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After attack, Netanyahu gov’t pours money into rightwing settlements

In the wake of a deadly attack in late June in a West Bank settlement, the Israeli government said Sunday it will expand the hardline Jewish enclave in occupied Palestinian territory where the killing took place. The security cabinet approved $13 million for social and education programs “in order to make it easier” for residents “to deal with the effects of the security situation and minimize its impact on the daily routine.”

The plan, described as “strengthening community resilience” is focused on improving quality of life in the Kiyrat Arba settlement, home to nearly 8,000 of the 500,000 Israelis residing in the occupied West Bank. Funding will support education, social, and welfare programs, the construction of a sports facility, home renovations, a park, and a synagogue, and marketing for an industrial zone in development.

“Underlying this decision considerations were made regarding the unique security situation prevailing in communities with the highest threat level in Judea and Samaria,” the security cabinet announced.

The scheme did not include a budget for increased security or military personnel.

The Israeli settlement watchdog Peace Now said the funding into the occupied Palestinian territory was a backdoor policy to building up settlements which could compromise a future agreement with Palestinians, under the cover of responding to the recent bout of violence. “There is no freeze, not in planning and not in construction” to settlements, said the group.

“By transferring millions of Shekels to Hebron and Kiryat Arba Netanyahu prioritizes the most extreme settlements, that will never be in Israel as a part of an agreement, over the rest of Israel’s citizens, and shows, yet again, that he is not truly interested in a two state solution,” Peace Now said.

On June 30, Kiyrat Arba resident Hallel Yaffa Ariel, 13, was killed while sleeping in her bedroom by a 17-year old Palestinian from the nearby village of Bani Na’im. A day later a 48-year-old Israeli was killed in a shooting on a highway in the West Bank in the same area. The man’s wife and child were also injured, and treated by a Palestinian couple who were the first to arrive at the scene.

At the start of July Israeli soldiers cordoned off the main entrances to more than 20 Palestinian villages with roadblocks, and sealed the southern route into the city of Hebron. This quarter of the West Bank has long been a flashpoint for tensions, but over recent months it has been the site of many violent confrontations.

Since last October Palestinians have killed 35 Israelis, and Israeli forces and civilians have killed more than 200 Palestinians. In recent months the majority of the deadly encounters occurred in and near Hebron in the occupied West Bank.

From January 2016 to present date, Peace Now said Israel approved 1,823 new residential settlement units, of which 314 were illegal outposts granted retroactive licenses. 

- See more at: http://mondoweiss.net/2016/07/netanyahu-rightwing-settlements/#sthash.TZzTio89.dpufSchermata 2016 07 13 alle 21.29.32

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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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