, the youngest of whom is 10 years old. The older brothers, aged 17 and 19 years old, said police beat their younger sibling during the arrest. “One investigator choked my brother while the others beat him mercilessly,” said one of the older brothers.

The three brothers were brought to the Gush Etzion police station where the commanding officer delivered a warning talk to youngest brother, who was then released because at the age of 10, he cannot be charged with a crime.

But according to Honenu, a legal aid organization that provides representation in Judea and Samaria the two older brothers remain in custody at this hour, and added that the detainees have not been told why they were taken into custody. A Honenu spokesman said the brothers were “shocked” to learn that police claimed they had thrown stones at the police car, and added that the brothers denied “out of hand” the police claim.

The incident followed a similar one in Bat Ayin yesterday, when a 12-year-old boy was detained after police said he prevented them from entering the community synagogue. He, too, was interrogated and released.

The 17-year-old, who cannot be named because he is a minor, said plainclothes General Security Service (GSS, or Shabak) officers interrogated him and threatened him.

“Two plainclothes guys came into the investigation room. One introduced himself as ‘Dan.’ He started threatening me and said he is watching me 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

“He told me that his goal was to put me in jail for the rest of my life, and that he would hurt me and my family. I laughed, and he told me that the day would come when I would be held in a dark cell and that he would laugh at me. When I continued laughing he left the room,” the 17-year-old said.

Parents turn to Children’s Council

In addition to the Bat Ayin detainees, the family of a 16-year-old boy from Jerusalem have asked the Israel National Council for the Child for help in making contact with their son. They say GSS agents detained him six days ago and have taken the rare step of preventing him from meeting with a lawyer.

“Last Wednesday morning our son was walking down Hanivi’im Street in Jerusalem when he was accosted by two men in civilian clothes. They took him to an undisclosed location. From that moment, we haven’t heard from him or seen him, and we have no idea how he is,” the parents said. We understand that the GSS is interrogating our son under terms of a rarely-used legal clause which prohibits him from seeing a lawyer,” the family said in a statement released by Honenu.

If order to make contact with their son, the parents have asked Dr. Yitzhak Kadman, head of the Israel Council for the Child , to press GSS authorities on their behalf to obtain access to the prisoner.

“This is an opportunity for the Council to investigate the repeated violations committed against minors,” said attorney Adi Keidar, who represents the children. “Violations of the law continue unabated, and no one thinks of the long-term effects of extended periods of incarceration of minors in inhumane conditions in GSS lockups.

President of the Israel National Council for the Child, Dr. Yitzhak Kadman, was not immediately available for comment.

ACRI, Feiglin agree: Detentions recall “dark regimes”

MK Moshe Feiglin (Likud Betenu) said Tuesday that the detention of price tag suspects without evidence places israel alongside the world’s “darkest regimes.”

“The witch hunt against the tough price tag phenomenon has led to minors being held on suspicion of vandalism and prevented from seeing lawyers,” said MK Feiglin. “This is a very serious phenomenon  that should make anyone who holds human rights dear.

“Arresting minors (and adults) for suspected vandalism and property damage and withholding their legal rights under the pretext of ‘the rule of law’ places Israel on the same level as some very dark regimes. I am certain that had the vandalism occurred on the other side of the political map the police would not have dared act this way.

Nirit Moskovitch, a spokeswoman for the Association for Civil Rights in Israel, said her organization has not acted on this case is that so many detainees in Israeli jails are prevented from meeting with legal counsel that ACRI cannot respond to each case individually.

“The reason this case has made headlines is the comparatively rare case that the individuals involved are Jews,” Moskovitch told The Jewish Press.

Moskovitch added that the organization is completely opposed to the practice of preventing prisoners from legal counsel, especially when the detainees are minors.  She also said that ACRI has spoken out strongly against designating Price Tag attacks,  offensive as they may be, as “terror” attacks.

“We will continue to call for a strong battle against these despicable hate crimes, which require determination and financial resources on the part of police. These measures need not stand in distinction to respect for the rights of suspects and those interrogated.

“Labelling price taggers as a ‘terror group’ could have serious consequences for the human rights of individuals suspected of these crimes,” Moskovitch said.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/witness-police-choke-beat-10-year-old/2014/05/20/

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