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Did you know?

Settlements Generate Virtually No Economic Activity
"A recent Israeli government report estimated there are…$250 million in annual exports — [only] 0.55 percent of the national total — from the West Bank, East Jerusalem and the Golan Heights, territories the international community generally considers illegally occupied."
Jodi Rodoren cited by Richard Silverstein, 22 Jan 2014

Daily acts of violence committed by Jewish Israeli citizens against West Bank Palestinians
"These incidents — now particularly heightened during the olive harvest season — are not the aberration from the norm, but a regular feature of life in the occupied West Bank. In 2012, over 7,500 Palestinian olive trees were destroyed. In the 5-year period between 2007 and 2011, there was a 315 percent increase in settler violence."
Mairav Zonszein, Israel Must Stop Settler Violence, 8 November 2013
Police impunity
After their own investigations establishing a prima facie violation, Btselem has lodged over 280 complaints of alleged police violence in the oPt since the start of the second Intifada: "we are aware of only 12 indictments" Btselem April 2013
Runners in the first ever Bethlehem Marathon were forced to run two laps of the same course on Sunday 21 April 2013, as Palestinians were unable to find a single stretch of free land that is 26 miles long in Area A, where the PA has both security and civil authority. See Marathon report
30th March, land day.
On 30 March 1976, thousands of Palestinians living as a minority in Israel mounted a general strike and organised protests against Israeli government plans to expropriate almost 15,000 acres of Palestinian land in the Galilee.The Israeli government, led by prime minister Yitzhak Rabin and defence minister Shimon Peres, sent in the army to break up the general strike. The Israeli army killed six unarmed Palestinians, wounded hundreds and arrested hundreds more, including political activists. All were citizens of Israel.
* Out of 103 investigations opened in 2012 into alleged offences committed by Israeli soldiers in the occupied territories, not a single indictment served to date
Yesh Din, 3 Feb 2013
* In total, out of an area of 1.6 million dunams in the Jordan Valley, Israel has seized 1.25 million − some 77.5 percent − where Palestinians are forbidden to enter.
Haaretz editorial, 4 Feb 2013


Merkel to delay compensation to Holocaust survivors until halt in settlements

Israel furious over links between payments to holocaust survivors and building settlements

19 February, 2013

Israeli media sources reported that Germany is to delay compensation payments for holocaust survivors until Israel halts its settlement building in the occupied West Bank.

The Israeli daily, Yedioth Ahronoth, reported Israeli government sources have conveyed their anger to the office of the German Chancellor, Angela Merkel. The sources refused [sic]  the “deliberate delay” to pay the compensation for the holocaust survivors.

The sources, according to the newspaper, said that it is inappropriate to link between a “humanitarian issue, connected to survivors of the Nazis’ crimes during the Second World War, and a political issue concerning Israel’s relations with its neighbours.”

“There is a senior official in Merkel’s office working on the destruction of the smooth and sensitive relations between Israel and Germany,” the newspaper claimed. “Since the time when this official took office, he has precluded meetings between Merkel and Israel’s ambassador in Berlin, Jacob Hadas.”

The newspaper reported that talks between the two sides took place in the middle of last December. Israel, the newspaper said, passed a message to German officials that “Germany has to accelerate payments to the holocaust survivors whose number is decreasing by death because of old-age.”

The Israeli daily reported the history of the German-Israeli compensation agreements which started in 1952. By signing the first agreement, Germany pledged to pay DEM3 billion (£1,325b) to Israel and DEM 450 million (£198m) to Jewish organisations.

In wake of the fall of Berlin Wall in 1991, the agreement was updated and Germany paid DEM5000 (£2,200) to 522,000 survivors and pledged to pay DEM500 (£220) to 50,000 survivors monthly. In 2000, the Industrial German Sector set up the Jewish Compensation Fund and in 2007, the German government set up the Ghetto Compensation Fund.

Currently, negotiations are on-going for a German pledge to pay a monthly retirement salary of EU300 to Ghetto workers.

According to the Israeli newspaper, the total of German payments to Israel has been so far USD70 billion.

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