Palestinian statehood idea at ‘dead-end’: Israel minister
Israeli Economy Minister Naftali Bennett says that the idea of establishing an independent Palestinian state has reached a dead end.
“The idea that a Palestinian state will be founded within … Israel has reached a dead end,” Bennett said on Monday.
Bennett, who heads the hardline nationalist Jewish Home Party, said the most important thing Israel should do is to build more settler units.
The Israeli minister has consistently voiced opposition to the two-state solution backed by key Israeli ally Washington and the rest of the international community.
Following Bennett’s remarks, Chief Palestinian Authority Negotiator Saeb Erekat accused Israel of officially declaring the death of the two-state solution.
“Several high-ranking Israeli officials have made clear statements regarding their position to actively work against the internationally endorsed two-state solution on the 1967 borders,” Erakat said.
Erekat says the comments by high-ranking Israeli officials against the two-state solution are not isolated events, but a reaffirmation of political platforms and radical beliefs.
A report released last month revealed that the Israeli regime confiscated 1,977 acres of the Palestinian lands in the occupied West Bank for its settlement activity during 2012.
The settlements, which cover an area roughly equal to 1,035 soccer fields and twice as big as New York’s Central Park, were approved by “military order,” the Israeli daily Haaretz reported on May 27.
More than half a million Israelis live in over 120 illegal settlements built since Israel’s occupation of the Palestinian territories of the West Bank and East al-Quds in 1967.
Former Israeli commander confesses to razing entire villages during Nakba
NAZARETH, (PIC)– A former Israeli army commander has confessed to razing entire Arab villages in the Nakba that led to the creation of Israel on the land of Palestine.
Brig. Gen. (res.) Yitzhak Pundak said in an interview with the Israeli army radio Monday on the occasion of his 100th birthday, “My conscience is at ease with that, because if we hadn’t done so, then there would be no state by now. There would be a million more Arabs.”
Pundak was the commander of the 53rd Battalion of the Givati Brigade during the Nakba and went on to supervise the establishment of the Armored Corps. He was also Ambassador in Tanzania and a founder of Arad.
In reply to a question about his keenness to lecture Israeli soldiers despite his old age, he said: “Israel is in danger today exactly as it was in 1948. If Jews do not fight as they did during the war of independence the state will be in danger.”
“War unites the Jewish people,” he added.
He spoke with pain of the 145 soldiers who were killed under his command over the years, and said that if they woke up miraculously and saw the division in today’s Israel, “they would run back to their graves.”
Jewish settlers puncture 28 Palestinian cars in OJ
OCCUPIED JERUSALEM, (PIC)– A group of fanatic Jewish settlers attacked Palestinian cars in Abu Gush area west of occupied Jerusalem on Tuesday and sprayed racist graffiti on walls.
A statement for the Israeli police spokeswoman said that unknown assailants punctured the tires of 28 cars owned by Arabs that were parked in Abu Gush area.
She added that racist statements were sprayed on nearby walls including that of “Price Tag” and others calling for the departure of Arabs.
Attacks by price tag gangs have recently escalated in occupied Jerusalem amidst lax Israeli security efforts to track down those involved.
Arrests and demolition orders in Jerusalem
OCCUPIED JERUSALEM, (PIC)– The Israeli police and municipal crews have carried out raid campaign at dawn on Monday in Beit Hanina, Salam and Shufat refugee camp near the city of Jerusalem. A number of arrests were reported.
The Israeli police broke into a Palestinian building in Tel al-Foul and arrested 25 citizens living in it under the pretext of establishing a building without permit, an eyewitness confirmed.
The sources added that a fine of 800 shekels ($225) was imposed against each one of the detainees, pointing out that 80 other citizens were also arrested for the same charge in Salam and Shufat camps.
Meanwhile, Israeli forces stormed Shuafat refugee camp and arrested a number of shopkeepers for “tax evasion”.
The Jerusalem municipality crews along with the Israeli police raided the village of Silwan on Monday morning, and handed out three administrative demolition orders for commercial facilities.
The Israeli authorities have escalated recently its demolition policy against Palestinian properties and escalated settlement constructions in Palestinian neighborhoods within the so-called “Holy Basin”.
Raids and arrests in al-Khalil
AL-KHALIL, (PIC)– An Israeli large force has stormed Dura town south of al-Khalil this morning where they conducted raid and search operations in number of houses.
The Israeli force tightened its military restrictions in Dura and its surrounding villages where they prevented the citizens from performing the Dawn prayer in the mosque.
Three Palestinians were arrested including 2 minors where they were taken to unknown destination in light of Israeli ongoing search operations for the wanted persons who opened fire towards an Israeli military vehicle near Khursa junction 6 days ago.
Meanwhile, the Israeli soldiers raided Durwa area in Halhul north of al-Khalil where they erected military checkpoints. As a result, Palestinian youths stoned the soldiers who, in turn, fired tear gas leading to one injury. No arrests were reported.
Mother of sick detainee appeals for his life
JENIN, (PIC)– Amena Al-Saadi, the mother of detainee Nahar Al-Saadi, appealed to human rights groups to intervene and save his life in Israeli captivity.
Prisoner Saadi has so far served ten years of his life sentence and his health condition is worsening due to deliberate medical neglect and repeated isolation punishments.
Saadi, 31, is currently held in solitary confinement in Shatta prison and suffers from ulcer, curved spine, and dental problems.
The mother voiced fears for the life of her son since no treatment is being accorded to him, charging that holding her son in isolation ran contrary to human values and ethics.
She said that her son was in need of help of his fellow internees in view of his health condition.