CMEP Bulletin: Sussiya Under Threat of Demolition Again. Why?
Meet the NGO Writing Israeli Policy in the West Bank [Israel Policy Forum]
So who and what are Regavim? The NGO – its name meaning “clods of earth” – takes its model from the left. When Peace Now established “Settlement Watch” to document illegal building of outposts and then challenge the structures in court, the far right took note. Founded in 2006, the organization uses the same tactics as Settlement Watch – documentation of illegal building, court petitions, lobbying – with Arab populations. In 2012, for example, it succeeded in obtaining 52 demolition orders for the South Hebron Hills village of Sussiya, orders that still hang over the villagers’ heads. It describes its mission as “protecting national lands and properties and preventing foreign elements from taking over the countries [sic] territorial resources”. Israeli “national lands” defined, of course, as both sides of the Green Line.
Sussiya Dispute Resurrects Israel-Palestine Tensions [Financial Times]
In July, John Kirby, a US State Department spokesman, warned that demolishing the Palestinian village of Sussiya “would set a damaging standard for displacement and land confiscation, particularly given settlement-related activity in the area”. The EU said the demolitions were “steadily eroding the viability of the two-state solution” and raising questions about Israel’s long-term intentions.
Water Shortages Hit West Bank Palestinians, Provoking War of Words [Reuters]
At the peak of a searing summer, Palestinians living in parts of the Israeli-occupied West Bank are suffering from severe water shortages, prompting a war of words between Palestinian and Israeli officials over who is responsible.
The Invaluable U.S.-Israeli Alliance [Foreign Policy]
Israel and the United States are putting the finishing touches on an agreement that will cement our alliance for years to come. The latest Memorandum of Understanding (MoU), set to go into effect in 2018, will provide Israel with about $3.9 billion a year in military aid for 10 years. The real value of this agreement, however, isn’t in the dollar amount, but in the defense technology that Israel will receive and the depth of the security cooperation between the two countries.
Fund Israel’s Military, Not Its Settlements [The National Interest]
On June 19, 2016 the Israeli cabinet approved an additional 82 million shekels (about $20 million) for Jewish settlements in the West Bank. At roughly the same time, it was reported that President Obama was seeking to phase out the Offshore Procurement (OSP) program that permits Israel, unlike any other country, to spend just over 26 percent of its total aid package on indigenously produced weapons, equipment and other military products. There was no linkage between the two announcements. But there should be. Money is fungible, and the money that Washington provides Israel for domestic defense-industrial spending allows Jerusalem to divert funds from its defense-technology accounts to support its settlement projects in the West Bank.