Two representatives of the Peace Now organization and members of an Israeli television crew were attacked last week by a settler who objected to their presence in the West Bank as they documented construction in the settlements.
The footage, originally broadcast on Channel 2 Television and posted online by Peace Now, shows a security guard at the Dolev settlement snatching and destroying the TV crew’s camera equipment and later attacking the activists’ car with rocks.
(Haaretz) – Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu claimed this week that Jerusalem is an “open city” that permits all its inhabitants, Jewish and Palestinian, to purchase homes in both its eastern and western parts.
An examination by Haaretz, however, presented a rather different situation on the ground. According to Israel Lands Administration rules, residents of East Jerusalem cannot take ownership of the vast majority of Jerusalem homes.
When an Israeli citizen purchases an apartment or house, ownership of the land remains with the ILA, which leases it to the purchaser for a period of 49 years, enabling the registration of the home (“tabu”). Article 19 of the ILA lease specifies that a foreign national cannot lease – much less own – ILA land.
A plan drafted by the Israeli security establishment intends to evacuate 23 illegal settler outposts in the West Bank. Israeli newspapers note that this outline was created with the knowledge of Prime Minster Benjamin Netanyahu. It is also said to be the product of a joint cooperative effort between the state police, the Israeli army, and the border police.
The illegal Jewish outposts are makeshift homes set atop Palestinian hills. According to Reuters, there are about 8,000 settlers who inhabit these settlements, constructed in violation of international law.
Though the outposts are not intentionally recognized by the Israeli state, the human rights organization B’tselem has insisted that the availability of social services implies government complicity.
Though the Israeli government officials deny that the evacuation plan is in response to recent tension between the Obama adminstration and Israel regarding settlement construction, it is largely recognized that this is a step toward meeting U.S. demands.
Originally, the selected 23 outposts are those illegally contructed after March of 2001, and had been promised for deconstruction five years ago to the Bush government.