Israel News for November 18, 2016

Attack Thwarted
Kosovo police announced yesterday that they prevented a slew of simultaneous terror attacks by ISIS against various targets including the Israeli national soccer team. The team played a qualifying game in Albania on Saturday.

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Settlement Solutions
Due to the controversial nature of the bill currently making its way through the Knesset, that would legalize the Amona outpost, the Attorney General and Justice Minister are examining other possible solutions to achieve the same effect but that would not go against the ruling of the Supreme Court and would not stir up international condemnation.

The first solution would be to declare the settlers “protected persons” in an area considered by international law to be a war zone. This would give Israel the authority to carry out operations in the territories to protect the interests of the settlers, including the expropriation of land. The Palestinians are already classified as “protected persons.” The classification was created by the Geneva Convention to protect the local population in an area under occupation, giving the occupier the right to act only for security reasons or for the benefit of the “protected persons.” Applying it to Israelis living in the territories would be a stretch. It would also implicitly acknowledge that the West Bank is occupied territory.

The second solution would be to implement a compensation plan like the one used in Cyprus that was accepted by the international courts. Cyprus was divided between the Turks and Greeks in 1974. In 2005 a system was implemented to set compensation for the assets of people who were left in the other part of Cyprus following the division. To obtain compensation, a person had to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the asset was owned by them in 1974, that they were forced to abandon it due to circumstances beyond their control, and that no one else had any ownership claim on it. This solution would allow the government to take ownership of the privately owned land while compensating the proven owners.

The third solution would be to move Amona to adjacent plots of land that have been classified as abandoned property. That would entail evacuating the current settlement.

Government officials have said that moving the settlement to the adjacent land is the most realistic solution in the case of Amona and similar cases. The Attorney General is expected to present his recommendation soon.

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