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Settlements

Major French banks financing Israeli settlements: rights report

PARIS: Four major French banks and one big insurer are financing Israeli settlements in occupied Palestinian territories through links to local banks and businesses, a report by the International Federation for Human Rights said on Wednesday. BNP Paribas, Credit Agricole, Societe Generale, BPCE and AXA hold shares or are otherwise involved with Israeli banks which are an "essential political tool in the creation of the settlements (and) finance construction," according to the study. Its authors called Israeli…

Israel passes controversial law to legalize Jewish settlements on Palestinian land

TEL AVIV: The Israeli parliament on Monday finalised a controversial law legalising dozens of Jewish outposts built on private Palestinian land in the occupied West Bank. The law -- approved by 60 members of parliament to 52 against -- was slammed by the Palestinians as a means to "legalise theft" of land. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who did not participate in the law's final votes since he was returning from a trip to Britain, said he had "updated" the US administration so as not to surprise "our friends".…

Israel approves 153 more east Jerusalem settler homes

JERUSALEM: Israeli officials gave final approval on Thursday to 153 east Jerusalem settler homes, the deputy mayor said, adding to a sharp increase in such projects since US President Donald Trump took office. Jerusalem Deputy Mayor Meir Turgeman told AFP the approvals by a city planning committee were among those held up due to pressure from former US president Barack Obama's administration. Turgeman said developers "could start building from tomorrow". Following Trump's inauguration, Turgeman spoke of plans for…

Israel push for more settler homes despite UN vote

JERUSALEM: Israel could advance plans this week for thousands more settlement homes in annexed east Jerusalem in defiance of a landmark UN resolution demanding an end to such activity. It would mark the first such approvals since Friday's UN Security Council vote demanding a halt to Israeli settlement building in Palestinian territory. The resolution, which passed after the United States took the rare move of abstaining, infuriated Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu who lashed out at President Barack Obama and vowed not…

US warns settlements harm Israel’s democratic future

WASHINGTON: The United States rebuked Israel on Wednesday for approving more settlement building on Palestinian land, and warned its ally it is imperiling its own future as a democratic Jewish state. In a strongly worded statement, the State Department said Israel's approval of 300 housing units in the West Bank "is another step towards cementing a one state reality of perpetual occupation." The plan, spokesman Mark Toner argued, not only undermines hopes for peace with the Palestinians but "is fundamentally inconsistent…