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Israel Approves Yet More Funding For West Bank Settlements

“The real question is what are we doing with the territories. Without a decision on annexation or partition, we’re bumbling about without a direction, without choosing our future, while the conflict seeps in and undermines Israel’s values.”
Israel Approves Yet More Funding For West Bank Settlements
“The real question is what are we doing with the territories. Without a decision on annexation or partition, we’re bumbling about without a direction, without choosing our future, while the conflict seeps in and undermines Israel’s values.”
By Jason Ditz | Antiwar.com | June 20, 2016
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A worker stands by construction materials to unload at a Israeli Settlment unit in an east Jerusalem neighborhood. (AP Photo/Sebastian Scheiner)
A worker stands by construction materials to unload at a Israeli Settlment unit in an east Jerusalem neighborhood. (AP Photo/Sebastian Scheiner)

In a move that fueled yet more criticism from the opposition Israel’s far-right government today agreed to add another $18 million to their funding for settlements in the occupied West Bank, with Netanyahu saying the funding would “assist small businesses” in the settlements.

The move didn’t sit well with the opposition, with several MPs noting that the government is doing little to nothing to boost the economy insist Israel itself, while at the same time it keeps throwing money at an effort which is both fueling security problems and harming Israel’s international standing.

The far-right coalition’s dedication to the settlers movement has been a hot topic in Israeli politics recently, with former Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni declaring that settlers’ councils are effectively dictating the entire government’s agenda, even though they are only a small minority of Israel’s population.

United ideologically and prone to acting up when they don’t get their way, Israel’s settlers have always punched above their weight as a political force, but as Israel’s government continues to shift rightward, there are fewer and fewer members of the coalition who don’t see them as their primary constituency.

Reflecting just how much the settlers can drive politics in Israel, opposition leader Isaac Herzog publicly rebuked his own spokesman for a Facebook post critical of the settlers, adding that his own Labor Party had helped build settlements in the first place.Schermata 2016 06 21 alle 09.16.22

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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