Sunday, 4 August 2013

Israel expands West Bank settlement subsidies despite 'peace' talks

The Israeli cabinet has voted to expand the list of illegal West Bank settlements eligible for government subsidies, just days after the resumption of talks with the Palestinian Authority in which settlements are a major issue.

Ministers on Sunday approved a new "national priority map," a list of poor communities earmarked for housing subsidies and other benefits.

Included on the list are 91 settlements in the occupied West Bank, up from 85 on the previous version. Many of them are in areas which would almost certainly be evacuated by Israel in a deal with the Palestinians.

Three of the newly-added settlements - Rehelim, Sansana and Bruchin - were until recently considered "illegal outposts," which means they were built without government approval. Their status was normalised last year by a cabinet vote.

This is exactly what Israel wants ... a free hand to destroy the objective of the [negotiation] process.

Hanan Ashrawi, Palestinian negotiator

Israeli settlements are illegal under international law, and the United Nations and much of the world treats them as such.

The vote comes just days after Palestinian and Israeli negotiators flew to Washington for their first face-to-face meeting in three years. more

Israel blackmails Gazan patients at Erez crossing

Israeli agents blackmail Palestinian patients into working as spies, at the Israeli controlled Erez crossing in northern Gaza in return for entry permits, Press TV reports. In July four Palestinians were detained, despite having exit permits.

Husam Zaanin, from the town of Beth Hanoun, is the latest victim of the Tel Aviv regime's spy network. The 28-year-old was detained on July 23, despite being in possession of a permit to leave Gaza through the Erez crossing with his mother.

Husam's mother returned home without her son, who refused to cooperate with them [as a spy] and that is why he got arrested despite his illness," Hussam's father informed PressTV. This practive traumatizes patiens like Husam as well as their families.

The wife of another man who was arrested, tells PressTV, "My daughters keep crying and asking for their father. It is heartbreaking for me to be without my husband and I don't know when he's coming back. The Israelis gave him a permit to leave Gaza and then they arrested him. How low can they sink arresting a patient seeking treatment?" more

Video: Soldiers assault a 12-year-old while settlers invade family rooftop in Hebron

Saturday August 3rd was not a peaceful Saturday for the Palestinians in Hebron. At approximately 16.30 two settlers invaded the roof of the Abu Shamsiya family in Tel Rumeida, whilst three soldiers attacked a twelve year old boy in the street nearby.

When the settlers on the roof were approached by internationals and told that they were on private property and therefore had to leave, they refused and said they came there every week. The fact that they had entered a private home without consent of the family did not concern them, on the contrary they expressed that they felt it was their right. When asked to leave the settlers behaved aggressively by yelling and continuously refusing to do so. After having argued with internationals one of the settlers threatened to lie to the soldiers and say that they had been hit by the internationals. He argued that even though it was not true, the soldiers would believe him over the international activists. more