Settlements

West Bank burns as settlers have day of rage

By Anshel Pfeffer, March 3, 2011

Jewish settlers embarked on a wave of demonstrations and attacks against Palestinian property this week following the demolition of a number of homes built illegally in the West Bank.

Police and IDF forces arrived at the Havat Gilad outpost in Central Samaria in the early hours of Monday morning to demolish three houses.

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BBC rows back on Louis Theroux publicity

February 4, 2011

The BBC has had to backtrack after it sent out an incorrect publicity notice describing hard-line Zionists featured in a Louis Theroux film as "possibly the biggest threat to world peace today".

A corrected version of the billing had to be resent after the JC contacted the BBC to ask about the description, which included the lines: "In part these men and women are a tiny group of religious extremists who claim they are acting on divine promises from thousands of years ago.

"In part they are possibly the biggest threat to world peace today."

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Settlements are a side issue. Believe me now?

By Robin Shepherd, January 27, 2011

One reason that political disagreements are often so enduring is that in the most heated cases there is rarely anything available which would count as proof, knocking dead one side of the debate and offering a definitive victory to the other.

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Shift in mood

By Martin Bright, January 20, 2011

Alistair Burt's strong criticisms of Israel this week mark an interesting shift in the mood music on the Middle East. Mr Burt is a trusted supporter of Israel, and his criticism of settlement building did not stray from established UK policy.

But it is no accident that the Foreign Office chose to publicise his comments. Still more significant is his decision to back the Arab community's concerns about the Knesset's commission of inquiry into the activities of human rights organisations.

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Alistair Burt: Building 'not helpful'

By Martin Bright, January 20, 2011

Middle East minister Alistair Burt used a visit to Israel this week to condemn new settlement building in East Jerusalem. He said the construction of 1400 new apartments in Gilo would damage future prospects of peace.

"We have always been clear that settlements are illegal and an obstacle to peace. Pushing ahead with this plan would be a deeply unhelpful move and hinder efforts to resume talks between the two parties leading to a two-state solution to this conflict, with Jerusalem as the shared capital of the two states living side by side in peace and security."

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On this day: An anti-disengagement protest

By Jennifer Lipman, January 12, 2011

It would be the first major rally in opposition to Israeli Prime Minister’s proposal to unilaterally withdraw from parts of the West Bank and Gaza – but by no means the last.

At the rally, held in Rabin Square in Tel Aviv, one settler proclaimed: "It will bring hundreds of casualties to the Israeli side because everyone will understand that terrorism will win in this war.”

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US realised settlement freeze was wrong tactic

By Anshel Pfeffer, January 6, 2011

The Israeli government was prepared to extend the settlement freeze by three months but the American administration decided at the last moment to change course, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said this week.

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EU, UN criticise Israel for settlements

By Jennifer Lipman, December 10, 2010

Israel’s refusal to change its position on settlement building has prompted criticism from members of the European Union and the United Nations.

The rebukes came as Israeli envoy Yitzhak Molcho flew to Washington to discuss the progress of the peace process at meetings with US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Middle East George Mitchell.

On the same day Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak met Thursday with UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon.

EU High Representative Catherine Ashton said that the EU considered settlements an obstacle to peace.

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EU, UN criticise Israel for settlements

By Jennifer Lipman, December 10, 2010

Israel’s refusal to change its position on settlement building has prompted criticism from members of the European Union and the United Nations.

The rebukes came as Israeli envoy Yitzhak Molcho flew to Washington to discuss the progress of the peace process at meetings with US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Middle East George Mitchell.

On the same day Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak met Thursday with UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon.

EU High Representative Catherine Ashton said that the EU considered settlements an obstacle to peace.

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Hague anger at no Israel settlement freeze

By Robyn Rosen, December 9, 2010

The Foreign Secretary William Hague has said he is “disappointed” Israel has not renewed its freeze on settlement building.

The announcement comes after the United States abandoned its efforts to persuade the Israeli government to freeze construction in the West Bank for a further 90 days.

Mr Hague said: “I am disappointed that Israel has not renewed the freeze on settlement construction and that peace talks are currently on hold.

“It is Britain’s longstanding view that settlements are illegal under international law and an obstacle to peace.

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