TRUMP AND AIDES DONATED TO ILLEGAL ISRAELI SETTLEMENTS

israeli settlement harmon hanatziv east jerusalem March 2011 2

Image of Israeli illegal settlements [file photo]

US President Donald Trump and a number of his aides had donated thousands of dollars to illegal Israeli settlements built on occupied Palestinian territories, The Washington Post revealed yesterday.

The American newspaper revealed that Trump and his senior aides have strong links with the Israeli Jewish settler community, including within the settlement of Beit El, which is located deep in the occupied West Bank near the city of Ramallah where the headquarters of the Palestinian Authority (PA) is located.

Trump’s son-in-law and adviser Jared Kushner has donated tens of thousands of dollars to the Jewish settlers in Beit El, which was established in 1977, while Post indicated that Trump himself made a $10,000 donation in 2003.

David Friedman, who was chosen by Trump to be the new US ambassador in Israel, is the president of the American Friends of Bet El Institutions, which raises about $2 million a year.

According to The Washington Post, the website of this organisation says it has helped bring about an influx in young couples and is working to create “facts on the ground” to prevent international attempts to uproot the community.

The newspaper noted that Trump’s ties with the illegal settler community could overturn decades-long US policy on dealing with the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. It might give Israel more freedom to build without censure from Washington, which previously considered West Bank settlements “illegitimate”.

The paper noted that the first signs of a shift emerged last week, when Israel had made a bold announcement of 2,500 new settlement units in illegal settlements located in the occupied West Bank, including some in Beit El, which Trump has not yet condemned.

“We are now more hopeful,” The Washington Post quoted Yael Ben-Yashar, who has lived in Beit El for 20 years and acts as the settlement’s spokeswoman and runs tours, as saying last week. “We think it may be a new era.”

(Source / 01.02.2017)

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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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