INSTITUTE: SETTLERS IN THE WEST BANK TO REACH 800,000 IN 2017

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The Applied Research Institute of Jerusalem and Land Research Center revealed to European Union consuls and the Arab countries accredited to the Palestinian Authority that the number of settlers living in the West Bank is increasing as well as settlement construction.

Jad Isaac, Director General of the Applied Research Institute–Jerusalem, pointed out that in 1992, a year before Oslo, settlements in the West bank covered an area of 77 kilometers with 248,000 Israeli settlers. In 2016, however, the area covered with settlements reached 197 kilometers, an increase by 156%, with 763,000 Israeli settlers, triple the number that existed in 1992.

Isaac warned of the Israeli pretext, natural growth, which is the most favorite excuse and is exploited politically.

The number of Israeli settlers grows much slower than the construction of new settlement units, which indicates that there is no need for building new settlements in the West Bank. The Israeli occupation authority, however, aims at seizing more Palestinian lands in the West Bank territories as well as bringing more immigrants, he added.

Isaac pointed out that Israeli settlers, however, are expected to reach 800,000 in 2017.

(Source / 05.02.2017)

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.

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