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Israel - Palestine news this week
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Israel-Palestine News February 11 - 17th
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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 read by the general public 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. 
See our special Storify coverage of the February 15th President #Trump and Prime Minister #Netanyahu Press Conference: https://storify.com/ItmakesSNS/president-trump-and-prime-minister-netanyahu-press

Arab News Sources

Al-Jazeera: UN chief: 'No alternative' to Palestine-Israel solution
UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has warned that there is "no alternative" to a two-state solution to the Israel-Palestinian conflict, after a White House official said peace did not necessarily have to entail Palestinian statehood. "There is no alternative solution for the situation between the Palestinians and Israelis, other than the solution of establishing two states and we should do all that can be done to maintain this," Guterres said during a visit to Cairo, echoing statements by Palestinian officials on Wednesday.
http://www.aljazeera.com/news/2017/02/chief-alternative-palestine-israel-solution-170215131034132.html

English PNN: Palestinian Presidency ready to deal positively with Trump’s Administration to Achieve Peace
The Palestinian presidency announced Wednesday, February 15 it's willingness to deal positively with the American president Donald Trump administration to achieve peace. In a statement published by WAFA news agency announced adherence to two-state solution option according international law that ensures ending Israeli occupation to Palestinian territory and assure establishment of an independent Palestinian State, with East Jerusalem as capital on the borders of June 1967 to live in peace and security alongside with the State of Israel.
http://english.pnn.ps/2017/02/15/palestinian-presidency-ready-to-deal-positively-with-the-president-trumps-administration-to-achieve-peace/

Ma’an News: UN to offer Livni senior post in exchange for US approving Fayyad appointment
United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres offered Israeli politician Tzipi Livni a senior position as one of Guterres’ under-secretary-generals, pending approval by the UN Security Council, Israeli news outlet Haaretz reported, in a move seen as a way to obtain US approval for the appointment of former Palestinian Prime Minister Salam Fayyad to head a UN mission to Libya. However, Livni’s office has denied that any “official offer” had been received. The move comes two days after US Ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley said that the US was “disappointed” by the selection of Fayyad, claiming that the move was proof of the UN’s bias against US ally Israel, and indicating that the US could use its veto against Fayyad's nomination.
https://www.maannews.com/Content.aspx?id=775427


Hebrew News Sources
Jerusalem Post: Trump Reassures Palestinians Embassy Not Moving to Jerusalem
US President Donald Trump has responded to the Jordanian king’s request that the United States refrain from moving the US Embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, Arab media reported on Saturday. The Palestinian daily Al-Quds reported that the Trump administration transferred a message to the Palestinian Authority that the embassy would not be moving to Jerusalem.
http://www.jpost.com/Arab-Israeli-Conflict/Report-Trump-reassures-Palestinians-embassy-not-moving-to-Jerusalem-481238


Ynetnews/Yedioth Ahronoth: Hamas elects new radical leader in Gaza
Following elections for the terror organization’s internal leadership, Yahya Sanwar, a renowned radical in Hamas who was released as part of the Shalit deal, takes the reins to rule the strip from Khaled Mashal, despite Ismail Haniyeh being slated to fill the top spot. Upon his release [from Israeli detention], Sanwar called for further kidnappings of IDF soldiers.
http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-4921803,00.html


Times of Israel: Top PA negotiator floats single state as US casts doubt on Palestinian independence
The only alternative to the creation of a Palestinian state is a one-state solution in which all Palestinians will get the right to vote, Palestine Liberation Organization Secretary-General Saeb Erekat said Wednesday, hours after a senior White House official appeared to withdraw the US’s traditional support for a two-state solution.
http://www.timesofisrael.com/top-pa-negotiator-floats-single-state-as-us-casts-doubt-on-palestinian-independence/


International
The Independent: US won't insist on two-state solution to Israel-Palestine conflict, White House official says
The United States will not insist on a two-state solution to the Israel-Palestine conflict in the Middle East, a White House official has said. Speaking a day before Donald Trump holds a meeting with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, the official said a number of options were on the table.
http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/americas/us-politics/donald-trump-israel-palestine-two-state-solution-white-house-a7580736.html

