Israeli Drone Crashes in West Bank (Veterans Today)

Israelis can’t pass a budget but they have plenty of money for military hardware

Israelis bleeding their public dry with war hype

Israeli Drone Crashes in West Bank (Veterans Today, Oct 18, 2012):

An Israeli drone has crash landed near the Palestinian city of Nablus in the northern occupied West Bank.The unmanned aircraft had to make an emergency landing on Wednesday following a technical malfunction, but it eventually crash landed.

The Israeli military has ordered an investigation into the accident.

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Israeli Settlers Vandalise Army Base, Clash With Troops In West Bank

Jewish settlers vandalise Israeli army base in protest over planned evacuations of unauthorised settlement outposts

Jewish protesters gain access to Qasar al-Yahud baptism site.

Israeli settlers clash with troops in West Bank (Guardian, Dec. 13, 2011):

Israeli settlers have clashed with troops at an army base in the West Bank and along the border with Jordan in a sign of growing animosity between extremist settlers and the soldiers guarding them.

Some 50 activists broke into an army base in the West Bank on Tuesday morning and lit fires, damaged vehicles with paint and nails, and threw stones at the district commander, the Israeli military said. The officer was not hurt.

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Obama: An Independent Palestine Should Be Based On 1967 Borders – Obama’s Speech A ‘Historic Shift’ On Israel And Palestine? No.

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Prodding Israel, Obama embraces Palestine borders (AP):

WASHINGTON – Exasperated by stalled Middle East peace talks in a season of tumultuous change, President Barack Obama jolted close ally Israel Thursday by embracing the Palestinians’ terms for drawing the borders of their new nation next door. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel rejected the idea as “indefensible” on the eve of his vital White House meeting with Obama.

The U.S. president said that an independent Palestine should be based on 1967 borders — before the Six Day War in which Israel occupied East Jerusalem, the West Bank and Gaza — as adjusted by possible land swaps agreed upon by both sides. He said Israel can never live in true peace as a Jewish state if it insists on “permanent occupation.”

Obama’s speech a ‘historic shift’ on Israel and Palestine? No. (The Christian Science Monitor):

If you’ve read the lead story in The New York Times on President Barack Obama’s Middle East speech this afternoon, you’re probably under the impression that the president has taken a bold new step to end the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

The first paragraph of the story, filed from Washington, is quite dramatic. Obama, “seeking to harness the seismic political change unfolding in the Arab world… publicly called for the borders prevailing before the 1967 Israeli-Arab war to be the baseline for a settlement of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, the first time an American president has explicitly taken that position.”

The only problem is, it’s not much of a shift at all.The key word in that opening paragraph is that word “explicitly.” What it means in this context, is that he said something that multiple presidents have said before him, but with slightly weaker language. What did he say? “The borders of Israel and Palestine should be based on the 1967 lines with mutually agreed swaps, so that secure and recognized borders are established for both states.”

That an eventual settlement would be based around borders from before the 1967 war, with land “swaps” of some kind to reflect the growth of Israeli settlements in the West Bank, has been a central assumption behind the peace process kicked off under President Bill Clinton in the early 1990s and pursued with subtle variations by presidents George W. Bush and Obama after him. Last year, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton told reporters, amid a push to restart peace talks that failed, that a solution could be found that “reconciles the Palestinian goal of an independent and viable state based on the 1967 lines, with agreed swaps, and the Israeli goal of a Jewish state with secure and recognized borders.”

Sound familiar?

What wasn’t in Obama’s speech was anything new on how you get from here (complete dysfunction – it’s a “process” by convention only at this point) to there (peace). He made no mention of the settlement freeze his administration had pushed for – and failed to get – in return for restored talks with the Palestinian leadership. He also sought to shoot down Palestinian efforts to win recognition for an independent state at the United Nations, something the Palestinian Authority has been gearing up for in September.

More on Israel:

Read moreObama: An Independent Palestine Should Be Based On 1967 Borders – Obama’s Speech A ‘Historic Shift’ On Israel And Palestine? No.

Israel Demolishes Homes And Classroom in West Bank Village

Children taught outdoors after bulldozers reduce unauthorised buildings to rubble

Nayfeh Ka’abneh and a friend. Photograph: Harriet Sherwood for the Guardian

In a bleak but beautiful landscape of undulating stony hills I watched a group of Palestinian schoolchildren take their lessons yesterday in the open air next to a heap of rubble that, until this week, was their classroom.

This is the village of Dkaika, about as far south in the West Bank as you can get. It’s a community of around 300 people, without electricity or running water, whose days are spent tending their herds of goats and sheep and trying not to attract the attention of nearby Jewish settlers.

On Wednesday, at about 7.30am, a convoy of military vehicles and bulldozers arrived to tear down 16 homes, an animal pen, a store and one of the village school’s classrooms. All were subject to demolition orders, granted because the structures were built without permission, which is almost impossible for Palestinians to get around here. Dkaika is in Area C, under full Israeli military and civil control, which accounts for 60% of the West Bank.

At the time there were dozens of children inside the school. The soldiers tried to prevent the its three teachers from entering the building. Sulaima Najadah, 38, who has taught English at the school since last September, told me that he sneaked in to reassure the crying children.

“I was in this class,” he said, pointing to the pile of twisted metal and masonry. “The soldiers took us out by force.”

The teachers were handcuffed and blindfolded in front of their pupils before the bulldozers moved in. One girl, Mariam Odeh, 13, said she had been afraid the classroom would be demolished over their heads.

Twelve-year-old Nayfeh Ka’abneh lost her home as well as her classroom. That night she slept in a tent. “It wasn’t comfortable,” she said, shyly twisting the ends of her headscarf. “We want to rebuild our home.”

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Exposed: The Truth About Israel’s Land Grab In The West Bank

“Jewish settlers, who claim a divine right to the whole of Israel” … like Hitler’s ‘divine right’ to claim land for his supreme Aryan race.

Israel calls this self-defense:

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I guess Hitler would have called this self-defense too!

See also:

Now truth is bad for you: ‘Obama warns Erdogan international Gaza flotilla probe bad for Turkey’

Report reveals more than 42 percent of territory is controlled by settlers

A Jewish settler hangs the Israeli flag over a vacated building in the West Bank town of Beit Sahur (AFP)

Jewish settlers, who claim a divine right to the whole of Israel, now control more than 42 per cent of the occupied West Bank, representing a powerful obstacle to the creation of a Palestinian state, a new report has revealed.

The jurisdiction of some 200 settlements, illegal under international law, cover much more of the occupied Palestinian territory than previously thought. And a large section of the land has been seized from private Palestinian landowners in defiance even of an Israeli supreme court ruling, the report said, a finding which sits uncomfortably with Israeli claims that it builds only on state land.

Drawing on official Israeli military maps and population statistics, the leading Israeli human rights group, B’Tselem, compiled the new findings, which were released just as the Israeli prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, arrived in Washington to try to heal a gaping rift with US President Barack Obama over the issue of settlements.

“The settlement enterprise has been characterised, since its inception, by an instrumental, cynical, and even criminal approach to international law, local legislation, Israeli military orders, and Israeli law, which has enabled the continuous pilfering of land from Palestinians in the West Bank,” the report concluded.

Read moreExposed: The Truth About Israel’s Land Grab In The West Bank