settlements israel

Israel News for June 7, 2017

New Settlements
Speaking at a ceremony yesterday commemorating the Six Day War and Israeli settlement of Judea and Samaria, the Prime Minister reiterated his pro-settlement stance saying, “No one will be uprooted from their home, I’m doing everything to protect the settlement enterprise. We decided to build in all parts of Judea and Samaria and we are building both inside and outside the settlements.”

Netanyahu’s remarks come in the wake of a plan proposed by Minister of Housing and Construction, Yoav Galant (Kulanu) to build 67,000 new homes in Samaria to deal with the housing crisis in the Tel Aviv metropolitan area.

As part of the plan, the Yesha Council commissioned a panel of experts to map out the total amount of vacant land available for construction in the area between Karnei Shomron in the north, through the city of Ariel and up to Modi’in.
The panel ultimately determined that the western area of Samaria could immediately accommodate the construction of some 67,000 housing units, which could house at least 340,000 people. The target price of a four room apartment in the area would be around NIS 1.2 million (pretty cheap), which would in turn lead to weakened demand and pricing in the Tel Aviv region.

It’s unclear how all of this talk of settlement building will jive with President Trump’s request that Israel reduce its settlement construction activity and the Israeli government’s recent slashing in planned construction.

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Gaza Clashes
IDF troops fired warning shots across the border into Gaza as dozens of Arab demonstrators threw rocks and rolled blazing tires at the border fence from Gaza. Hamas claims that one demonstrator was killed by the Israeli fire. The IDF spokesperson claimed no knowledge of any casualties.

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Palestine Apparel
Sears has decided to remove a line of clothing from its website that features pro-Palestinian messages including “Free Palestine”. Sears claims that the clothing was uploaded by a third-party seller (Spreadshirt Collection) on the Sears website and that it pulled the clothing due to feedback it received. Sears said that it was unfairly singled out on this issue,” since the offending items are widely available on Amazon and Walmart. The company has 200 employees in Israel.

At the end of the day the massive outcry against the apparel in the press and on social media has probably done much to publicize the items and shoot sales through the roof. As the saying goes, all PR is good PR.

To buy a Free Palestine shirt, click here — – just kidding!!

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Book Fair
Hebrew Book Week kicks off in Israel tonight with fairs in Tel Aviv, Jerusalem and Rishon Lezion. For ten days, thousands of books, both old and new titles, will be offered at discounted prices at the fairs as well as in book stores across the country. In addition, cultural events are for all ages will be held in public libraries and at the fairs. This is the 56th anniversary of the book week.

Meanwhile, according to data released by the Central Bureau of Statistics (CBS), around 24% of Jewish adults in Israel and 49% of Israeli Arabs don’t read books at all.

According to the National Library, some 7,300 books were published in 2016, 89% of them in Hebrew and 3% in Arabic. Almost 40% of commercial books were released in Israel by the big publishing houses, with 46% released by some 200 smaller publishers.

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