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Israel Presses Forward With Plan to Expand West Bank Settlement Near Jerusalem, Haaretz
Israel is promoting a plan to double the size of Har Gilo, a settlement just south of Jerusalem. The new satellite neighborhood is not slated to connect to the current settlement, and opponents of the plan argue the new neighborhood is in fact an entirely new settlement. Additionally, the new neighborhood is planned on land that is considered sensitive, both in terms of the landscape and the climate, since it is described as a “buffer zone” of a UNESCO World Heritage Site – the agricultural terraces of the Palestinian village of Battir. On Sunday, the Supreme Planning Council in Judea and Samaria approved the widening of the road leading to Har Gilo, in what is considered the first stage in approving the plan to expand the settlement.
Israel Warns Over Iran Uranium Capability With Nuclear Talks at Halt, The Guardian
Tensions around a breakdown in talks between Iran and the US over Tehran’s nuclear programme escalated on Monday when Israel’s defence minister, Benny Gantz, claimed that Iran would be able to produce enough enriched uranium to make three nuclear warheads within a few weeks. Gantz also revealed a map detailing 10 facilities in Syria allegedly being used to arm Iran and its proxies, including Hezbollah. He said the facilities represented a threat to Israel’s security.
Settler Assaulted, Seriously Wounded in Clash With Palestinians, The Times of Israel
An Israeli man was assaulted and seriously hurt on Monday evening in an apparent brawl with Palestinians near the settlement of Ma’on in the South Hebron Hills area of the West Bank, law enforcement and local authorities said. According to the Hebron Hills Regional Council, the man in his 30s, a local shepherd, was hit over the head with a hoe.
Far-right Lawmaker Calls to Outlaw Israel’s Arab Political Parties, Haaretz
Religious Zionism chairman Bezalel Smotrich called for Israel’s Arab political parties to be completely outlawed on Monday during a speech that was nominally about counter-terrorism.
US Ambassador: Israel Can Make Its Own Decisions on Rules of Engagement, The Jerusalem Post
Israel is a sovereign country and can decide for itself regarding its rules of engagement, according to US Ambassador to Israel Tom Nides, speaking Monday at The Jerusalem Post Annual Conference in New York.
Israel Weighs Limiting West Bank Operations to Help Strengthen Palestinian Authority, Haaretz
Over the past few days, Israel Defense Forces Chief of Staff Aviv Kochavi and Shin Bet security service head Ronen Bar have publicly criticized the PA security forces. Defense officials are concerned that in some cases, the limited action of the PA security forces in the northern West Bank and the weakening of security coordination with Israel are happening on orders from above.
Israel’s ‘Government of Change’ Is Paralyzed by Fear, Haaretz
Ami Ayalon writes, “Our leaders know that the majority of the Israeli public fully recognizes the nightmare of one state in which there is no Jewish majority, but they lack the courage to say out in the open what they speak about behind closed doors. Israel is still waiting for a leader courageous enough to declare a change in policy from “managing/shrinking the conflict” to one of “managing an arrangement,” a process of bringing about the creation of two states. Most know that this is the only way to prevent the work of the fathers of Zionism, who established a Jewish and democratic state when they formulated the Declaration of Independence, from being destroyed. If this brave leader fails to emerge and we fail to come to our senses, we will leave our children and grandchildren an inheritance violence and loss of identity.”