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Israel land grab law 'ends hope of two-state solution'
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    Israel land grab law 'ends hope of two-state solution' (OP)


    Salaam

    With Trump in power, Netanyahu has a free hand.


    Israel land grab law 'ends hope of two-state solution'


    Land grab law 'allows theft, stalls peace process'

    Law that retroactively legalises settler homes on private Palestinian land widely condemned as legitimising theft.


    Israel's land grab law that retroactively legalises thousands of settlement homes in the occupied West Bank legitimises theft, violates international law and ends the prospect of a two-state solution, according to politicians, legal experts and human rights groups.

    The so-called "Regulation Bill" instantly drew wide condemnation as it was voted in by members of the Knesset late on Monday with a 60 to 52 majority.

    The law applies to about 4,000 settlement homes in the West Bank for which settlers could prove ignorance that they had built on privately owned Palestinian land and had received encouragement from the Israeli state to do so.

    Three Israeli NGOs - Peace Now, Yesh Din and the Association for Civil Rights in Israel - and numerous Palestinians said they intend to petition the Supreme Court to cancel the law.

    UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said on Tuesday in a statement: "This bill is in contravention of international law and will have far reaching legal consequences for Israel."

    The EU's foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini said in a statement that the bloc "condemns" the law and urges against its implementation "to avoid measures that further raise tensions and endanger the prospects for a peaceful solution to the conflict".

    Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas said the law was an aggression against the Palestinian people.

    "That bill is contrary to international law," Abbas said following a meeting with French President Francois Hollande in Paris. "This is an aggression against our people that we will be opposing in international organisations.

    "What we want is peace ... but what Israel does is to work toward one state based on apartheid."

    Hollande called on Israel to go back on the law, saying it would "pave the way for an annexation, de-facto, of the occupied territories, which would be contrary to the two-state solution".

    Hours before Abbas' meeting with Hollande, Saeb Erekat, secretary general of the Palestinian Liberation Organisation, told the Associated Press news agency that the law puts "the last nail in the coffin of the two-state solution".

    Calling the move "theft", Erekat said the ruling showed "the Israeli government trying to legalise looting Palestinian land".

    The Arab League also accused Israel of "stealing the land" from Palestinians.

    "The law in question is only a cover for stealing the land and appropriating the property of Palestinians," said the head of the Cairo-based organisation, Ahmed Aboul Gheit.

    Palestinian owners will be compensated financially or with other land, but cannot negotiate their terms.

    The law is a continuation of "Israeli policies aimed at eliminating any possibility of a two-state solution and the establishment of an independent Palestinian state", Aboul Gheit said.

    Jordan, one of the few Arab states to have diplomatic ties with Israel, also denounced what it called "a provocative law likely to kill any hope of a two-state solution".

    According to the UN envoy for the Middle East peace process, Nickolay Mladenov, the law crosses a "very thick red line" towards annexation of the occupied West Bank, and sets a "very dangerous precedent".

    Speaking to the AFP news agency, he said: "This is the first time the Israeli Knesset legislates in the occupied Palestinian lands and particularly on property issues."

    He also raised the possibility the law could open Israel up to potential prosecution at the International Criminal Court, a threat Israel's own top government lawyer, attorney general Avichai Mandelblit, has also warned of.

    Mladenov called for strong international condemnation of the legislation but declined to criticise the US after President Donald Trump's administration refused to comment on it.

    Trump is more sympathetic to Israel's settlement policies than previous US presidents; the Israeli government has approved plans to build thousands of new homes on occupied territory since the far-right leader settled into the White House.

    "I think that is a very preliminary statement," Mladenov said. "Obviously they do need to consult, this is a new administration that has just come into office and they should be given the time and the space to find their policies."

    White House spokesman Sean Spicer said the US was likely to discuss the law with Netanyahu when the Israeli prime minister visits on February 15, but did not comment further in a press briefing on Tuesday.

    David Harris, head of AJC, the global Jewish advocacy organisation, said that "Israel's High Court can and should reverse this misguided legislation" ahead of Netanyahu's meeting with Trump in February.

    That was also the message from Defence Minister Avigdor Lieberman, who said last week: "The chance that it will be struck down by the Supreme Court is 100 percent."

