US senators urge Netanyahu not to demolish Palestinian villages

Ten US senators have written to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu urging him not to demolish Palestinian villages in the occupied West Bank, reports the Jewish Telegraphic Agency. The letter, initiated by Sens. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., and Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., states: “we have long championed a two-state solution as a just resolution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict”. “Yet, your government’s efforts to forcibly evict entire Palestinian communities and expand settlements throughout the West Bank not only directly imperil a two-state solution, but we believe also endanger Israel’s future as a Jewish democracy”. JTA notes that nine of the signatories are Democrats and four of them Jewish. The Israeli authorities have declared their intention of demolishing Susiya, a Palestinian village near Hebron, […]

Israeli plan to set up new settlement city in West Bank

Israeli occupation authorities are planning to set up new large settlement city on the western borders of the occupied West Bank, Israeli media reports reported on Wednesday. According to Quds Press, the Israeli news website 0404 revealed that a special committee was assigned by the Israeli interior ministry six months ago to prepare for the plan. The committee offered its recommendations on Wednesday, the Israeli site said, noting that the committee recommended bringing a number of settlements together to create a large settlement city applicable for expansion. According to the news website, the settlements in question are Oranit, south of Qalqilia, Sheari Tikva, in the east, Etz Efraim, in the villages of Qalqilia and Elkana in the west of Salfit. […]

UAE grants $1.9bn in loans and housing support to its citizens

Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi, Mohammed Bin Zayed Al-Nahyan, yesterday approved AED7 billion ($1.9 billion) worth of loans and ordered the distribution of housing and residential plots among the country’s citizens. “The housing loans will benefit some 6,794 nationals,” Al-Nahyan said on twitter. The Deputy Supreme Commander of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) Armed Forces noted that the initiative aims at providing a “decent life” for Emiratis as well as “mobilising all energies and possibilities to push forward the process of comprehensive development.” Under the grant, some 1,789 residences, worth AED 2.1 billion ($57 billion), and 2,647 residential plots, worth AED1.3 billion ($35 billion), will be distributed among Abu Dhabi national residents. Read: Half of UAE’s residents in debt The government […]

New Israeli draft law would jail pro-BDS activists

A new draft bill sponsored by members of Benjamin Netanyahu’s coalition would see activists who promote the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement (BDS) campaign face criminal charges and jail time. According to the proposal, reports Haaretz, “the crime in question, which already exists in the penal code, harms ‘Israel’s interests or Israel’s relations with a country, organization or institution’.” The new element, backed by Likud MKs David Bitan (coalition whip), Anat Berko, and David Amsalem, as well as Kulanu lawmakers Yfat Shasha-Biton and Tali Plosko, is “including the promotion of anti-Israel boycotts as one of the acts that can result in indictment on this charge”. The bill’s explanatory notes state that the law “is meant to apply to anyone who takes an active part […]