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06 May: Tair Kaminer starts her fifth spell in gaol. Send messages of support via Reuven Kaminer

04 May: Against the resort to denigration of Israel’s critics


23 Dec: JfJfP policy statement on BDS

14 Nov: Letter to the Guardian about the Board of Deputies

11 Nov: UK ban on visiting Palestinian mental health workers

20 Oct: letter in the Guardian

13 Sep: Rosh Hashanah greetings

21 Aug: JfJfP on Jeremy Corbyn

29 July: Letter to Evening Standard about its shoddy reporting

24 April: Letter to FIFA about Israeli football

15 April: Letter re Ed Miliband and Israel

11 Jan: Letter to the Guardian in response to Jonathan Freedland on Charlie Hebdo


15 Dec: Chanukah: Celebrating the miracle of holy oil not military power

1 Dec: Executive statement on bill to make Israel the nation state of the Jewish people

25 Nov: Submission to All-Party Parliamentary Group Against Antisemitism

7 Sept: JfJfP Executive statement on Antisemitism

3 Aug: Urgent disclaimer

19 June Statement on the three kidnapped teenagers

25 April: Exec statement on Yarmouk

28 Mar: EJJP letter in support of Dutch pension fund PGGM's decision to divest from Israeli banks

24 Jan: Support for Riba resolution

16 Jan: EJJP lobbies EU in support of the EU Commission Guidelines, Aug 2013–Jan 2014


29 November: JfJfP, with many others, signs a "UK must protest at Bedouin expulsion" letter

November: Press release, letter to the Times and advert in the Independent on the Prawer Plan

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14th June: JfJfP joins other organisations in protest to BBC

2nd June: A light unto nations? - a leaflet for distribution at the "Closer to Israel" rally in London

24 Jan: Letter re the 1923 San Remo convention

18 Jan: In Support of Bab al-Shams

17 Jan: Letter to Camden New Journal about Veolia

11 Jan: JfJfP supports public letter to President Obama

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Israel approves 40 new houses in illegal settlement, more planned

Israel approves houses in illegal settlement

Forty new units to be built in an illegal settlement as EU and US voice disappointment.
Al Jazeera news

Israel has given final approval to the building of 40 new houses at a settlement in the occupied West Bank to replace temporary structures there, the settlement’s council head said.

Israeli-Palestinian peace talks collapsed over a year ago in a dispute over Israeli settlement building.

“Building tenders were issued this week after Defence Minister Ehud Barak had already signed off on the construction plans,” Efrat council head Oded Revivi said on Monday.

A defence ministry statement confirmed that an Israel Lands Administration tender had been published for building the 40 homes following Barak’s approval of the plans “some months ago”.

Last month, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu called for the accelerated construction of some 2,000 housing units in settlements that Israel has said it intends to keep as part of any future peace deal with the Palestinians.

The decision to step up building came in response to Palestinian efforts to seek United Nations statehood status after their frustration at a lack of progress in peace talks.

Expressions of disappointment
The announcement drew expressions of disappointment and concern from Washington and the European Union who are part of the Quartet of peace mediators along with Russia and the United Nations.

An Israeli official said the building tenders were issued for housing in eastern parts of Jerusalem and for Efrat and Maale Adumim, Jewish settlement blocs in the West Bank that Israel has indicated it wants to keep in a future peace deal.

Revivi said the site where construction was to begin shortly was part of Efrat’s master building plan and that while only 40 houses had currently been approved, there was room for a total of 500 homes there.

The Palestinians are looking to establish a state in the West Bank, Gaza Strip and East Jerusalem, land Israel seized in the 1967 Middle East War.

Israel later annexed East Jerusalem, a move that has not won international recognition.

Netanyahu has called to restart peace talks without preconditions but Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas says he will return to talks only after Israel totally freezes its settlement activity.

Closure of walkway
Israel on Sunday night closed the Mughrabi ramp leading to the mosque compound in the Old City claiming public safety concerns in a move which was immediately condemned by Palestinians officials and Jordan, which is the custodian of Muslim holy sites in Jerusalem.

Jerusalem city council says the ramp poses a fire hazard and could collapse onto the women’s prayer section by the Western Wall.

But Muslim leaders fear its demolition could destabilise the mosque compound and accuse Israel of failing to coordinate its renovation with Waqf, which oversees Islamic heritage sites.

The closure prompted a swift response from Palestinian presidential spokesman Nabil Abu Rudeina who warned it was another Israeli attack on efforts to revive the moribund peace talks which could shake up the region.

“These practices create a negative atmosphere in the entire region that could plunge the area into turmoil and tension,” he warned.

“This is a serious step that shows the Zionist scheme of aggression again the Al-Aqsa mosque,” Hamas spokesman Fawzi Barhum said.

“This is a violent act that amounts to a declaration of religious war on the Muslim holy places in Jerusalem,” he said, calling for “Arab and Muslim mobilisation to stop this serious event.”

And Jordan’s powerful Islamists denounced the decision as “flagrant aggression.”

“This is a very dangerous move,” the head of Jordan’s Muslim Brotherhood, Hammam Said, said.

“The only solution against this entity (Israel) is resistance in order to protect the sanctity of the holy places against such flagrant aggression,” he said.

There are 15 gates leading into the Al-Aqsa mosque compound, 10 of which are in use.

The Mughrabi Gate is the only access for non-Muslims to enter the site, meaning its closure will prevent both Jews and tourists from visiting until a replacement structure is built.

The ramp leads from the plaza by the Western Wall up to the adjoining compound, known to Muslims as Haram al-Sharif, which houses the Al-Aqsa Mosque, the third holiest site in Islam.

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