News from Peace Now's (Israel) Settlement Watch:

Two important settlement developments in this update:

1. Appointed Attorney General proposes to confiscate private Palestinian lands for settlements

2. A new settlement established south of Bethlehem

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Peace Now report: Who is Funding Israeli Right-Wing NGOs?

News from Peace Now's (Israel) Settlement Watch:

94% of the donations of 9 well-known right-wing NGOs are nontransparent

 In light of the NGO bill, a Peace Now study examining the funding sources and transparency of 9 right-wing pro-settler NGOs finds that 94% of the donations to these organizations in the years 2006-2013 were nontransparent, meaning that there is no possibility to identify their original donor. The study also finds that the majority of the funding to the organizations examined originated from private individuals abroad, arriving mainly through U.S. organizations with a tax-deductible donations status. Many other millions of shekels originated from Israeli taxpayers' money through government ministries and an local municipalities. 

Peace Now: The NGO bill, also known as the "transparency bill" has nothing to do with transparency and everything to do with the delegitimation of organizations criticizing the government's policies. If the Minister of Justice is truly interested in transparency, she must first and foremost promote legislation requiring right-wing organizations to expose the millions they receive from private donors abroad and from the state budget.
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APN to Obama: Tell Netanyahu to scrap plans for new settlement construction

Washington, DC – Americans for Peace Now (APN) is alarmed by new evidence, exposed today by our Israeli sister organization Peace Now, indicating that the Israeli government is planning massive new settlement construction in the West Bank, including in an area known as “E-1” adjacent to East Jerusalem. Settlement construction in E-1 would likely be a death blow to the two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. It has therefore been consistently and vehemently opposed by both Republican and Democratic administrations, and by the international community.  

The new evidence, some 200 pages Peace Now obtained through a Freedom of Information Act request, shows that for the past year, Israel’s Ministry of Housing has been actively working outside of the public's eye to advance plans for 55,548 new homes in West Bank settlements.

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News from Peace Now's (Israel) Settlement Watch:

A Settlement Watch Report

A Peace Now report, based on information disclosed by the Ministry of Housing (MoH) following our freedom of information petition, reveals highly concerning facts on the government's actions and intentions with regards to the settlements and the two state solution. The report includes data on the planning of 55,548 housing units in West Bank Settlements, including in E1, as well as plans for two new settlements and the immediate construction of 3,078 units, 78% of which east of the separation barrier.
 
For the full report click here
Peace Now: The exposed MoH plans portray a worrying and dangerous picture for the state of Israel and for the two state solution. The execution of the plans exposed does not only stand in contrast to previous promises to the United States, but also seriously threaten the possibility of arriving at a two state solution. We call on Housing Minister Yoav Galant of Kulanu not to follow his predecessor's vision and to stop these plans immediately. Rather than continuing to plan thousands of units in the settlements, we call upon Minister Galant to invest in planning and construction in Israel proper.
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APN Statement: Israeli Government's anti-NGO Bill: Hate Crime against Democracy

Americans for Peace Now (APN) is alarmed and appalled by the Israeli Cabinet's approval today of a bill aimed at intimidating and silencing progressive Israeli non-profit organizations such as our sister-organization Peace Now (Shalom Achshav), Israel's preeminent peace movement.

The bill, introduced by Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked of the far-right Jewish Home party compels representatives of non-governmental organizations (NGOs, or non-profit organizations), which receive funding from foreign governments, to wear special tags on their clothing whenever visiting the Knesset, and to provide details about their foreign funding in any communication with elected officials.

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Press Release: APN Condemns Extremists' Attacks on Progressive Israelis

 

Americans for Peace Now (APN) joins its Israeli sister organization Shalom Achshav (Peace Now) in condemning the current wave of vicious right-wing attacks on leaders of Israeli progressive nonprofits, on peace and human rights organizations, and even on Israel’s President Reuven Rivlin.

