Why building in the ‘settlement blocs’ is problematic

What We’re Reading

Occupation/Human rights

Israel’s Settlement Blocs Block Prospects For Peace,

“Unchecked, unhindered construction in settlement blocs means that the Israeli government and the settlers will be given carte blanche to define, unilaterally, what the “blocs” are, to determine what they will annex in the future, making a mockery of future negotiations over settlements and borders,” writes Ori Nir.

From trigger-happy to shoot-to-kill: Israeli security forces killed 101 Palestinians, incl. 31 minors in 2016,

B’Tselem’s investigation and analysis indicates that these incidents were made possible by an open-fire policy that permits both shooting to kill in instances defined as “incidents of assault” and a trigger-happy approach to demonstrations or stone-throwing. This policy, which is broadly supported by senior officials, conveys profound disregard for the lives of Palestinians.

Video: Settlers Attack, Injure Activists Accompanying Palestinian Shepherds in West Bank,

Settlers threw stones at the activists, who belong to the Ta’ayush organization, and tried to hit them with clubs near the Baladim outpost. Four of the activists were lightly hurt, according to a complaint filed with the police.

Palestinians see little gain in Netanyahu's economic offer,

Palestinians are not buying Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s promises to offer economic concessions to them, saying that it would only be a “partial lifting” of Israeli restrictions.

West Bank to get 3G mobile service,

The Palestinian Ministry of Telecom and Information Technology signed a final agreement with Israel earlier this month allowing Palestinian companies to provide 3G mobile services in the West Bank.

US-Israel relations

Hosting Abbas on May 3, Trump seeks ‘conflict-ending’ deal,

US President Donald Trump will host Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas at the White House on May 3 for talks on efforts to revive the Middle East peace process, the White House said Wednesday.

Massachusetts Democrats roiled by resolution opposing Israeli settlements,

“This resolution targets a hypocrisy in the position of the national Democratic Party…which says it supports a two-state solution, but gives huge aid and backing to Israel and very little to Palestinians,” said Cole Harrison, the executive director of Massachusetts Peace Action and a Democratic activist.


The dual use list finally gets published but it’s the opposite of useful,

The uncertainty surrounding the dual-use list precludes any attempt at what might be considered normal economic activity.

Allowing more Gaza-grown vegetables to be marketed in Israel is in everyone’s interest,

Tomato prices in Israel are skyrocketing. And yet, there’s a simple, attainable and immediate solution that could provide the Israeli market with an abundance of high-quality vegetables as early as tomorrow: expanding the marketing of produce from the Gaza Strip to Israel.

Gaza hospitals on verge of blackout amid energy crisis,

Hospitals in the Gaza Strip could face blackouts within days as an energy crisis continues to throttle power supplies in the Palestinian enclave.

Palestinian prisoners

Is Marwan Barghouti The Palestinian Nelson Mandela?,

“Acts of violence, even horrific violence, don’t necessarily invalidate the cause of the people who commit them,” writes Peter Beinart.

Palestinians slam Israel for refusing talks with hunger strikers,

Palestinian leaders on Wednesday denounced Israel’s refusal to negotiate with Palestinians who are on hunger strikes in Israeli jails, warning of a “new intifada” if any of them die.

Israeli activists hold jail barbecue to taunt Palestinian hunger strikers,

A group of Israeli hardliners taunted Palestinian detainees on hunger strike by barbecuing outside a prison, saying they hoped the smell would make their abstention harder.

Palestinian politics

VIDEO: Palestinian political rivalries play out in West Bank camp,

Trapped between a rock and a hard place, residents of Balata refugee camp say factional rivalries are tearing the camp apart.

PA faces backlash after slashing Gaza salaries,

The Palestinian Authority’s move to cut a chunk out of its Gaza employees’ salaries is being met with anger amid concerns that the real motive behind the decision is more political than financial.