israel news

Israel News for 8-23-18

New Housing
The civil administration in Judea and Samaria (West Bank) has given final approval for the building of 384 housing units — 56 in Barkan, 168 in Nofim, 108 in Tzofim, 44 in Ma’ale Adumim and 8 in Avnei Hefetz. An additional 600 units are in the final stages of approval and will be located in Kiryat Netafim, Otniel and Beit El.

The Yesha Council, an organization of municipal councils of Jewish settlements in the West Bank, released a statement saying, “This is an insufficient amount and the smallest number of housing units approved in the last year and a half. In the previous committees, the number of building permits ranged from 2,000 to 3,000, which is also relatively limited compared to a total number of permits throughout the country, which are in their tens of thousands. We are calling on Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to remove the restrictions and order a large-scale construction throughout the West Bank … This is something that is required to be done today.”

The Peace Now organization criticized the new housing and urged the government to instead focus on providing more affordable housing within the Green Line.

The US government did not criticize the new housing approvals.

Meanwhile, a delegation of senior US government officials dined with their Israeli counterparts in the City of David National Park in Jerusalem, which is adjacent to the Old City in the Arab neighborhood of Silwan. In recent years Jews have been moving in to the area.

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New Outpost
The Amana organization, which promotes the building of Jewish settlements, has moved it’s headquarters from the Ramat Eshkol neighborhood to the Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood in east Jerusalem. The land for the building was granted to them 26 years ago by Jerusalem’s then mayor Teddy Kollek (of the Labor party). A new Jewish neighborhood is planned for the area, which is located right next to the Old City and populated almost exclusively by Arabs.

Agriculture and Rural Development Minister Uri Ariel (Bayit Yehudi) who served in the past as the movement’s CEO said that Amana’s new building “constitutes a significant reinforcement to the (Jewish) settlement in east Jerusalem and the bolstering of the Jewish territorial contiguity in the area.”

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Navy Participates
For the very first time, an IDF Navy delegation took part in the Rim of the Pacific Exercise (RIMPAC), the world’s largest international maritime warfare exercise. During the drill, which took place near Hawaii last month, Israeli officers joined the commanding team. The exercise included 25 participants from 26 countries, 47 warships, 200 fighter planes, and five submarines.

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