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Ramallah Activists Join the Day of Rage against the Prawer Plan

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Palestinians protesting against Prawer Plan
MEMO | December 1, 2013

The global ‘Day of Rage’ against the Prawer Plan included demonstrations and other solidarity actions in more than 24 cities around the world.

According to Adalah: the Legal Center for Arab Minority Rights, who are challenging the Prawer Plan within the Israeli courts, the Prawer Plan will forcibly displace up to 70,000 Palestinian citizens of Israel from the Naqab.

For Palestinian holders of Israeli-issued West Bank ID cards, reaching the main demonstration in the Naqab was impossible due to the imposed travel restrictions, so an alternative demonstration was held alongside Beit El Jewish colony near Ramallah. Further demonstrations were held in Haifa, Jaffa, Jerusalem and Gaza.

The chosen protest site of the Beit El colony, which is built on land stolen from al-Bireh and also from the village of Dura al-Qara, was significant as the Prawer Plan constitutes part of the same ongoing displacement and colonisation project that is being implemented across all areas of historic Palestine. Three activists were arrested as Israeli Occupation Forces (IOF) violently attacked the protest with substantial amounts of tear gas and percussion grenades.

One of the activists who was beaten by Israeli forces during his arrest, Abud Hama’il, explained the motivation for these events before being forced into an Israeli police jeep:

‘The Naqab is facing attacks like all of Palestine. We are one people, one struggle, one homeland, one sacrifice. Today a Palestinian worker was killed in Petah Tikva, he wasn’t involved in anything. The people must rise. The people, whose land is being stolen; the people, everyday they want to move us to Jordan – we need to resist, there is no choice…’

More images and text by Rich Wiles

December 1, 2013 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Solidarity and Activism | , , , , | Leave a comment

Israel greenlights construction of hundreds of settlement homes

Al-Akhbar | February 11, 2013

Israel has given final approval for 90 new homes in Beit El settlement near Ramallah and greenlighted the construction of 346 settlement homes in the southern West Bank, officials and an NGO said Monday.

Hagit Ofran of the Peace Now settlement watchdog said the plans had been published for validation in an Israeli newspaper in what was the “final stage of approval”, meaning construction of the new homes could begin “within a few days.”

The plans were signed off by Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak in August but received the final rubber stamp on Sunday by the Civil Administration’s planning committee, she said.

The Beit El construction plans were hurriedly put together as a compensatory measure for settlers who were evicted last year from Ulpana, an unauthorized settlement outpost on the outskirts of Beit El which was evacuated following a High Court ruling.

A civil administration spokesman confirmed the approval for the 90 units, saying they had been signed off by the political establishment.

Ofran said it meant the bulldozers could now get to work immediately.

“They can start building within a few days,” she said.

The Yesha Council – an umbrella organization of settlement councils – said that they welcomed any development in the West Bank, the Jerusalem Post reported. The group led the 2005 movement against Israel’s disengagement plan.

On Sunday, the defense ministry confirmed it had given the green light for the construction of 346 new settler homes in two settlements in the southern West Bank: 200 housing units in Tekoa and 146 in Nokdim.

The approval was pushed through despite the fact that Israel is currently between governments following last month’s general elections, with coalition talks likely to continue for several more weeks.

“Even though there is not yet a new government in place they are still allowing settlement procedures to continue instead of putting them on hold which is a telling sign about this new government,” Ofran said.

The move comes just days after the White House announced that Obama would make his first-ever visit to Israel as president on a trip expected to take place in late March.

According to Peace Now data for 2012, at least 1,747 new settlement housing units were built in the past year, and plans were approved for the construction of 6,676 more homes.

The international community views all Israeli construction on occupied Palestinian land as a violation of the Fourth Geneva Convention, and the Palestinians have refused to return to peace talks while Israel builds on land they want for a future state.

(AFP, Al-Akhbar)

February 11, 2013 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Illegal Occupation | , , , , , , | 1 Comment