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Israel rejects UN report on companies linked to settlements

GENEVA: The United Nations human rights office said it had identified 206 companies doing business linked to unlawful Israeli settlements in the West Bank and it urged them to avoid any complicity in “pervasive” violations against Palestinians. Israel fears that companies listed on any UN “blacklist” could be targeted for boycotts or divestment aimed at stepping up pressure over its settlements, which most countries and the world body view as illegal. “Businesses play a central role in furthering the establishment,…

Abbas condemns Israeli ruling party vote for West Bank annexation

RAMALLAH: Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas on Monday harshly condemned a vote by Israel's ruling party in support of annexing large parts of the West Bank and criticised the United States for its silence. Abbas said the non-binding vote by the central committee of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's Likud party on Sunday "could not be taken without the full support of the US administration." He said in a statement that the White House "has refused to condemn Israeli colonial settlements as well as the systematic…

Israel extends detention of Palestinian teen held over slap: family

JERUSALEM: An Israeli military court decided on Wednesday to extend the detention of a high profile Palestinian activist, her father said, after a viral video showed her slapping Israeli soldiers in the occupied West Bank. Ahed Tamimi, 17, a campaigner against Israel's occupation of the West Bank, was arrested on Tuesday along with her mother after the video was widely shared by Israeli media. In it Tamimi and another woman approach two Israeli soldiers, before shoving, kicking and slapping them while filming on mobile…

WATCH: Israeli soldier caught on camera stealing fruits from Palestinian vendor

WEST BANK: An Israel Defence Forces (IDF) soldier was slammed and later suspended after a video of him allegedly stealing fruits from a Palestinian vendor went viral on the social media. The soldier was suspended from his position for his ‘misdemeanor’ in the West Bank city of Hebron on Saturday, the army said as quoted by the website RT. A video of the incident quickly surfaced on social media, showing the soldier taking apples from the cart, which had been left vacant in the street while the owner was hiding inside a…

After Jerusalem, West Bank; anti-Trump protests flare in Beirut

JERUSALEM: After anti-Trump protests waned in the occupied West Bank and in the Gaza Strip on Sunday the protests flared near the US embassy in Beirut over US President Donald Trump’s decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital. Four days of protests in the Palestinian territories over Trump’s announcement on Wednesday had largely died down, but his overturning of long-standing US policy on Jerusalem -- a city holy Muslims -- drew more Arab warnings of potential damage to prospects for Middle East peace.…

Writing’s on the wall for Trump, Zuckerberg in West Bank

JERUSALEM: Newly daubed graffiti on the Israeli wall cutting off the occupied West Bank lambasts US President Donald Trump and Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg. The work has appeared in recent days after secretive Australian artist Lushsux crowdsourced ideas for what to paint on the controversial separation wall, which in many areas cuts through the Palestinian territory. But residents and visitors warned the art, much of which is not explicitly about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, risks undermining the purpose of…

Israel approves building plans for 31 settler homes in West Bank’s Hebron

JERUSALEM: Israel on Monday approved building plans for 31 settler homes in Hebron in the West Bank, a spokeswoman said, a first such move in the Israeli-occupied area for some 15 years. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has felt increased pressure for settlement expansion from the rightist flank of his coalition, though construction is not imminent as a bureaucratic process must still run its course. Read More: Israel settler law angers world powers, but US silent His government has made numerous announcements of…