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JfJfP comments


2016:

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

2015:

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

2014:

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

2013:

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

September: Briefing note and leaflet on the Prawer Plan

September: JfJfP/EJJP on the EU guidelines with regard to Israel

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

Comments in 2012 and 2011

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Posts

Two states? ‘The system is quietly grinding this concept into fine dust.’

Left, Hyde Park, London 270 acres; Central Park, NYC, 843 acres. Without bestowing any large grants on settlers, state authorities nonetheless agreed to a creeping increase of land to settlers amounting to two Manhattan Central Parks.

Israel’s West Bank settlements grew by twice the size of New York’s Central Park in 2012

By Chaim Levinson, Haaretz

May 27, 2013

Legally controlled land grew from 530,931 to 538,303 dunams over the course of the year, a total increase of 7,372 dunams.

Israeli settlements in the West Bank legally expanded by nearly 8,000 dunams (1977 acres) in 2012 – land equaling the entire city of Bat Yam and twice as big as Manhattan’s Central Park.

The adjustments were approved by military order, with the Israel Defense Forces’ GOC Central Command granting settlement municipalities jurisdiction over the new territories.

Although in recent years the practice of giving large swathes of land to settlements has been abandoned, creeping annexations are still under way. In 2012, settlement-controlled land grew from 530,931 to 538,303 dunams, a total increase of 7,372 dunams, according to a comparison of maps from 2011 and 2012 at the Civil Administration offices.

Settlements can gain control of new land in one of two ways: either by laying claim to land identified in recent years by the so-called “blue-line team,” which investigates the ownership of land within and around settlements to determine whether it is owned by Israel or private Palestinian citizens; and through the finalization of land acquisitions by Israeli citizens. Although that land is not inhabited by Palestinians, the act of increasing the settlement’s jurisdiction paves the way for new construction projects and the expansion of existing settlements.

The settlement of Ofra, for example, which received 322 new dunams in 2012, includes a small piece of land purchased from Palestinians, as well as expropriated land and land on which the settlers have squatted. The new territory does not just correspond to existing construction in the settlement but includes expropriated land as well as purchased plots. However, all the roads leading to these plots go through private Palestinian-owned land, a fact the IDF’s announcement of the land grant failed to mention.

The state is now moving ahead on legalizing the existing homes in Ofra, as well as legalizing 100 housing units whose construction began without permits but was stopped by an interim order of the Supreme Court.

Among the other settlements that received additional land in 2012 are Ma’aleh Adumim, located east of Jerusalem and near the village of Isawiyah, which received 250 dunams; and the Kedumim Regional Council in the northern West Bank, which grew by 1,010 dunams after it was legally granted jurisdiction over the Bar-On industrial zone.

Kokhav Ya’akov received 66 dunams, land on which Givat Hayekev was built for evacuees of the Migron outpost.

The jurisdiction of the Rahelim and Nofei Nehemia settlements both swelled by 944 dunams, legalizing two outposts and paving the way for new construction in both. The Bruchin outpost was also legalized, after receiving 714 dunams. Elkana expanded by 904 dunams to the west, and Karnei Shomron grew by 300 dunams – where hundreds of housing units are to be built.

Changes were also made to the boundaries of the settlements Itamar and Shiloh, with the area of each increasing by 600 dunams. Beit El was given a bit of land at an adjacent army base to allow for the construction of 300 housing units, compensation for the court-ordered demolition of Givat Ulpana.

Smaller adjustments were made to a few other settlements: Eli Zahav, Har Gilo, Betar Ilit, Ma’aleh Amos, Pnei Hever, Sha’arei Tikva and Shadmot Mehola.

Researcher Dror Etkes, an expert on West Bank settlements, says that “While Israeli politicians like Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu have been blathering about their commitment to a two-state solution, the system is quietly and persistently grinding this concept into fine dust.”

“If any more proof is needed, it should be noted that most of the municipal jurisdictional areas that were added to settlements over the last year were given to isolated settlements, which, it is clear, could never be attached to Israel in a two-state scenario,” Etkes said.

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