Israel - Palestine news this week
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Israel-Palestine News 12th - 18th November 2016
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Purpose: to provide a varied selection of articles from Arabic, Hebrew and English mainstream media outlets so readers get a flavour of what is being said about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict from different perspectives. The aim is to shine a spotlight for readers on the polarised narratives and constant one-sided messaging that appears in the media of each society, and often also in the international media. Solutions Not Sides makes no attempt to reconcile or support any of these narratives, but we believe it is important to understand each side’s perspective and the way that their society presents events if a negotiated solution is to be reached. 

We do not currently have the capacity to provide translations of actual Hebrew and Arabic media, so bear in mind that news agencies that issue articles in those languages may not produce the same content as the English versions of their outlets provided here (e.g. Aljazeera Arabic and Aljazeera English do not simply produce the same content in both languages). The content and opinions of these articles do not reflect our aims or opinions. Our main educational point about media sources on this issue is that they are almost always biased and should never be trusted in isolation. Please BE RESOURCEFUL and research for yourself a diversity of sources for everything you read or hear about Israel-Palestine. 
Hebrew News Sources

The Times of Israel: Lieberman open to building freeze outside settlement blocs. Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman on Wednesday called on the Israeli government to reach agreements with the incoming US administration to allow Jerusalem to continue building inside the settlement blocs — even if that meant giving up the right to expand outlying settlements. Lieberman urged Israeli officials to wait until President-elect Donald Trump appointed his senior staff before commenting publicly on their expectations regarding future US policies. Nevertheless, the defence minister said he was ready to freeze building outside the blocs in exchange for an American agreement to expand settlement building in Efrat, Ma’ale Adumim and other areas widely expected to remain under Israeli sovereignty in the event of a future peace deal. “We currently have a right-wing coalition in Israel and a Republican president and a Republican Congress. And therefore we can expect to be able to reach understandings vis-a-vis the Middle East, the issue of settlements in Judea and Samaria and the Iranian issue,” Lieberman said in his first briefing to Israeli reporters since his Yisrael Beytenu party joined the government in May.

Israel Hayom: Outpost regulation bill passes preliminary Knesset vote. The outpost regulation bill passed its preliminary Knesset vote Wednesday, amid growing political tensions. The bill passed with a narrow majority of 57 in favor to 52 against. The opposition announced that it will spare no effort to fight the legislation. The bill will now be referred to the Knesset's Constitution, Law and Justice Committee, which will prepare it for the three Knesset readings ahead. The vote on the bill, which allows the government to retroactively grant contested Judea and Samaria outposts the necessary permits, followed internal division within the coalition, as several factions expressed reservations over the controversial legislation proposal. Likud MK Benny Begin said Tuesday that he would vote against the "terrible bill," haredi parties Shas and United Torah Judaism expressed reservations but said they would abide by coalition discipline, and Kulanu leader Moshe Kahlon said that if passing the bill means undermining the High Court of Justice, his party would oppose it. Once Kahlon's concerns were allayed, his party supported the bill.

Times of Israel: IDF to invest NIS 50 million in improving key West Bank checkpoints
The IDF is to invest NIS 50 million ($1.3 million) into enlarging two West Bank crossings into Israel to ease passage for Palestinians and improve security. The crossings are at Qalandiya, north of Jerusalem, and Rachel’s Tomb near Bethlehem. The move comes after a pledge by Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman in July to streamline passage through checkpoints. Problems at the crossings had “clear solutions, both administrative and infrastructural,” he said. “Everyone suffers equally here, Jews and Palestinians, and this situation cannot continue.” Qalandiya is the main checkpoint between the northern West Bank and Jerusalem. Tens of thousands of Palestinians — including East Jerusalem residents cut off from the city by Israel’s security barrier — pass through daily on foot and by car to get to work, school, medical checkups and the like. The crossing’s dreadful conditions have received much Israeli media attention over the years.

Haaretz: Residents of Illegal West Bank Outpost to Fight Evacuation With Aid of 'Thousands' of Supporters. Residents of the illegal outpost Amona said on Monday night that they would build a tent city housing "thousands" of people to fight the court-ordered evacuation of the settlement. The residents, who were speaking at the start of a protest meeting, were responding to the High Court's reiteration on Monday of its previous order that the settlement be evacuated by December 25. The court rejected a state petition that the deadline be delayed to allow more time for an alternative to be prepared for the settlers. Avichai Boaron, a leader of the Amona settlers, told journalists before the protest meeting that the residents will "stand like a wall, along with thousands of others who will come here on the day of the evacuation.To house the expected thousands, the Amona residents will soon begin building a tent city on the hill on which the outpost stands, to "protest and do all we can to prevent Amona from falling," Boaron said.
Arabic News Agency

Ma’an News Agency: Palestinians in Ramallah stage sit-in demanding return of slain Palestinian's body. Dozens of Palestinians organized a sit-in at the al-Manara square in the heart of Ramallah city in the central occupied West Bank, demanding the release of the body of Maen Abu Qaare and other slain Palestinians still being held by Israeli authorities. Deputy Secretary General of the Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine (DLP) Qais Abd al-Karim said during the sit-in that holding the body of Abu Qaraa was “evidence of the brutality and inhumanity of the Israeli occupation that is still holding dozens of bodies of killed Palestinians. Abd al-Karim stressed that more protests of this “brutality” would continue, adding that “Israel not only kills our children unjustly but also holds their bodies in a clear violation to all international laws.”

