Breaking away from 50 years of the same ineffectual response to Jewish homes being built in Israel, the current State Department had no condemnation for Jerusalem’s approval of 2,600 new homes planned in Judea and Samaria – effectually ending a redundant White House policy.
By David Rosenberg
The Trump administration refrained from condemning Israel’s approval for 2,600 new housing units in Judea and Samaria this week, signaling a significant policy shift in Washington.
While every administration over the past half a century, from Lyndon Johnson through Barack Obama, has chastised Israel for the construction of civilian housing units in Judea and Samaria, the Trump White House made no comment as the first housing permits issued since the January 20th inauguration were approved. Continue Reading »
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Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s described the Obama administration’s focus on Israeli settlements as obsessive, calling Kerry’s comments “biased” due to their unwillingness to address the “root of the conflict.”
WATCH VIDEO – Netanyahu, “How can you make peace with someone who rejects your very existence?…This conflict is not about houses. This conflict is about Israel’s right to exist…It’s a shame that Secretary Kerry does not see this simple truth.”
By JPOST.COM STAFF
Israeli officials spanning across the political spectrum responded to US Secretary of State John Kerry’s speech after the American official outlined his vision for Middle East peace in Washington DC Wednesday. Continue Reading »
China’s refusal is delaying a deal on allowing thousands of Chinese construction workers in Israel because Jerusalem won’t promise to exclude them from the settlements.
China is refusing to sign an agreement allowing its nationals to work in Israel, unless the Israeli government promises they will not be employed in the internationally disputed Jewish settlements of the West Bank.
Chinese construction workers – Photo: AFP /file
Israel has been trying to negotiate the agreement for a while and has so far refused to give in to the Chinese demand, according to The Marker, the economic daily of Haaretz. Continue Reading »
Following Friday evening’s news magazine on Channel 2 suggesting funds intended for West Bank settlements were illegally transferred to Yesha Council for anti-gov’t campaigns, Minister Lapid orders his office to freeze funds transfers pending examination.
Finance Minister Yair Lapid ordered a halt on all money transfers to the settlements pending the clarification regarding their specific use, a statement on his behalf said Saturday evening.
Finance Minister Yair Lapid – Photo: Yair Sagi
The decision was made after Channel 2 television reported Friday evening that settlements were misusing government funds. Additional information also reached the finance minister, claiming funds were illegally transferred from the settlements to Yesha (Judea, Samaria and formerly Gaza) Council. Continue Reading »
Danske Bank accuses Bank Hapoalim of violating rules of int’l humanitarian law.
Danish bank already withdrew investments from 2 Israeli firms.
Denmark’s largest bank decided to blacklist Bank Hapoalim because of its involvement in the funding of settlement construction.
Construction site in the West Bank settlement of Modiin Illit. – Photo: AP
Danske Bank added Bank Hapoalim to its list of companies in which the company cannot invest due to its corporate accountability rules.
In an announcement posted on its website, the bank stated that Bank Hapoalim was acting against the rules of international humanitarian law.
Israeli website Walla reported on the Danish bank’s decision earlier on Saturday. Continue Reading »
Palestinian official Hanan Ashrawi urged the Australian government to clarify its official position regarding settlements’ legality.
The Palestine Liberation Organization on Monday condemned recent remarks from Australia’s foreign minister, who said Israeli settlements may not be illegal under international law.
Australian Foreign Minister Julie Bishop. – Photo: AP
PLO Executive Committee member Hanan Ashrawi urged the Australian government to clarify its official position regarding settlements and to act in accordance with international law and consensus, Palestinian media reported.
Australian Foreign Minister Julie Bishop, who was in Israel last week to attend the funeral of former Prime Minister Ariel Sharon, gave an interview to the Times of Israel, in which she cast doubt on the settlements’ illegality. Continue Reading »
Just one day before Kerry’s return to Mid-East, PA President Abbas condemns Israeli settlement construction in West Bank & Jerusalem, saying ‘We will not remain silent as the settlement cancer continues to spreads’
Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas threatened diplomatic and legal action against the “cancer” of Israeli settlement building, a day ahead of a visit by US Secretary of State John Kerry.
