New Israeli settlement plan could imperil US-brokered talks

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Israeli authorities are implementing their decision to build a new Jewish neighborhood on the occupied Palestinian land in Jabal Mukaber, South East of Jerusalem al-Quds.

Israel’s Housing Minister, Uri Ariel and Jerusalem Mayor, Nir Barkat plan to attend a ceremony to lay the foundation stone of these illegal settlements.

About 160 new housing units there have already been sold to Jewish settlers. These are in addition to 1000 new units in Palestinian neighborhoods throughout Jerusalem al-Quds. This building activity comes against the backdrop of municipal elections in Israel, where, by attending the ceremony the Mayer is attempting to win the votes of the ultra-religious and right wing extreme settlers living in the area.

Palestinian Activist Salah al-Khawajeh explained that the expansion of the settlements in the South East of Jerusalem al-Qdus is part of a greater strategy to annex the illegal settlements from Bethlehem, which is inside the 1967 green line, to Jerusalem al-Quds.

This will be the first full construction of a settlement since Washington announced resumption of direct talks between the Israelis and Palestinians with an initial deadline of 9 months. However, the Palestinian Authority has stated that they would not relinquish their pre-conditions of a complete freeze of settlement expansion particularly within the 1967 boundaries.

Settlements are illegal under international law and the fourth Geneva Convention although Israel considers occupied territories gained since 1967 to be exempt from this law.

Palestinian human rights groups say the laying down of foundation stone of yet another illegal settlement will put a nail in the coffin of negotiations with Israelis. They are calling for Israel to no longer have legitimacy through the talks but to be taken to the International Criminal Court for these crimes.

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EU bans financial support to Israeli settlements


The European Union has decided to bar all 28 member states from using any EU funds for projects in Israel’s illegal settlements. Also beginning in 2014, all bilateral contracts must include a clause stating that East Jerusalem al-Quds, the Gaza Strip, the West Bank and Golan Heights are not a part of Israel.

The directive will primarily affect research projects and financial grants.

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Israeli settlers storm al-Aqsa Mosque


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Several Israeli settler groups have stormed al-Aqsa mosque from the Moroccan gate in recent days, including youths, children, mentors and soldiers in their military uniforms. The settlers shout and laugh out loud and show no respect for the place. Palestinian officials say the break-ins are part of the Israeli plan to divide the mosque and to impose a fait accompli in the holy city.

Palestinian authorities have asked Israeli authorities to stop the break-ins during the fasting month of Ramadan. But they have said no. Sometimes the attacks provoke Palestinian worshipers and almost cause confrontations. That’s because settlers perform deliberate acts of disrespect with no regard to the sanctity of the mosque.

Many Muslim countries and organizations have condemned the violations against the Al Aqsa Mosque. They say the attacks are part of a series of continued Israeli violations against the sanctity of Islamic and Christian holy sites in the area. Israelis have made repeated threats to demolish the mosque, considered the third holiest site in Islam, in order to build a Jewish temple in its stead.

According to al Aqsa officials, the violations against the mosque occur on almost a daily basis, with a greater strategy of normalising Jews entering al Aqsa compound in a bid to eventually take over the site.

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Israel approves settlement expansion on Palestinian lands


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Israel has approved 69 new settlements in East Jerusalem al Quds.
The new plan seeks to expand the Har Homar Israeli settlement. However, Palestinian activist Daoud Hamoude says the move is part of a bigger plan to annex all settlements from the North of the West Bank to the E1 area in Bethlehem, ultimately turning the West Bank into a string of Palestinian ghettos.

Jamal Jumaa of the Stop the Wall also told Press TV that Tel Aviv has no interest in peace talks and will not cease settlement activities under any conditions.

The Palestinian activist also says he has serious doubts about the future of talks between the Palestinian Authority and Tel Aviv.

