Tuesday, 24 January 2017

Israel approves construction of 2,500 houses in illegal West Bank settlements


Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman approved plans for the construction of 2,500 housing units in illegal Israeli settlements in the occupied West Bank on Tuesday, Israeli media reported.

According to The Times of Israel, the vast majority of the new housing will be built in the settlement blocs of Ariel, Etzion, and Maale Adumim -- the latter being the focus of a Knesset bill seeking to annex it to Israel.

The Jerusalem Post, meanwhile, said that 100 of the units would be built in the settlement of Beit El, as part of a previous agreement to provide housing to settlers who were ousted by Israeli authorities from the illegal outpost of Migron in 2012.

“We’re building, and will continue to build,” Netanyahu reportedly said after the announcement.

Israeli newspaper Haaretz quoted Lieberman as saying that "we are returning to life as normal in Judea and Samaria," using an Israeli term for the West Bank. more

Israel to return body of slain Palestinian math teacher to Umm al-Hiran


The Israeli Supreme Court has ordered that Israeli police to return the body of Yaqoub Abu al-Qian, a Palestinian citizen of Israel and local math teacher, to his family for burial in the unrecognized Negev-area Bedouin village of Umm al-Hiran, according to Israeli police. Israeli police spokeswoman Luba al-Samri confirmed initial reports by Israel’s Channel 2 website that Abu al-Qian’s body would be released for burial Tuesday, adding that police would be complying with the order that the funeral take place during the day and not “during the night hours.” According to Channel 2, the court also decided that “no restriction shall be imposed on the number of mourners,” in the funeral, while simultaneously ordering that the funeral should last no longer than two hours. Channel 2 quoted the court decision as saying the funeral will advance from Umm al-Hiran to the nearby village of Hura during the day “in coordination with police.” more