CMEP Bulletin: Settlements Surging
Settlement Building “Surged” in Recent Months- UN Envoy [Times of Israel]
The international community has been expressing growing alarm to the effect that the construction of Jewish settlements on land earmarked for a future Palestinian state is killing off prospects for a peace deal based on the two-state solution.
Israel Quietly Legalizes Pirate Outposts in the West Bank [New York Times]
Today, more than 40 Orthodox Jewish families live in Mitzpe Danny, one of a string of outposts on a strategic ridge with breathtaking views southwest to Jerusalem’s Mount of Olives and east all the way to Jordan. They are part of an expansive network of about 100 outposts established mostly over the past two decades without government authorization.At least one-third of these have either been retroactively legalized or — like Mitzpe Danny — are on their way, in what anti-settlement groups that track the process see as a quiet but methodical effort by the government to change the map of the West Bank, now in its 50th year under Israeli occupation, by entrenching the outposts that spread like fingers across it.
White House Warns Against ‘Expansion of Settlement Activity’ [The Jerusalem Post]
The White House lashed out at Israel over its announcement Wednesday of settlement plans, warning that such activity increasingly threatens the two-state solution. “This is not the first time that we have heard an announcement like this from the Israeli government,” White House press secretary Josh Earnest told reporters at a gaggle aboard Air Force One. “This significant expansion of settlement activity poses a serious and growing threat to the viability of a two-state solution.”
The Obama Administration: Toward a Security Council Resolution on an Israeli-Palestinian Agreement? [The National Institute for National Security Studies]
Statements made by the U.S. State Department and White House during 2016 are designed to deliver an unequivocal message: the question of Jewish settlements in the territories is an extremely troublesome issue for the administration. Furthermore, in practice, the administration’s condemnatory announcements put construction in Jerusalem and elsewhere in the West Bank and the question of outposts under one category. This clearly implies that the administration does not recognize Israel’s claim concerning “understandings” on the extent and location of construction in the settlements.
Ghassan’s Prediction and the Emerging New Palestinian Reality [Arab American Institute]
Like other civil rights movements, these Palestinian citizens of Israel used every available opening to win their rights, facing down arrests, expulsions, and lethal violence. While tremendous problems remain, Palestinian citizens in Israel now form political parties, join unions, and teach their language and history. They still face systemic racism in housing, employment, education, allocation of the state’s budget, and many other areas—and yet they have built and sustained a fighting force that continues to press their demands for justice and equality.
BICOM Strategic Assessment | Palestinian Politics after Abbas: Institutional and Constitutional Challenges [BICOM]
Palestinian Authority (PA) President Mahmoud Abbas is 81 years old, has publicly stated his intention not to compete again in elections and has appointed no successor. Given the state of the Palestinian system as well as increasing frustration with the PA and the moribund peace process with Israel, a chaotic battle for succession – one that is already underway – is the most likely scenario for the post-Abbas era.