Washington Post: Seahawks’ Michael Bennett withdraws from Israel trip, citing sympathy for Palestine
Seattle Seahawks defensive lineman Michael Bennett has withdrawn at the last minute from a sponsored trip to Israel, saying the government there is using him for a public-relations initiative and that he sympathizes with Palestinians. “I will not be used in such a manner,” Bennett wrote in a letter addressed “Dear World” and posted on Twitter. “When I do go to Israel — and I do plan to go — it will be to see not only Israel but also the West Bank and Gaza so I can see how the Palestinians, who have called this land home for thousands of years, live their lives.”
https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/early-lead/wp/2017/02/12/seahawks-michael-bennett-withdraws-from-israel-trip-citing-sympathy-for-palestine/


Reuters: Turkey's Erdogan condemns Israel's settlement push as provocation
Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan on Monday condemned Israel's decision to ramp up settlements in the West Bank as an "absolute provocation". Israel announced plans last month for 3,000 more settlement homes in the occupied West Bank. It has also retroactively legalized about 4,000 settlement homes built on privately owned Palestinian land, a move that brought condemnation from the United Nations and the European Union. Erdogan made the comment in a speech in Bahrain, while on an official visit. His comments were carried live on Turkish television. Turkey and Israel normalized ties last year after a six-year rupture when 10 Turkish pro-Palestinian activists were killed by Israeli commandos enforcing a naval blockade of the Gaza Strip.
http://www.reuters.com/article/us-turkey-israel-erdogan-idUSKBN15S15P


Op-eds
The Guardian: The senseless capture of Palestinian land is now too late to stop

Buttoned up against a biting wind, Khalil Tufakji, a 65-year-old Palestinian cartographer, points down from the Mount of Olives in the east of Jerusalem towards a huge wasteland – the last remaining space in the ring of Jewish settlements that surround the city. This 35 sq km plot of West Bank land was confiscated several years ago and the settlement of Maale Adumim, now home to 40,000 people, was built on the south-eastern corner. But most of the plot still remains empty. With Donald Trump now in the White House, Tufakji fears that Israel’s prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, will seize his chance to announce another expansion of settlements; bulldozers are ready, pink-roofed homes will be up in no time, and busloads of new immigrants – many arriving nowadays from war-torn Ukraine – will be whisked through settler roads and tunnels so fast they won’t see the Arab villages that lay claim to the land.
https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2017/feb/13/west-bank-east-jerusalem-israel

Jerusalem Post: Can Egypt be the Path to Peace for the Middle East?
According to The New York Times, US President Donald Trump is “developing a strategy on the Israeli- Palestinian conflict that would enlist Arab nations like Saudi Arabia and Egypt to break years of deadlock.” It would behoove his new foreign policy team to reflect carefully on these words before forging ahead with Middle East diplomacy. The key to any possible path to conflict resolution in this region is to understand the shifting web of “interests” that motivate the players on this chessboard in the sand. After the disaster of the Morsi regime, during which the MB tried to turn Egypt back to the dark ages, Egypt has now come to a fork in the road. For Egypt today there may be a small window of opportunity to change course and lead the Arab world into the 21st century for a more stable future.
http://www.jpost.com/Opinion/Can-Egypt-be-the-path-to-peace-for-the-Middle-East-481639

Middle East Eye: Trump and Netanyahu: It wasn’t supposed to be like this It wasn’t supposed to be like this.
Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu’s first Washington visit of the Trump era was to have been a joyful triumph, officially celebrating the departure of the hated Obama and the dawn, finally, of an administration fully supportive of the right-wing Israeli agenda. Or so, at least, Netanyahu had every reason to think. After all, hadn’t then president-elect Trump attacked Obama for his abstention on a UN resolution condemning Israeli settlements in the West Bank, promising that “things would be different” after 20 January? Whatever his thinking, Trump quickly made all past indications look like a galactic exercise in misdirection. “I want Israel to act reasonably in the peace process and…it will finally happen after so many years.” “There is limited remaining territory… I’m not someone who believes that advancing settlements is good for peace.” He even backed away from his commitment to relocate the embassy. The two-state solution is indeed well and truly dead. Eventually Israel will annex most of the West Bank, and will face a choice between the unthinkable (Israeli citizenship for the Palestinians) and the indefensible (an apartheid state). The best Trump can do is create a delay in getting there.
http://www.middleeasteye.net/columns/trump-and-netanyahu-it-wasn-t-supposed-be-2037620751
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