    'Against all international laws'

    International law considers all settlements to be illegal, but Israel distinguishes between those it sanctions and those it does not, dubbed outposts.

    A Palestinian Cabinet minister also called on the international community for support.

    "Nobody can legalise the theft of the Palestinian lands. Building settlements is a crime, building settlements is against all international laws," said Palestinian Tourism and Antiquities Minister Rula Maayaa. "I think it is time now for the international community to act concretely to stop the Israelis from these crimes."

    Nabil Abu Rdeneh, a spokesman for Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, called the law "unacceptable" and urged the international community to act immediately.

    "This is an escalation that would only lead to more instability and chaos," Rdeneh said.

    Palestinians want the occupied West Bank, east Jerusalem and the Gaza Strip - territories Israel occupied in the 1967 Middle East war - for their future state.

    The international community views settlements as illegal and an obstacle to reaching peace.

    Shortly before leaving office, US President Barack Obama allowed the UN Security Council to pass a resolution declaring settlements illegal.

    Tobias Ellwood, Britain's Middle East minister, also condemned the land grab bill, saying it "is of great concern that the bill paves the way for significant growth in settlements deep in the West Bank".

    Yuval Shany, an international law professor at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem, said the law violates basic rights, interferes with property rights and is discriminatory because it regulates only the transfer of land from Palestinians to Jews.

    http://www.aljazeera.com/news/2017/02/israel-land-grab-law-ends-hope-state-solution-170207143602924.html
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    Re: Israel land grab law 'ends hope of two-state solution'

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    Salaam

    Another update

    Malaysia's Mahathir calls Trump a 'villain' for Jerusalem plan

    KUALA LUMPUR (Reuters) - Muslim-majority Malaysia’s former prime minister Mahathir Mohamad on Friday called U.S. President Donald Trump an “international bully” and a “villain” for his move to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.

    Trump last week reversed decades of U.S. policy by recognizing Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, and said the United States would move its embassy to Jerusalem from Tel Aviv in the coming years.

    Sponsored

    The status of Jerusalem is one of the thorniest barriers to a lasting Israeli-Palestinian peace. Israel considers Jerusalem its eternal and indivisible capital and wants all embassies based there.

    Palestinians want the capital of an independent state of theirs to be in the city’s eastern sector, which Israel captured in the 1967 Middle East war and annexed in a move never recognized internationally.

    The anger from Trump’s decision “will lead to what is called terrorism”, the 93-year-old Mahathir told a protest rally in front of the U.S. embassy in Kuala Lumpur.

    “Today we have an international bully. Trump, go find someone your own size. This (Jerusalem plan) will only stir the anger of the Muslims,” said Mahathir, the chairman of Malaysia’s opposition coalition.

    “We must use all our power to oppose this villain who is the president of the United States,” he said, urging all Muslim countries to cut ties with Israel.

    Muhyiddin Yassin, another opposition leader, called on the Malaysian government to not proceed with planned investments in the United States.

    Last week, Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak urged Muslims worldwide to oppose any recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.

    Social media users in Muslim-majority Malaysia vowed to boycott U.S. companies, such as McDonald’s Corp, following Trump’s decision. The chain’s Malaysian franchise said it did not support or engage in any political or religious conflicts.

    Deputy Prime Minister Zahid Ahamd Hamidi on Friday said Najib and the leader of the opposition Pan-Malaysian Islamic Party (PAS) would lead a protest rally next Friday in Malaysia’s administrative capital of Putrajaya, media said.

    https://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-trump-israel-asia/malaysias-mahathir-calls-trump-a-villain-for-jerusalem-plan-idUSKBN1E90T2?il=0

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    Re: Israel land grab law 'ends hope of two-state solution'

    Salaam

    Another update


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    Re: Israel land grab law 'ends hope of two-state solution'

    Jerusalem was the capital of the kingdom of Judah in the 9th century BCE. So how did it become part of Israel? What about Babylon, would that be a better capital? I don't think it matters what Trump recognizes, the guy has no dignitas or power to enforce his will. He is not the ruler of the world. All the Neo Cons which are both Republicans and Democrats are Zionists and recognize Jerusalem as the capital city of Israel. So what? They don't have the official powers to make it so.

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    Re: Israel land grab law 'ends hope of two-state solution'

    Salaam

    Perceptive

    Last edited by Junon; 49 Minutes Ago at 11:37 PM.

