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Friday, 25 April 2014

Palestinian prisoners launch massive Hunger-Strike

24 April 2014

Ofer Prison located to the north of Jerusalem in the West Bank, between Ramallah/Beituniya and the settlement of Giv'at Ze'ev. Addameer Prisoner Support and Human Rights Association can confirm the launch of a mass open-ended hunger strike involving over 100 Palestinian political detainees. All.....


ACT! Against eviction of the family of Salwa Zeidan in Acre (Friday April 5, at 1:00pm)

66 years after the Nakba and the expulsion of the majority of Palestine’s inhabitants, the various...

Navy shoots at Palestinian fishermen

Israeli Navy vessels opened machinegun fire at Palestinian fishing boats off the coasts of northern...

Jordanian-Palestinian cooperation grows

Palestinian Prime Minister Rami Hamadalla and his Jordanian counterpart Abdullah Ensour signed seve...

Israel strikes Gaza Strip after Hamas-PLO unity deal

Shortly after the PLO and Hamas signed a historical unity deal, an Israeli airstrike on the northern...

Israel condemns Hamas-PLO unity deal

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu cancelled a planned session of peace talks with Palestini...

Palestinians: Borders should be on the basis of 1967 cease fire lines

The Palestinian Council of Ministers said in its weekly meeting held in Ramallah on Tuesday that th...

Israeli forces prevent shepherds from returning to their village

Israeli forces on Tuesday prevented shepherds from returning to the village of Um al-Khair, located...
Please join us for a field activity of the AICafe on Saturday 26 April to the South Hebron Hills with local women activists from the area.
i-m-a-palestinian-child-but-don-t-know-how-to-be-a-child-what-should-i-do  I have been informed that this day, April 5th,  is Palestinian Children’s Day,  i.e. my day, although I don’t really understand what...
The demonstration against the Judaization of Acre and against the dispossession of its Arab residents, to be held on Friday April 5, at 1:00pm near the...


Palm Sunday march: ‘Palestine wants justice’...

  Palestinian Christians carried a bold message as part of the annual Palm Sunday procession from the Mount of Olives to the Old City in East Je...


Palm Sunday march: ‘Palestine wants justice’


Palestinian girl badly injured by settler attack in South Hebron Hills...

On Thursday April 24 at around 12 pm, two Israeli settlers coming with a quad-bike from the illegal outpost of Havat Ma'on attacked with stones four...


Palestinian girl badly injured by settler attack in South Hebron Hills


Abbas-Dahlan – Honestly! ...

  For days I’ve been following, quietly and sadly, the ongoing debates concerning the “confrontation" between Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas...


Abbas-Dahlan – Honestly!


Israeli Society

Economy of the occupation

Israel Legalises Settlement Outpost in West Bank

Created on 04 March 2012
Shvut Rachel, one of the oldest and largest settler outposts in the West Bank, was recently legalised by Israel. This move was strongly criticised by both Palestinian and Israeli activists ahead of talks scheduled for Monday between Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and American President Barack Obama.


Shvut Rachel, home to 95 Israeli families, was established 21 years ago on a hilltop in the heart of the West Bank, an area Israel would have to evacuate for establishment of a Palestinian state.

The founders of Shvut Rachel grabbed Palestinian land without holding appropriate Israeli authorisation, counting instead on “the support of various government ministries, the army and the Civil Administration,” as BT’selem reports.

The majority of Israeli outposts are made up of a few families or several settler youth living in trailers and other temporary shelters. The funding and support provided from private donors, and from the Israeli government via West Bank regional councils, help to construct infrastructure and eventually to transform the outpost into a permanent settlement.

Unlike settlements that are authorised by the Israeli government but violate international law, the Israeli outposts are illegal even under Israeli law as they were not planned by the designated Israeli authorities.

According to government officials and Yaakov Moshe, the mayor of Shvut Rachel, last week an Israeli planning committee retroactively legalised 115 apartments already built or under construction in the outpost.

Peace Now activists are currently pushing for an investigation of this move, which overturns Israeli official policy to not transform outposts into new settlements. Against this charge the Israeli Defence Ministry defended itself, telling AP that “Shvut Rachel is not an isolated outpost but a neighbourhood of Shilo settlement.”

The two settlements of Shvut Rachel and Shilo are about half a mile apart and this is part of the clear strategy of settlers, who establish their outposts close to recognised settlements. What the Defence Ministry’s statement highlights is the common Israeli practice of using the outposts to increase settlement activity: the outposts are authorised and merged into existing settlements with the claim that no new settlements have been created.

If this subtle policy of settlement expansion is illegal according to the international law, it also clashes both with a 2005 Israeli government-commissioned report that classifies Shvut Rachel as an outpost – and not as a ‘neighbourhood of Shilo’ – and with the promise of then Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon to dismantle any outpost.

On Monday Netanyahu and Obama will meet in Washington to discuss a wide range of issues. The resumption of Israeli-Palestinian peace-negotiations and the dismantlement of Israeli outposts on the Palestinian land, as a first important step to reconciliation, will hold a prominent place.

Whilst government officials stress how Israel has proven in the past that it can dismantle settlements (ex. In Sinai and the Gaza Strip), it is difficult to believe in Israel’s intention to fully withdrawal from the West Bank given its ongoing settlement construction.

Palestinian spokesperson Ghassan Khatib says that a Palestinian state alongside Israel is becoming “practically impossible” because of the massive settlement construction and the 500,000 Israelis already living in more than 130 government-sanctioned settlements and 100 unauthorised outposts on Palestinian land.

Hagit Ofran, from the settlement monitoring project of Peace Now, remarks how the Israeli government’s actions are straightforward and send the settlers a clear message: “You build illegally where you want… and the government of Israel will approve it retroactively.”