The recent United States announcement that it no longer believes the establishment of Israeli settlements in the occupied West Bank is “inconsistent with international law” provoked an immediate response internationally, including in Brussels.
Within hours of the US statement, European Union senior foreign affairs official Federica Mogherini issued a statement affirming that the EU’s position “is clear and remains unchanged: all [Israeli] settlement activity is illegal under international law and … erodes the viability of the two-state solution.” Read more
Since removing settlers and redeploying its armed forces to the perimeter fence in 2005, Israel has subjected Palestinians in the Gaza Strip to numerous devastating assaults, a blockade, and routine attacks on the likes of farmers and fishermen.
Many of these policies have been the subject of substantial condemnation – from Palestinians, of course, as well as Israeli and international human rights groups, and even world leaders and politicians – albeit, critically, with little concrete action at the state level.
Israel, however, has sought to thwart even the possibility of meaningful accountability. Its approach has been very simple: in the face of criticism for breaking the law, change the law. Read more
Last week, a Palestinian detainee arrested by Israeli occupation forces was admitted to a Jerusalem hospital suffering from severe injuries, including broken ribs and kidney failure.
Samir Arbeed, 44 and in good health when detained, had been tortured during his interrogation at the hands of Shin Bet agents. According to reports, the agents had been given permission by an Israeli “judicial body” to use “exceptional ways to investigate”. Read more
Just days before going to the polls for the second time this year, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu announced, to much fanfare on home turf, that he planned to annex the Jordan Valley region of the occupied West Bank should he secure another term in office.
It was a move intended to rally right-wing voters behind his party, Likud, which remains in close competition with the opposition Blue and White list. Having failed to form a government in April’s election and with corruption charges looming over him, the stakes have never been higher for Mr Netanyahu. Read more
As Israel gears up for its second election in a year, Amnesty International has published a new briefing highlighting what it describes as “increasing threats” to the “freedom of expression” of Palestinian members of the Knesset.
“Elected but restricted: Shrinking space for Palestinian parliamentarians in Israel’s Knesset” was released two weeks before Israelis go to the polls on 17 September, and constitutes a stark summary of what Amnesty describes as a “shrinking space” for critics, and “entrenched” discrimination. Read more
Less than six months since Israelis went to the polls, September 17 will see a fresh national election after Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu failed to secure a governing coalition last time around.
For Israel’s myriad political parties, the unusual rerun represents an opportunity to correct strategic errors made during the April vote.
Those hoping to benefit include parliamentarians representing Israel’s Palestinian citizens. Read more
UK Lawyers for Israel (UKLFI), which frequently smears Palestine solidarity campaigners and charities with false allegations of promoting “antisemitism” and links to “extremism”, will this Sunday host an official from a notorious Israeli organisation that believes all of the West Bank belongs to Israel.
The event in London will see Israeli settler activist Naomi Linder Kahn, from the right-wing advocacy group Regavim, give a talk on “the struggle to preserve Israel’s land”.
On its site, UKLFI describes Regavim as “an Israeli research-based think tank and lobbying group”. In reality Regavim is a diehard opponent of Palestinian self-determination and international law. Read more
The recent Israeli security cabinet decision to approve construction permits for Palestinian homes in Area C of the occupied West Bank was somewhat of a rarity, “the first such decision since 2016”.
While the figure of 715 housing units in Palestinian towns sounds positive, thus far no details have been revealed – including for example, whether the plans relate to new construction or the retroactive legalisation of homes built without Israeli-issued permits.
In addition to this lack of clarity, these housing units are a drop in the ocean – according to Peace Now, “it is estimated that there are at least a thousand young Palestinian couples in need of housing in Area C each year”. Read more
When Israeli authorities last week approved plans for more than 2,000 settlement housing units in the occupied West Bank, the European Union was quick to condemn the move.
“All settlement activity is illegal under international law and it erodes the viability of the two-state solution and the prospects for a lasting peace,” read the statement issued by the European External Action Service, the EU’s diplomatic service.
It went on: “The EU expects the Israeli authorities to fully meet their obligations as an occupying power under international humanitarian law and to cease the policy of settlement construction and expansion, of designating land for exclusive Israeli use, and of denying Palestinian development.” Read more