Israel News for February 2, 2017

Edelstein Meets Ryan
Knesset speaker Yuli Edelstein met with the Paul Ryan, the Speaker of the US House of Representatives, yesterday in Washington. Edelstein expressed his optimism in Trump’s promise to move the US embassy to Jerusalem and his hope for the move receiving the full backing of Congress.

Edelstein told Ryan, “The significance of wide support in Congress could lead to global and regional support. If the American embassy moves, I am confident other countries will also move their embassies to the capital.”

Congress has already passed a law, back in 1995, mandating the move, and has reiterated its support on many occasions. The question is whether the president will follow through on his promise or follow in the footsteps of past presidents who also made the promise to move the embassy but then decided not to do so as a result of diplomatic and international security concerns.

The president and his press secretary have both made statements indicating that the move of being discussed but has not been determined yet.

Edelstein also met with Senator Bob Corker, the current Chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, and discussed current affairs in the Middle East and ways to strengthen relations between the US and Israel.

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Amona Evacuation
In the final step of the evacuation of Amona that began yesterday morning, police entered the settlement’s synagogue in which dozens of activists had barricaded themselves. Overnight police were unsuccessful in attempting to negotiate with the activists to convince them to leave voluntarily.

During the course of the evacuation of Amona at least 24 police officers were reported injured and 13 teenagers were arrested for disorderly conduct, assaulting police officers and obstructing them from carrying out their duties. In addition to the residents, around 400 teenagers who came to Amona to protest were evacuated.

Most of the Amona residents have been moved to temporary housing in Ofra. The status of the housing adjacent to Amona, that they were promised in a compromise agreement, is still waiting for approval from the Supreme Court. The court is supposed to rule on the matter at any moment.

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Arab Evictions
Earlier this week the Supreme Court overturned a ruling of the Jerusalem District court which ordered the eviction of several Arab families from their homes in the East Jerusalem neighborhood of Beit Hanina because the homes were proven to be owned by Jews who want to reclaim the property.

The Supreme Court ruled to prevent the evictions because the Arabs have no other homes and evicting them would be tantamount to throwing them out to live on the street.

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Prime Ministers
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