Settlements

Israel to resume West Bank security fence construction

By Benjamin Lazarus, July 5, 2012

After a five-year delay, Israel will resume constructing the West Bank security barrier in the next few weeks.

The barrier was originally erected in 2002 during the Second Intifada.

The objective - largely achieved - was to reduce terrorism and suicide bombings occurring in Israel.

It is constructed primarily of fencing, but part is also a concrete wall.

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West Bank college to remain without university status

By Jennifer Lipman, July 5, 2012

A college in the West Bank will not be given university status after an Israeli government-funded committee voted against the move.

Campaigners had pushed for Ariel College to be upgraded, but members of Israel's Council of Higher Education blocked this.

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Foreign Office condemns settler mosque attack

June 22, 2012

Britain's Foreign Office Minister for the Middle East, Alistair Burt, has expressed severe disquiet about an attack on a mosque in the West Bank town of Jaba this week.

This week the mosque was subjected to an arson attack and was vandalised with "price tag" grafitti.

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Settler leaders prepare for fresh fight

By Nathan Jeffay, June 21, 2012

With just over a week to go until the Israeli government is committed to evacuate 30 Jewish homes in the West Bank, some rabbis and settler leaders are preparing a bitter fight to prevent the operation.

In the settlement of Beit El, five blocks of flats are built on land that is privately owned by Palestinians, and the government has promised to evacuate them by Sunday week.

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Church scheme only shows one side of Middle East debate

By Jon Benjamin, June 21, 2012

It’s a wet night in February. The local parish church is hosting a speaker, and as the clink of cups and saucers subsides and the last Hobnob is dunked, the audience is taken of a tour of the Holy Land.

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Quakers and Christian Aid Parliament lobby over Israel settlements

By Marcus Dysch, June 21, 2012

Two leading Christian groups, the Quakers and Christian Aid, have urged the government to ban the import of products from Israeli settlements.

At a Parliamentary briefing on Tuesday, Christian Aid officers and Quakers told MPs that stopping goods from West Bank settlements being sold in Britain would enhance the prospects of peace between Israelis and Palestinians.

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Hague: Ulpana settlement plan sets 'dangerous precedent'

By Jennifer Lipman, June 8, 2012

The British government has criticised the "dangerous precedent" set by Benjamin Netanyahu's government after he reached a compromise on a controversial outpost in the West Bank.

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Netanyahu victory as Ulpana challenge fails

By Jennifer Lipman, June 6, 2012

Benjamin Netanyahu has won a legislative battle over the demolition of a West Bank outpost while at the same time approving the construction of 300 new units of housing in the West Bank.

The Israeli Prime Minister won praise from centrist and left-wing politicians after he threatened to fire any government minister who backed a bill that would have legalised housing in the Ulpana outpost.

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South Africa and Denmark in settlement labels move

By Anshel Pfeffer, May 24, 2012

The recent decisions by the governments of South Africa and Denmark to identify the origins of products made in West Bank settlements on their labels did not surprise the Foreign Ministry in Jerusalem.

Diplomats monitoring the efforts of pro-Palestinian organisations to promote boycotts of Israel have been expecting them to focus on settlement products for some time.

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Co-op bans settlement produce in Israel boycott

By Marcus Dysch, May 3, 2012

One of Britain's largest supermarket chains is to boycott all companies which source produce from Israeli settlements in the West Bank.

The Co-operative movement, which has refused to stock products from the settlements since 2009, this week took the decision to extend its policy and will now bar engagement with any Israeli suppliers known to work with the settlements.

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