Har Homa is an illegal settlement south of Jerusalem al-Quds, occupied by Israel during the 1967 Six-Day War. The international community doesn’t recognize the settlement because it goes against international law and the Fourth Geneva Convention, relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War.

John Kerry’s optimism concerning the so-called peace-talks is being mocked by Israel through their acceleration in settlement expansion and the largest ethnic cleansing policy in the south of Israel, both acts violating the demands to re enter negotiations.

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Almost 100 acres of Palestinian land confiscated by the Israeli army.


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The Israeli government announced its decision to illegally confiscate 91.42 Acres of Palestinian lands in the East of Nablus.

The military orders were issued to the Palestinian municipalities in the villages of Awarta and Rujeib in order to annex the land to the illegal Israeli settlement of Itimar.

The head of the village council stated that this is part of Israel’s ongoing policy of Palestinian land confiscation and Israel has managed to bypass the law by claiming the land for military purposes.

The villagers of Awarta stated that they have continued to suffer from the relentless confiscation of their land.

The village of Awarta has been under siege and subjected to constant military raids by the Israeli army for 18 months. The villagers have been subjected to collective punishment following the murder of a settler family from the nearby Ithimar settlement in March 2011, which lead to the arrest of two Palestinian teenagers, although no evidence has as of yet proved them guilty.

This village has remained under siege since 2011. The villagers of Awarta have been a clear target of collective punishment and land confiscation which is strictly prohibited under the fourth Geneva convention.

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Israel orders new demolition in Dier Nidham


Israeli forces raided the village of Dier Nidham in the North of Ramallah at 2am. They issued eleven demolition orders for Palestinian houses in the area, which, if carried out, will leave at least forty of the residents homeless.

The forces issued demolition orders to Ahmad Tamimi, his sons Abdul-Raziq, Hasan and Mahmoud, and their cousins Kafour, Abdul-Hafizh, Salih, Mustafa and Haitham Tamimi.

The residents showed Press TV the demolition orders and explained that the Israeli Authorities have been demolishing houses in the area since 1996.

He further stated that they are targeted by violent acts from the settlers.

The residents clearly expressed their anger at the recent demolition orders.

When soldiers entered the village, the residents attempted to defend their homes, throwing stones and creating road blocks. However Israeli forces attacked them using tear gas and rubber coated steel bullets.

All of the homes which are under demolition orders are located next to the illegal Israeli settlement Hallamish and the majority of them were built before the settlement was established.

Settlements remain illegal under international law and the fourth Geneva Convention. Countries that support Palestine at the UN General Assembly have said that Israel is ruining any possible solution of a peace deal by continuing to establish these settlements.

The residents said they will not leave their land, despite receiving constant threats of demolition and being targets of physical violence from the settlers living nearby. They also called on international human rights groups to support them and exert pressure on Israel to cease settlement expansion.

Israeli settlers poison Palestinians water well


Villagers in the South Hills of Hebron-Al Khalil were attacked by Israeli settlers from a nearby settlement when they poured a toxic poison into their water well.

A shepherd in the village of Yatta noted a foul smell coming from the local well and called the police to investigate. The police found a toxic substance and advised the villagers against using it for drinking water or for irrigating the farm because it would likely cause serious illness or death.

One famer has explained to Press TV that the local farmers are under constant attacks by the settlers.

Fadel further explained how they noticed the poison in the water.

A local villager explained how they detected and investigated the poisonous substance.

The villagers stated that they are under constant attack by both Israeli soldiers and settlers from Maon settlement as they are attempting to ethnically cleanse the region.

Settlements remain illegal under international law and the fourth Geneva Convention, but Israel defies the law on the pretext that Palestine is not a sovereign state.

Authorities have not yet detected the nature of the poisonous substance. Palestinian villagers also think even if they find it out, it’s unlikely for the Israeli Authorities to bring the settlers to justice because it has been Tel Aviv’s continuous policy to give settlers impunity for their crimes.
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