Quantcast
Connect with us

Israel to pump millions more into West Bank settlements

Published

on

Israel approved Sunday listing some Jewish settlements in the occupied West Bank as zones that entitle the communities to millions of dollars of extra state funding.

The cabinet decision was seen as a gesture toward settlers furious about a 10-month moratorium on new building permits in settlements after months of US pressure.

But it is likely to stir furore amid the Palestinians and the international community, which considers all Israeli settlements as illegal.

ADVERTISEMENT

The cabinet voted to approve a proposal to include settlements in the list of communities designated as “national priority zones,” giving them access to credits worth 41 million dollars (28 million euros), a government official told AFP.

It had been expected to approve the proposal during its morning session, but put off the vote amid disagreements over which communities inside Israel should be included on the list.

In its vote, the cabinet also decided to create a commission that will decide within 30 days on whether to include other communities inside Israel, the official said.

The new credits will benefit 110,000 settlers and can be used for vocational training programmes and other educational or cultural activities.

The main settler organisation, Yesha, welcomed the move, but said more steps were needed.

ADVERTISEMENT

“It is a step in the right direction, but the route remains long,” said spokesman Yishai Hollender.

The communities affected on Sunday are mainly outside the large settlement blocs Israel wants to annex under any peace accord with the Palestinians.

Earlier in the day, Finance Minister Yuval Steinitz of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s Likud party said the move was aimed at expressing support for settlements amid the moratorium.

ADVERTISEMENT

“With this, we want to send a message (to the settlers) that we understand their difficulties and want to support them,” Steinitz told public radio.

The European Union on Friday expressed concern about the plan and said it would consult its partners in the Middle East Quartet over the move.

ADVERTISEMENT

“Coordination with the Quartet I think is called for in view of the serious nature of such a move,” Swedish Foreign Minister Carl Bildt, whose country holds the EU’s rotating presidency, said on Friday.

“If I understand it rightly, it is a rather serious step,” he said. “If that is the decision that will be taken by the Israeli government, we will most certainly express our views on it.”

The issue of Israeli settlements on occupied Palestinian land is one of the thorniest in the stalled Middle East peace talks.

ADVERTISEMENT


Report typos and corrections to: [email protected].
READ COMMENTS - JOIN THE DISCUSSION
Continue Reading

Breaking Banner

Conservative columnist nails the infectious diseases the Trump White House is suffering from

Published

on

On Wednesday, conservative columnist Max Boot revealed the "diseases" at the heart of President Donald Trump's administration that are weakening their capacity to respond to the very real disease threat from coronavirus.

Simply put: Fevered nationalism, hatred of the civil service, and a pathological desire to erase the legacy of President Barack Obama.

"Covid-19 has already infected more than 80,000 people in 37 countries, causing more than 2,600 deaths, and experts doubt it will slow in the spring," wrote Boot. "That a virus that started in China could have a bad impact on the United States should be no surprise: Diseases don’t respect borders any more than terrorists or trade flows do. Transnational threats require transnational solutions. To cite but one example, many of the medicines and medical supplies that Americans need, including N95 face masks, come from China."

Continue Reading

Breaking Banner

Trump’s health secretary learned Pence was taking over coronavirus outbreak moments before press conference

Published

on

President Donald Trump apparently left Secretary Alex Azar out of the loop on Vice President Mike Pence taking over the coronavirus response.

According to the Washington Post, Azar was "blindsided" by the decision, according to five people familiar with the incident. Azar learned about it moments before the press conference this afternoon.

Pence said that he would run a task force at the Department of Health and Human Services, which Azar is in charge of.

Continue Reading
 

Breaking Banner

US has first case of community-spread coronavirus transmission — as Trump says spread is under control

Published

on

President Donald Trump did a Wednesday press conference where he said that the coronavirus was under control and only a little over one dozen people had it and it would be down to five people soon. In fact, the U.S. hit its 60th person. One dramatic shift happened in the virus, however.

According to KCRA, the first community-spread infection has occurred in California.

A Solano County patient “had no known exposure to the virus through travel or close contact with a known infected individual,” said the California Department of Public Health.

Continue Reading
 
 
close-image