Middle East Eye: Gunman killed after shooting dead two people in Jerusalem attack. A Palestinian opened fire from a car in Jerusalem Sunday and again as police chased him, killing two people, authorities said, after concerns over the potential for a new upsurge in violence. The gunman was killed soon after carrying out the attack near police headquarters, close to the line dividing mainly Palestinian East Jerusalem from the mostly Jewish western sector of the city. The shooting rampage comes at a time of increased Jewish visitors to the flashpoint Al-Aqsa mosque compound in Jerusalem for the holidays of Rosh Hashanah, which was last week, and Yom Kippur, which begins Tuesday evening. Police said the 39-year-old assailant fired in the direction of a tram station in the area, seriously wounding a woman.

Al Jazeera: Israel's Muezzin Bill seeks 'Judaisation of Jerusalem.’ Palestinian politicians in Israel have found an unexpected ally inside the government against a new bill banning mosques from using loudspeakers to broadcast the call to prayer. The so-called Muezzin Bill - named after the person who calls Muslims to prayer - was approved by a ministerial committee on Sunday, on the grounds that it is needed to reduce "noise pollution" from mosques. A first vote in the Israeli parliament on the legislation - due on Wednesday - had to be delayed, however, after a small Jewish religious party raised objections.

Maan News Agency: Palestinian farmers, Israeli civil administration hold meeting on strawberry production in Gaza. RAMALLAH (Ma'an) -- A meeting was held on Thursday between Palestinian strawberry farmers from the Gaza Strip and officials from the Israeli Civil Administration to discuss plans for planting strawberries in the Bisan valley of the besieged enclave. In a statement released by the Israeli Civil Administration, an Israeli official said that the administration had initiated a project to facilitate the planting of strawberries by Palestinian farmers in collaboration with Agriculture Affairs Coordinator Samir Madi, Head of the Liaisons and Coordination Department Raim Falah, and USAID. The project started on an area of 12 dunams of land (about four acres), which has generated a profit of some 33,000 shekels ($8,599). The statement added that after the proven success of the project, additional Palestinian farmers took part in it and extended the planted area to 61 dunams (15 acres).
UK/US News

Guardian: Trump presidency bodes ill for Israel-Palestine peace process. As Donald Trump continues to ponder his choice for secretary of state, and other key foreign policy positions, one thing seems clear: the impact on the peace process between Israelis and Palestinians is likely to be serious and retrograde. The question now is whether the moribund process, which has weathered presidents both Republican and Democrat since it was sealed in 1993 with the aim of securing a two-state solution, can survive the Trump era at all. The signs are not encouraging. Israel’s far right has greeted Trump’s success with ecstasy, hailing his promises to recognise Jerusalem as the country’s capital and move the US embassy to the city, as well as suggestions from his team he would not stand in the way of Israeli settlement construction.

Wall Street Journal: Faced with increasingly dire economic conditions in the Palestinian territories, Israel is trying to keep the cash-strapped Palestinian Authority afloat as donor aid plummets…Under the Oslo Accords, Israel levies taxes on goods and services imported into the territories, and collects health, social security and other benefits from firms in Israel that employ Palestinians. Using that mechanism, Israel so far this year has transferred $262 million, nearly 8% of total Palestinian revenues, to the PA. 

Arutz Sheva: Calling on the State of Israel. The mere suggestion of Israeli willingness to make territorial compromise has always invited political pressure in the form of bloodshed. The idea of a "two-state solution" takes us far beyond "mere suggestion", as snowballing European momentum for Palestinian statehood raises the spilling of Jewish blood to the level of legitimate statecraft. The Palestinian Authority is a corrupt, genocidal entity unprecedented in history, from which the removal of one or two toxic leaders is immaterial. Even if the Palestinian Authority were not murderous and degenerate, it was invented to serve as an instrument by Arab ultranationalists for the eventual elimination of Israel.

Ma’an News Agency: Praying for freedom: Why is Israel silencing the call for prayer in Jerusalem? As I was growing up, I was always reassured by the sound of the ‘Muezzin’ making the call for prayer in our refugee camp’s main mosque in Gaza. Whenever I heard the call very early in the morning, announcing in a melodic voice that the time for the ‘Fajr’ (dawn) prayer was upon us, I knew it was safe to go to sleep. Of course, the call for prayer in Islam, like the sound of church bells ringing, carries a deep religious and spiritual meaning, as it has, five times a day, for the last 15 centuries, uninterrupted. But, in Palestine, such religious traditions also carry a deep, symbolic meaning.

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