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For First Time in Decade, Israel Plans to Expand Jewish Settlement in Hebron

Sources familiar with the plan said the land envisioned for new housing only allowed for a handful of homes, Haaretz learns.

Israel plans to expand the Jewish settlement in Hebron for the first time in over a decade, even if the extension would only be small, sources familiar with the plan say.
The Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories would only say that “authorities in the area are examining returning some of the land for civilian use,” referring to the Mitkanim outpost. “However, plans for civilian building have not yet been submitted or approved.”
Earlier this year the Defense Ministry issued a planning permit for several housing units for Jews in city’s H2 area, which is under full Israeli control. The units are to be built on land that belongs to the military’s Mitkanim outpost.
A special team has been planning the settlement’s expansion in recent months. The planning is at an early stage, so it has not gone through the bureaucratic pipeline ahead of construction.
Sources familiar with the plan said the land envisioned for the new housing only allowed for a handful of homes. Israeli sources say the land is private property that belonged to Jews before the establishment of the state in 1948. Settlers in Hebron agree.
The land has always been known to belong to the Jewish community,” said a spokesman for Hebron settlers, Noam Arnon. “If they live there again, I’m sure every justice-loving person will rejoice.”
Peace Now and other groups on the left disagree.“There is an attempt here to overturn a High Court decision that forbade building settlements on land seized for military use,” said Peace Now’s Hagit Ofran.
“The settlement in Hebron is the most extreme and callous of all, and the Netanyahu government is trampling legal standards to build a settlement exactly where the occupation and separation are the most callous and severe,” she said.
Both security forces and settlers stressed that the settlement was planned for land that had belong historically to Jews, before military facilities were built there.
Settlers first tried in 1968 to renew Jewish settlement in Hebron following the Six-Day War, taking over the Park Hotel. After a political battle that lasted several weeks, the settlers were moved from the hotel to the adjacent military base. They later founded Kiryat Arba on the outskirts of Hebron.
Jews started living in Hebron itself in 1979 under Prime Minister Menachem Begin. Hebron settlers say they have not built new homes in the city since the early 2000s, putting up a handful of units in the Tel Rumeida area. Several hundred settlers live in Hebron.

Yotam Berger
Haaretz Correspondent

read more: http://www.haaretz.com/israel-news/.premium-1.737888Schermata 2016 08 24 alle 17.04.53

Video of the Week New Clashes Erupt Between Israeli Security Forces, Muslim Worshippers

Temple Mount temporarily closed to Jewish visitors after clashes with police




The Temple Mount was temporarily closed to Jewish visitors on Wednesday at the order of Jerusalem District Commander Yoram Halevy after Jews broke visitation rules at the holy site, police said. The Jewish visitors were expelled from the compound for bringing sacred books to the Mount and trying to pray there. After one of the individuals was cautioned, another took out a holy book, and the group was expelled. Meanwhile, renewed clashes erupted between protesters and Israeli security forces near the Lion's Gate in the Old City, where police used stun grenades against the demonstrators. A regular dynamic has developed involving clashes between Palestinians and Israel Police over the past several days near the Lion's Gate. Dozens of Palestinians are present at the site on a regular basis, urging devotion to the Al-Aqsa Mosque on the Temple Mount and condemning Israel. During Muslim prayer times, particularly the midday and nighttime prayers, hundreds and sometimes even thousands have been gathering there.

There have been outbreaks of violence during these periods, including stone-throwing or physical confrontations with the police. In most of these incidents, the police have been using stun grenades and sponge-tipped bullets to disperse the crowds. In a number of cases, journalists in the area have also suffered violence at the hands of the police. On Tuesday, Hassan Shaalan, a reporter for the Ynet news website, was struck by a policeman even after he identified himself as a member of the press. A group of Jerusalem-based journalists released a statement of condemnation over the incident and called on the police to permit reporters to do their jobs. The Jerusalem Police responded: "This involved an incident that took place in the course of violent disturbances of the peace that occurred in Jerusalem while the police were acting to remove the demonstrators from the street after some of them refused to vacate. The forces working on the scene are under constant threat to their lives. http://www.haaretz.com/israel-news/1.802141

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