Abbas with Kerry – Photo: AP
“We will not remain patient as the settlement cancer spreads, especially in (east) Jerusalem, and we will use our right as a UN observer state by taking political, diplomatic and legal action to stop it,” he said during a speech in Ramallah to mark the 49th anniversary of the founding of the Fatah party. Continue Reading »
According to the activist organization, Peace Now, Israel approved additional construction of new homes north of Jerusalem.
Once again the Palestinians claim this is ‘yet another move to derail peace process.’
Israeli authorities have given the go-ahead for the construction of 829 new settler homes in the West Bank, Peace Now said on Monday.
Settlement construction in Efrat – Photo: Ilan Arad Lowshot.com
“The construction of 829 homes has been approved by a committee of the Israeli military in charge of the West Bank,” said Lior Amihai, a Peace Now activist.
“This is yet another move that threatens to derail the peace process,” Amihai told AFP. Continue Reading »
U.S. State Dept. expressed ‘deep concern’ over newest construction tenders, saying White House does ‘not recognize the legitimacy of settlements.’
And once again, Palestinian President Abbas threatens to call off peace talks.
The U.S. State Department said it is “deeply concerned” by Israel’s announcement over the tenders issued for the construction of 20,000 new settlement units in the West Bank and that it is demanding explanations from Israel.
Construction in Har Homa. – Photo: AP
State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki said that Washington was taken by surprise and had no prior knowledge of the plans. Continue Reading »
WASHINGTON — United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon remains “deeply concerned” over plans to construct hundreds of new housing units in the West Bank and east Jerusalem, his spokesperson said in a statement on Friday.
The Itamar settlement in the West Bank. – Photo: Abed Omar Qusini / Reuters
“These are unhelpful decisions that undermine progress towards the two-state solution,” the statement reads. “They constitute a deeply worrisome trend at a moment of ongoing efforts to re-launch Ipeace negotiations.”
The note referred specifically to the settlement of Itamar– “deep into the West Bank,” it says– as well as the 1,000 new settlement units planned in east Jerusalem. Continue Reading »
Abbas isn’t responding to American or Jordanian pressure. Abbas reiterated to Judeh that a freeze on settlement construction AND the release of Palestinian prisoners is the way to restart negotiations.
If U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry determines that Israelis and Palestinians are not serious about the peace process, he will abandon his efforts on the matter, a senior U.S. official told Reuters.
John Kerry (C) with President Shimon Peres (L) and President Mahmoud Abbas at the World Economic Forum on the Middle East and North Africa on May, 26. – Photo: Reuters
In an article by Arshad Mohammed, the Reuters journalist responsible for covering the State Department in Washington, the reporter cited those who called Kerry a “Lone Ranger” condemning the Middle East peace process, and that many involved call Kerry “naive.”
The senior U.S. Continue Reading »
UK’s Foreign Secretary in interview with Sky News says window for 2-state solution closing fast, adding failure to progress may jeopardize Israel’s Jewish, democratic character.
As the minister charged with negotiations with the Palestinians, Livni said that the next few weeks will be critical for negotiations. “I hope the Palestinians realize that the goal is to restart talks and be focused,” she added. British Foreign Secretary William Hague, who is currently visiting Israel, said in an interview with Sky News that Israel has lost some support in Britain and in other European countries due to its settlement construction policy. Continue Reading »
Officials in Jerusalem suggest that while there won’t be a de jure freeze, expansion outside of major settlement towns will be halted.
‘It’ll take a while, but eventually talks will resume’
By Attila Somfalvi
US Secretary of State John Kerry’s visit to the Mid-East may have ended without any obvious results, but official sources involved in the preliminary talks said Thursday night that “eventually the negotiations will resume. Israel is expected to quietly freeze construction outside of the major settlement blocs in order to resume bilateral talks.”
Settlement construction – Photo Ynet Archives
A few days ago Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas demanded that Prime Minister Netanyahu present a permanent agreement border outline. Continue Reading »