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Wed. Nov 16, 2016 News from Israel

  • Regulations bill passes
  • Lieberman strikes deal with Trump: Contain building to settlement bloc
  • Settlers request body of Palestinian youth returned to family

The Regulations Bill passed a preliminary reading in the Knesset on Tuesday with a majority of 58-50 votes. This bill will legalize Israeli outposts in the West Bank which are located on private Palestinian lands. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu managed to persuade Finance Minister Moshe Kachlon and his party Kulanu to support the bill after promising him that it would not affect the Supreme Court. Kachlon stated before the vote, “We will not support any attack on the Supreme Court at any stage of the legislation. As long as that is clear, the Kulanu faction will support it.” Coalition leader Isaac Herzog criticized Netanyahu and how he handled the issue of Amona. He stated: "I want to speak to the residents of Amona, Netanyahu has been pulling the wool over your eyes for 10 years. In the last two years, he has not lifted a finger to help you."  Netanyahu's only hope to avoid further international criticism is to move residents of the illegal outpost Amona to another location.

Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman stated on Wednesday that building in the territories should be limited to the current settlement blocs. He conveyed that an understanding had been reached with the US President elect, Donald Trump, regarding more building in the existing settlements. He lambasted Habayit Hayehudi Ministers Naftali Bennett and Ayelet Shaked, saying that it is improper to give residents of Amona the illusion that they will be able to stay in the illegal outpost. Members of the right termed Lieberman's statement as a blow to the government.

The Municipality of Jerusalem has appealed to the court in order to demolish Arab homes in East Jerusalem. After the Supreme Court rejected a request to delay the evacuation of the illegal outpost, Amona, the Jerusalem Municipality decided to request the demolition of hundreds of Arab homes in East Jerusalem which were built on Jewish land, even those where there is no apparent owner. It stated that after the rejection of the appeal for Amona, the city had no choice but to take this action.

Following the death of a Palestinian youth who was throwing stones at soldiers, an inquiry found that the soldiers' lives were not in immediate danger. There is a government policy not to return the bodies of suspected terrorists to their families. Unexpectedly, a group of settlers from Gush Etzion and Har Hebron sent a letter to the Defense Minister requesting that the Palestinian's body be returned to his family. In the letter, they stated, "It is only inciting others and we do not believe that there is any value for the investigation to hold on to the body. It seems that this youth was accidentally drawn into this situation and there is no reason to abuse the family which wished to mourn their child." While these settlers are known to be more amiable toward their Palestinian neighbors, this is still an unprecedented act.

A 26-year-old male was shot dead in Rishon Lezion on Wednesday. Medical and security teams who were rushed to the scene, found the 26-year-old male with bullet wounds. The medical teams began resuscitation, but had to declare his death. Police

Suspect at this point that the murder was a criminal act.

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