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    Re: Israel land grab law 'ends hope of two-state solution'

    Salaam

    Another update


    Ibrahim Abu Thuraya: Disabled Palestinian activist shot dead by Israeli troops in Jerusalem protest

    Outrage after double amputee among of eight Palestinians killed since Donald Trump recognised Jerusalem as Israel's capital




    A Palestinian activist who lost his legs in an air strike has been shot dead by Israeli troops as he protested against the US decision to recognise Jerusalem as Israel’s capital. Wheelchair-bound Ibraheem Abu Thuraya, 29, was one of four Palestinians killed during Friday’s violent clashes, according to officials. Witnesses said he was unarmed. The Palestinian Authority’s health ministry said Mr Thuraya was shot just east of Gaza City, with the Israeli army saying it opened fire on the “main instigators” of violent protests at the Gaza border. A 31-year-old, Yasser Sokhar, was killed in the same clash.

    The violent protests followed the decision by Donald Trump earlier this month to officially recognise Jerusalem as Israel’s capital. Another 82 Palestinians were injured, five of them seriously, in clashes along Gaza’s border with Israel, the health ministry said. Mr Thuraya had lost his legs and a kidney in an air strike, according to local reports, and was regularly seen with other Palestinian activists at protests.

    “He was injured in 2008 by an Israeli helicopter that targeted him after he brought down the Israeli flag and raised the Palestinian flag along the border,” his brother Samir told AFP .

    “It did not stop him from demonstrating for Jerusalem. He went alone every day to the border.”

    He is understood to have washed cars for a living and told Shehab News in 2016 he hoped one day he could go abroad to get prosthetic legs. The group Irish Friends of Palestine helped raise money for his motorised scooter, according to its website.

    In video footage apparently recorded shortly before his death, Mr Thuraya can be seen carrying the Palestinian flag and waving the victory sign at Israeli soldiers.

    In another video, he is heard saying: “This land is our land. We are not going to give up. America has to withdraw the declaration it has made.”

    Tear gas was reportedly used against the protesters and at some point Mr Thuraya abandoned his wheelchair, crawling through the grass before he was shot. His funeral took place on Saturday, The Guardian reported.

    Photos and videos showing Mr Thuraya being pushed in his wheelchair shortly before his death have been widely shared on social media. Nasser Atta, a Jerusalem-based journalist, said on Twitter the death of the Gaza amputee “will be the beginning of the start of a third intifada, they compare him to Mohammed al-Dura killed during the Second Intifada”. Mohammed al-Dura was a 12-year-old boy killed by Israeli forces during rioting on the Gaza Strip in 2000, prompting worldwide condemnation and violent retribution.

    According to the Middle East Eye, Mr Thuraya was known for climbing electricity poles and holding up Palestinian flags during protests. He told the Irish Friends of Palestine: “Please never look at my disabled body, look at the great job I am doing. I never get despaired. It’s not the end of the world and life should go on.”

    Several thousand Palestinians took part in Friday’s protests at the West Bank, Jerusalem and Gaza, according to Israeli forces and eyewitness accounts.

    “During the violent riots IDF (Israel Defence Force) soldiers fired selectively towards main instigators,” the military said in a statement.

    It said demonstrators in the West Bank threw firebombs and rocks and rolled flaming tyres at soldiers and border police.

    Another Palestinian was shot and killed after he reportedly stabbed an Israeli soldier during clashes at the West Bank border, according to reports which claimed he was believed to have been wearing a suicide belt. He was named by the Palestinian Health Ministry as 29-year-old Mohammed Aqal.

    Protests have raged for the past 10 days in the disputed territories since Mr Trump’s announcement – highly controversial because Jerusalem is a holy place to Jews, Christians and Muslims.

    Israeli forces seized control of East Jerusalem from Arab forces in the 1967 Middle East War and later annexed it in a move considered illegal under international law. Israel has maintained a blockade of Gaza for a decade, claiming this is necessary to contain the territory's Islamist rulers Hamas, who have called for a new uprising in response to Mr Trump's Jerusalem declaration.

    Mr Trump said the announcement merely recognises the reality that Jerusalem already effectively serves as the Israeli capital and is not intended to alter the city's borders.

    http://www.independent.co.uk/news/wo...-a8114766.html

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