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

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Peace Now Settlement Watch: Tender for 42 Housing Units in Kiryat Arba Issued

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

Today, (Wednesday, 6th of July) the Israeli Ministry of Housing issued a tender for the construction of 42 housing units in Kiryat Arba. The tender was issued today but bids can only be submitted at the 31st of July. This means that the Government wanted to publish the tender quickly, before the paperwork is completed, in order to make the connection between the deadly attacks against Israelis last week and the promotion of the construction in Kiryat Arba. 

Peace Now: "Construction in settlements is not an answer to terrorism; it is not going to save the life of any Israeli but rather strengthen the extremists on both sides. The real answer to terrorism is ending the occupation and reaching a negotiated peace agreement. Unfortunately, Israeli citizens continue to pay the price of the extreme right wing government's policies."

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Peace Now Settlement Watch: Settlement Construction Is Not The Answer to Terrorism

From Peace Now's (Israel) Settlement Watch:

Following the deadly attacks against Israelis last week, it has been reported that the government is advancing plans for 800 housing units in Maale Adumim and in East Jerusalem. It is not clear at this point exactly which plans are being promoted and the promotion of 560 housing units in Ma'ale Adumim, for instance, seems to be made up of several smaller plans. In addition, it has been reported that the government will open a tender for 42 housing units in Kiryat Arba. For more information on this tender and the Kiryat Arba population see below.

Peace Now: Settlement construction is endangering both the possibility for peace and two states and the security of Israeli citizens. New housing units in the settlements will not prevent the next victims but rather strengthen the extremists on both sides. The real answer to terror is ending the occupation and reaching a negotiated agreement. Meanwhile, Israeli citizens will continue to pay the price of the extreme right wing government's policies. 

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APN Explainer: The Pitfalls of the New York Executive Order on BDS

On June 5, 2016, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo signed an Executive Order (EO) entitled: “Directing State Agencies and Authorities to Divest Public Funds Supporting BDS Campaign Against Israel.

Americans for Peace Now (APN) opposes boycotts of Israel. APN also opposes legislation (and the equivalent, like this executive order) that seeks to outlaw boycotts or other forms of legal, non-violent activism against Israel. We believe such initiatives are the wrong way to combat BDS. Our full policy is here.

Our brief explainer, laying out our objections to the new EO in New York (and which apply equally to similar legislation being considered/adopted elsewhere in the country), is below.

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

Tomorrow the Jerusalem Local Planning Committee is expected to approve the construction of a large building for settlers in the heart of the Batan Al Hawa neighborhood in Silwan. The three story building will be located in one of the most densely populated areas in East Jerusalem, near the Yonatan House (see map). The land in the area was sold to the settlers by the Israeli General Custodian without any tender, together with three additional parcels in the neighborhood (Parcels 73, 75, 84, 97). The pretext for selling the land to the settlers was the fact that they already own two other parcels in Batan Al-Hawa (parcels 95-96) that were released to them by the General Custodian in September 2002 (see more here)

Peace Now: While PM Netanyahu and MoD Lieberman just backed the two state solution, on the ground they are supporting actions that are making a future compromise much more difficult. They government can still prevent the construction of the house by withdrawing from the deal of selling the four parcels to the settlers. By approving the construction on the Eve of Ramadan Netanyahu and Lieberman risk igniting the region and compromising Israelis' security for the benefit of extreme settlers.

Silwan-parcel73-map
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APN policy on BDS-Related Legislation (Federal & State)

On May 19, 2016, the Executive Committee of APN's Board of Directors unanimously adopted the following policy regarding ongoing efforts in the U.S. Congress and in various state capitals to pass legislation dealing with BDS and the occupation.

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

As published May 9th in Haaretz following Peace Now's investigation, construction of a huge structure referred to as the “Amana House” has recently started in Sheikh Jarrah in East Jerusalem. The structure is intended to serve as an office building for the Amana association - a private entity operating toward establishing and expanding settlements and responsible for many of the illegal outposts in the Territories. The structure is being built within the Palestinian neighborhood  of Sheikh Jarrah, and is adjacent to St. Joseph Hospital, which serves the Palestinian population of Jerusalem and the West bank.

Construction of the settlement is supported by a wide array of governmental institutions, headed by the Israel Land Authority (ILA). The ILA, in an illegal and misleading procedure and without a tender, expropriated private Palestinian land and handed it over to Amana, a right-wing, pro-settler organization that is politically and ideologically affiliated with the right-wing government.

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

Earlier this week the Palestinian Media reported on a new expropriation order in the lands of the village of Al-Zawiya. This order was published based on the State's most recent publication procedure of the Blue Line Team's work. 

While the original declaration in this area included 1,264 dumans, the current order, following the work of the Blue Line Team, adds another 115 dunams that are now declared as state lands. The order also deducts 213 dumans that are no longer considered as state lands, and yet 30 of the 213 dunams have already been expropriated for the purpose of the "Cross Samariah" highway.
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News from Peace Now's (Israel) Settlement Watch:

Yesterday it was published that the High Planning Committee of the Civil Administration advanced plans in different stages for over 200 units in the settlements after receiving a green light to do so from the Prime Minister and the Minister of Defense. This is another indication of a shift away from the so-called "planning freeze" of 2015. For a list of all plans approved in 2016 click here.

While the government issued a statement arguing that all of the plans advanced were for already existing buildings except from those in Ganei Modi'in, Peace Now's aerial photos illustrate that this is not the case, and much of the planning is for new housing units.
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Peace Now Settlement Watch: Government declares another 596 dunams as state land

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

The Palestinian News agency Ma'an reported yesterday that the Civil Administration issued a new order determining state land boundaries in the settlement of Eli. 
The order is a result of the work of the Civil Administration's Blue Line Team which works to correct inaccurate state land declarations made during the 1980s. According to the new order, 2,781 dunams of the lands of the villages Lubban al Sharqiya, Karyut and Al-Sawiya are now considered state lands, 596 dunams of which were not considered state lands according to the old declaration. Additionally, 590 dunams were detracted from the old declaration.
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