West Bank

Palestinian incitement, Israeli incitement

In the days since the terrible murder of a family of five in the West Bank settlement of Itamar, the issue of Palestinian incitement has emerged as Talking Point Number One for pro-Israel groups here.

The Palestinian Authority hasn't done enough to curb incitement, the argument goes, which naturally leads to tragedies such as the Itamar murders.

Fair enough; it's hard to argue with claims the PA has done too little to tamp down, and has sometimes contributed to, incitement against the very idea of Israel, most notably in its own media.

Palestinians Rally for Fatah - Hamas Unity

03/15/2011

JERUSALEM (JTA) -- Thousands of Palestinians rallied for unity in Ramallah and Gaza City.

The rallies on Tuesday were organized on Facebook by young Palestinian activists who are calling for an end to the division between Fatah, which governs the West Bank, and Hamas, which ousted Fatah and took over Gaza in 2007.

Tens of thousands of Palestinians reportedly gathered in Gaza City's Square of the Unknown Soldier. Rallies in Gaza City reportedly began on Monday out of fear the Tuesday rallies would be quashed by Hamas.

Abbas Denounces Murders in Itamar on Israel Radio

03/14/2011

JERUSALEM (JTA) -- Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas called the killing of five members of a Jewish family "despicable," "inhuman and immoral."

"A human being is not capable of something like that," Abbas continued in Arabic during an interview Monday morning on Israel Radio. Abbas' words were translated into Hebrew by the interviewer.

Forces Search for Killer of Parents, 3 Children in West Bank Settlement

03/13/2011

JERUSALEM (JTA) -- Israeli military and police forces continue to scour the West Bank for a suspected Palestinian terrorist who stabbed a Jewish couple and three of their children to death in their West Bank home.

The forces were also deployed throughout the West bank Sunday to prevent revenge attacks by Israeli settlers.

Palestinian terrorist kills parents, 3 children in West Bank

03/13/2011

 March 12, 2011 (JTA) -- An Palestinian terrorist stabbed a couple and three of their children to death in their home in a West Bank settlement.
"Israel will not stand by idly after such a despicable murder and will act vigorously to safeguard the lives of the citizens of Israel and punish the murderers," Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said in a statement released after the Sabbath eve attack in Itamar in the northern West Bank.

Outposts built on Palestinian land ordered demolished

03/08/2011

JERUSALEM (JTA) -- Israel's Cabinet has ordered the demolition of all illegal West Bank outposts built on private Palestinian land by the end of the year.

Monday's decision, echoing one announced earlier this month, came in response to a petition submitted by Peace Now to the Supreme Court, calling for the demolition of six particular outposts: Ramat Gilad, Mitzpe Yitzhar, Givat Har'eh, Givat Asaf. Ma'aleh Rehavam and Mitzpeh Lachish.

Outpost evacuation handled appropriately, Israeli probe finds

03/07/2011

JERUSALEM (JTA) -- Israeli police forces acted appropriately and proportionately in evacuating a West Bank outpost, a police investigation found.

The investigation released Sunday found that last week's demolition of three illegal structures at the Gilad Farm outpost in the northern West Bank, which led to settler protests throughout the West Bank and Jerusalem, was carried out in a "proportional, restrained and professional" manner, according to reports.

De Facto Settlement Freeze

03/01/2011

Settlers in Israel are complaining bitterly that Jerusalem has instituted a de facto freeze on new construction even though it is unofficial; critics of Israeli policy continue to complain bitterly that building is continuing, impeding the peace process.

Welcome to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s world.

Netanyahu: Pressure Over Settlements Growing

02/28/2011

JERUSALEM (JTA) -- Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said international pressure over West Bank construction is growing and criticized settlers seeking new construction tenders.

Netanyahu also said during a meeting of Likud Party ministers that the government would try to preserve existing construction.

"We are currently making efforts to maintain the existing construction, but we must understand that we are in a very difficult international reality," Netanyahu said Monday.

What the U.S. veto at the U.N. means

Does it matter much that the Obama administration vetoed a UN Security Council resolution labeling Israel's settlement activity illegal? Naturally, it depends on who you ask, but my answer is: probably not.

Mostly, it strikes me as an action by an administration that has concluded – rightly or wrongly – that the current status quo is the best it can hope for in the Middle East.

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