UN: Israel Settlements Big Hurdle to Two-State Solution

Antonio Guterres condemns ‘illegal’ Israeli settlement construction, calling it an ‘obstacle’ that needs to be removed. Antonio Guterres, secretary-general of the United Nations, has lashed out at Israel’s illegal settlement activity, calling it a “major obstacle” to achieving a two-state solution and peace with the Palestinians. “There is no plan B to the two-state solution,” he said on Tuesday after meeting Palestinian Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah in the West Bank city of Ramallah. “A two-state solution, end to occupation, creating conditions to end the suffering of the Palestinian people are the only way to guarantee that peace is established,” Guterres added. His remarks came a day after Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu vowed to never uproot any West Bank settlement – just days after a White House envoy was in the region trying to restart peace talks with the Palestinians. “We have returned here for good,” Netanyahu said. “There will...

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New York Times Exposes Bill O’Reilly’s Pattern of Sexual Harassment and Cover Ups by Fox

by News Corpse – The New York Times published an article online that is certain to rattle the executive suites at Fox News. It revealed new information about Bill O’Reilly’s long history of sexual harassment and abusive behavior. The hostile work environment at Fox has been the subject of recent news reports due primarily to the scandals surrounding its now ex-CEO, Roger Ailes. Following allegations from several female Fox employees Ailes was forced to resign. But Ailes was not alone. Bill O’Reilly has had his own problems with accusations of harassment. One of the more infamous involved a producer who accepted a multimillion dollar settlement to end her legal proceedings. But that didn’t end the boorish behavior by O’Reilly toward the women with whom he worked. While rumors of promises and threats were rampant, details were often hard to nail down. And that’s where the new investigation by the Times comes in....

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Israel Begins Evacuation of Illegal Amona Outpost

Israeli police move to clear West Bank settlement as construction of 3,000 new settler homes announced elsewhere. Hundreds of Israeli border police have entered a hardline Jewish settlement outpost in the West Bank Wednesday to evict its residents after a court ruled the homes were built on private Palestinian land. Hundreds of officers marched into the Amona outpost near Ramallah on Wednesday, just hours after the Israeli government announced that another 3,000 more illegal homes would be built in occupied Palestinian territory. The officers’ evacuation of Amona marked the end of months of attempts by government hardliners to legalise the outpost, and the approval over the past two weeks of nearly 5,000 new settler homes elsewhere in the occupied Palestinian territories was widely seen as a move to win their support. There had been fears of violence after hundreds of hardline sympathisers of the settlers slipped past army roadblocks on...

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Israel Approves Permits for 566 Settler Homes

Building plan in East Jerusalem approved by local council after being held up until Donald Trump took office in the US. Israeli authorities have approved building permits for 566 settler homes in occupied East Jerusalem, according to local officials, a move that has drawn condemnation from Palestinian leaders. The approval of the building plan on Sunday came two days after the inauguration of Donald Trump in the United States, with Israeli official saying the permits had been held up until the end of Barack Obama’s administration, which had been critical of Israeli settlement activity. “The rules of the game have changed with Donald Trump’s arrival as president,” Meir Turgeman, Jerusalem’s deputy mayor, told AFP news agency. “We no longer have our hands tied as in the time of Barack Obama. Now we can finally build.” Turgeman said that city officials approved the plans that had been previously postponed at Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s...

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Israel ‘Reducing Ties’ With Nations Over Settlements

Foreign ministry advises officials to limit visits to countries that voted against settlement expansion. Israel’s foreign ministry has said the country is “reducing” ties with nations that voted for last week’s UN Security Council resolution demanding a halt to settlement building in Palestinian territory. Foreign ministry spokesman Emmanuel Nahshon said in a message to journalists that Israel was “temporarily reducing” visits and work with embassies, without providing further details. eputy Foreign Minister Tzipi Hotovely said on Tuesday she was concerned that Israel would miss opportunities to explain its position by cancelling visits, but that she supported making clear “you can’t take Israel for granted”. Israel has been on the defensive since the vote, with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who also serves as foreign minister, denouncing the resolution as “shameful”. Planned visits by foreign dignitaries were cancelled in the wake of the decision, and ambassadors of countries that voted for...

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Israeli Anger as EU Agrees to Label Settlement Products

by Ali Younes – Producers must clearly label products coming from settlements built on land illegally occupied by Israel and sold in EU The European Commission has introduced new labelling guidelines for products produced in illegal Israeli settlements in the occupied Palestinian territories. The measures, published on Wednesday, require that producers must explicitly label products that come from settlements built on land occupied by Israel if they are sold in the European Union (EU). The interpretive notice of the new measures said: “The European Union, in line with international law, does not recognise Israel’s sovereignty over the territories occupied by Israel since June 1967, namely the Golan Heights, the Gaza Strip and the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, and does not consider them to be part of Israel’s territory, irrespective of their legal status under domestic Israeli law. “The Union has made it clear that it will not recognise any changes to pre-1967...

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10 Falsehoods That Netanyahu Told During His Appearance At CAP

by IGOR VOLSKY, AVIVA SHEN, JACK JENKINS, VICTORIA FLEISCHER, TARA CULP-RESSLER – Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu spoke with Center for American Progress head Neera Tanden on Tuesday as part of his latest visit to the United States, during which he’s attempting to appeal to both conservatives and progressives. In a wide-ranging forum, the hawkish prime minister invoked several of his favorite claims about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Netanyahu is known to have distorted facts in the past, from rewriting the history of the Holocaust to grossly overstating Iran’s nuclear capacity. ThinkProgress, an editorially independent news site affiliated with the Center for American Progress, fact-checked his discussion with Tanden and found a number of false claims. 1. Settlements aren’t a core issue affecting the peace process. CLAIM: Netanyahu claimed that the settlements are not a “core issue” in the stalled peace talks. He defended the statement by dating the violence between Arabs...

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