This week, the incitement against Israeli progressives reached new heights, with the launch of a new campaign by Im Tirtzu, an extremist, McCarthyite Israeli group. This campaign also marks a new low in Im Tirtu’s campaign of incitement against the Left – a remarkable feat given that Im Tirtzu has for some time been plumbing the depths of incitement, including with a vile campaign targeting the New Israel Fund, featuring Der Sturmer-style images of a veteran Israeli Knesset member on whose head they had drawn horns. Im Tirtzu’s new campaign – which includes a video, an ad running in Israeli media, and a website – targets our colleagues in the Israeli human rights and civil society movement, labeling them foreign “plants” and suggesting that they support terror against Israel. The imagery of the campaign calls to mind militant anti-abortion websites in the United States that, until blocked by U.S. courts, included details and photos of targeted individuals and then placed an “X” over the faces of the targets that had been killed.

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News from Peace Now's (Israel) Settlement Watch:

Peace Now learned today that last month the Head of the Government Property at the Civil Administration declared 30 dumans of the Palestinian villages of Jinsafut and Dir Istya as state lands. This is, as far as we know, the first declaration of state land since August 2014, when 4,000 dunams were declared as state land - a step which has led to heavy condemnations, including by the United States. While declarations of state land came to a halt after the Roadmap, since Netanyahu came to power declarations of state land have acceded 6,000 dumans. Just like previous declarations, this declaration is not technical but political, as it has to be approved by the Minister of Defense. 
 
The main purpose of this declaration is to retroactively legalize construction in the settlement of Karnei Shomron, and to allow it to expand (see photos). Palestinians landowners have already submitted an appeal to the Civil Administration against the declaration. Although the declaration is small in size and is adjacent to an already built area of a settlement, it is still a clear step taken by the Israeli Government which is taking over land and handing it over to the settlers.
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Press release: APN Applauds Secretary Kerry's Warning against Collapse of Two-State Option

Americans for Peace Now (APN) applauds Secretary of State John Kerry for his courageous speech Saturday in which he urged the leaders of Israel and the Palestinians to act now to prevent the collapse of the two-state option and to prevent the emergence of a bi-national state between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean.

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Press Release: APN Welcomes EU Guidelines for Labeling Settlement Products

Washington, DC - Americans for Peace Now (APN) joins its Israeli sister-organization Shalom Achshav (Peace Now) in welcoming the European Union’s new guidelines for labeling products made in West Bank settlements. 

Shalom Achshav today issued the following statement: 
 
Peace now views the settlement product labeling guidelines issued today by the European Union as a means to oppose the occupation and, thereby, support Israel. Peace Now has always considered the settlement enterprise as the main obstacle to a two state solution, and, like the settlers themselves, views Israeli factories and economic institutions within the West Bank as a political statement. A more accurate labeling system, as Israel never annexed the West Bank, will allow European residents to make purchases according to ideological considerations. Further, this system will help curb efforts to boycott Israel entirely, such as those advocated by the BDS movement. Finally, when negotiations which could lead to a two state solution do not exist, measures which differentiate between Israel and the West Bank are important in preserving the two state solution.
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APN Welcomes EU Guidelines for Labeling Settlement Products

Americans for Peace Now joins its Israeli sister-organization Shalom Achshav (Peace Now) in welcoming the European Union’s new guidelines for labeling products made in West Bank settlements. 

Shalom Achshav today issued the following statement: 
 
Peace now views the settlement product labeling guidelines issued today by the European Union as a means to oppose the occupation and, thereby, support Israel. Peace Now has always considered the settlement enterprise as the main obstacle to a two state solution, and, like the settlers themselves, views Israeli factories and economic institutions within the West Bank as a political statement. A more accurate labeling system, as Israel never annexed the West Bank, will allow European residents to make purchases according to ideological considerations. Further, this system will help curb efforts to boycott Israel entirely, such as those advocated by the BDS movement. Finally, when negotiations which could lead to a two state solution do not exist, measures which differentiate between Israel and the West Bank are important in preserving the two state solution.
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