Palestinian owners prepare to return to their land as Amona settlers and thousands of their supporters, including Bentzi Gopstein and far-right Lehava activists, wait tensely for expected evacuation by 25 December. On 27 November, A-G Mandelblit and his deputy for international law, Roi Sheindorf, informed Israel’s security cabinet that passage of the Regularisation Bill would violate both Israeli and international law and strengthen the Palestinians’ complaint filed with the International Criminal Court. Netanyahu opposed the bill at that meeting. He has since supported it through both a preliminary and first reading in the Knesset but he and Bennett have apparently agreed with Liberman that further progress of the bill should be deferred until after Trump takes office.
With settlers set to be evacuated, Palestinian landowners wait to return – Yotam Berger – Haaretz 15.12.16
Even after 20 years, Maryam Hamad says she believes she’ll get to return to her land, and she’s counting the days until Amona’s scheduled evacuation.
Netanyahu pushes for demolition of Israeli Arab homes to appease rightists over Amona – Barak Ravid – Haaretz 15.12.16
Netanyahu instructs enforcement in next few days of demolition orders for homes of Israeli Arabs, and of Palestinians in East Jerusalem, built without planning permission. MK Ayman Odeh: No comparison between the Amona settlers and Israeli Arabs building on their own land but faced with planning discrimination.
Israel on the fast track for West Bank annexation – Meron Rapoport – Middle East Eye 16.12.16
Is the crafted ambiguity of Israel’s occupation about to end? The new right in Israel, inspired by Trump’s victory and even the Brexit vote, has lost patience for ambiguity. The nomination of David Friedman, a staunch supporter of the settlement project, as the new American ambassador to Israel may hint that the times of ambiguity are over. Israel may be headed for a totally new chapter in its occupation of the West Bank.
Does Netanyahu count on leftist NGOs to save him? – Akiva Eldar – Al-Monitor 13.12.16
PM Netanyahu doesn’t feel the need publicly to oppose the settlement normalisation law and anger the right because he thinks the left will do that work for him and win.
Dershowitz: ICC will go after Israel if settlement bill passes – Yonah Jeremy Bob – The Jerusalem Post 14.12.16