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Israeli Settlement Activity Quadrupled Over Past Year

Plans to construct 2,168 new housing units have moved forward since September 2015, according to Peace Now’s Settlement Watch project.

A Jewish settler carries an rifle as he participates in a protest against the Palestinian bid for statehood, outside the Jewish settlement of Kiryat Arba, near the West Bank town of Hebron (A.P Photo/Bernat Armangue)

A Jewish settler carries an rifle as he participates in a protest against the Palestinian bid for statehood, outside the Jewish settlement of Kiryat Arba, near the West Bank town of Hebron

A new report from settlement watchdog group Peace Now reports that Israel has quadrupled its construction activity in the occupied West Bank over the past year. Active moves to advance construction on some 2,168 new housing units have happened since last year.

Perhaps even more disturbing than the actual numbers is where the construction is taking place, as large amounts of the construction is happening deep in Palestinian territory, in places like Ariel, settlements that are far beyond the borders of any expected negotiated two-state solution.

Another popular site for construction is Efrat, which is along the only highway connecting the northern and southern parts of Palestine. As these settlements grow, it adds obstacles to any potential peace deal which would lead to an independent Palestine.

These figures are only those on active new building activity. Israel’s far-right government has given on-paper approvals to vastly more housing units than this over the past year, but many are still in the early planning stages.

(Source / 09.10.2016)

Tags: #ICC4Israel

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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