Peace Now Settlement Watch: Possible Critical Developments in East Jerusalem

News from Peace Now:

Last week, several press reports have suggested that the government is preparing to advance 15,000 new housing units in three Israeli neighbourhood-settlements at East Jerusalem. According to the publications, the plans are for the establishment of a new neighbourhood at Atarot (10,000 housing units), expanding Ramat Shlomo (3,000 housing units) and establishing Givat Hamatos (2,000).

Peace Now is deeply concerned regarding the possible development in Givat Hamatos in particular, which is the most immediate, and will pose a serious threat for a compromise in Jerusalem based on the Clinton Parameters, and thus for the possibility of a two state solution.  

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Press Release: APN to Trump: Get Serious about Peace, and We'll Support You

In his meeting with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas today, President Trump vowed to work with the leaders of Israel and the Palestinians to broker peace. "We will get this done," Trump declared.

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APN Welcomes Washington's Endorsement of Dissenting Israeli Organizations

Secretary_Tillerson320x265Washington, DC - Americans for Peace Now (APN) commends Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and his staff for acknowledging the important role that Israel’s civil society and particularly Israeli progressive non-profit organizations play in Israeli society.

At his daily press briefing yesterday, State Department Spokesman Mark Toner was asked about Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s scandalous decision Tuesday to cancel a planned meeting with Germany’s foreign minister Sigmar Gabriel because of Gabriel’s meeting with representatives of three progressive Israeli nonprofits that regularly criticize Israeli government policies. The three organizations are Peace Now (APN’s Israeli sister-organization), Breaking the Silence, and B’Tselem. 
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Peace Now Settlement Watch: A New Outpost Is Being Built East of Ramallah

News from Peace Now:

For maps and pictures see here: http://peacenow.org.il/en/new-outpost-adam 

Peace Now has learnt that presently a new outpost is being established. The outpost is located beyond the fence surrounding Adam settlement (aka Geva Binyamin), southeast from Ramallah and beyond the Separation Barrier.
 
This is the first outpost that is being established since the Israeli government declared a new policy towards settlement construction. The policy stated that settlement construction would be limited to within the “built up area” or "the footprint" of a settlement and that creation of new illegal outposts would be prohibited. Needless to say is that by being constructed outside the fence of Adam, the new outpost is not only a new outpost, but also beyond the “built up area” of the settlement, regardless of the lack in a clear definition to what “built up area” means.

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Peace Now Settlement Watch: The New Declared Settlement Policy - Not a Restraint at All

News from Peace Now:

Israeli media reports that yesterday’s government decision included not only operative steps to expand the settlements (i.e, establish a new settlement, publish tenders for 1,992 housing units, and declare 977 dunams as state land for the retroactive legalisation of 3 illegal outposts) but rather also a new government policy towards the building of settlement units. The new policy would enable continuous expansion of all settlements, without any limitations, contrary to how the government is trying to frame this.
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Press Release: APN to Trump: Don't be Netanyahu's April Fool on West Bank Settlements

Americans for Peace Now (APN) joins its Israeli sister organization Peace Now (Shalom Achshav) in condemning the Israeli government's decision to establish a new settlement in the West Bank, to publish tenders for some 2,000 new homes in West Bank settlements and to take measures that would allow for the retroactive legalization of three outposts built illegally, without initial government approval, in the West Bank.

APN also joins Peace Now's condemnation of the Israeli Cabinet's new policy of so-called "restraint," which in practice would allow it to continue with its unhindered expansion anywhere in the West Bank, including settlements adjacent to the Green Line ("settlement blocs"), more distant settlements, and East Jerusalem.  

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Statement on David Friedman's Confirmation as Ambassador to Israel

The U.S. Senate today confirmed, by a very narrow margin, the nomination of David Friedman to be America’s ambassador to Israel. 

Americans for Peace Now (APN) strongly opposed Friedman’s confirmation and worked hard to thwart it.

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Peace Now Settlement Watch Report: Unraveling the Mechanism behind Illegal Outposts

Since the mid-1990s, the settlers established nearly 100 illegal outposts and built dozens of neighborhoods and illegal projects in many settlements. In 2015 alone 15% of the units constructed in the settlements was illegal.


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During the past year, Settlement Watch conducted extensive research on illegal construction in settlements and outposts. The data collected exposes a process parallel to the official planning process in the settlements – that of illegal construction. This parallel process is what allows for thousands of housing units to remain on the ground, and be connected to roads and infrastructure.

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Americans for Peace Now strongly condemns new Israeli legislation adopted today by the Knesset, which would ban entry to Israel of foreign nationals who support or publicly engage in boycotts of either Israel or West Bank settlements. 

APN's President and CEO Debra DeLee said: "This new draconian law is a severe blow to Israeli democracy. It is aimed at a basic civil liberty, the freedom of expression, and will severely harm Israel by keeping out some of its greatest supporters.

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Statement: Trump-Netanyahu Presser Dims Hopes for Peace; Undermines Decades of Diplomacy

Americans for Peace Now (APN) issued this following statement following today's joint press conference by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Donald Trump in the White House:

President Trump and Prime Minister Netanyahu's press conference today presented an opportunity for the two leaders to signal to Israelis, Palestinians, Americans and the world a clear commitment to peace. It was an opportunity to signal that they can chart a constructive way forward for U.S.-Israel relations and for Israel's future, for its security and its well-being as a democracy and a Jewish state.

Netanyahu and Trump squandered this opportunity.

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