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Israel has demolished more Palestinian homes in first half of 2016 than all of 2015

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Screen shot of B'Tselem video on increased demolitions of Palestinian homes in the West Bank and Jerusalem. More units were razed in the first half of 2016 than in all of  2016.

More Palestinian homes were demolished in the occupied territories in the first half of 2016 than in all of 2015, according to the Israeli human rights group B’Tselem. The increased demolitions have been accompanied by a rising number of new settler homes under construction, prompting the U.S. State Department to issue an atypical condemnation of the Jewish state.

Palestinian Foreign Affairs Ministry to World: Stop issuing useless condemnations

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The Israeli flag flying over Israeli settlements in the West Bank (Photo: Reuters)

On the heels of the Israeli government announcing 1500+ illegal settlement tenders since Monday, the Palestinian Ministry of Foreign Affairs issued a strongly worded statement, available in Arabic only, that said in part, “as long as these countries’ bilateral relations with Israel are treated separately from the occupation all Palestinian land will be annexed in the not too-distant future, relieving these countries from the trouble of circulating their useless condemnations.”

78% of Israelis support annexing West Bank settlement Ma’aleh Adumim

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The Israeli flag flying over Israeli settlements in the West Bank (Photo: Reuters)

On Tuesday, the Knesset “Land of Israel” caucus called to annex the major West Bank settlement of Ma’aleh Adumim, citing a poll showing nearly 78 percent of Israelis support the move. The push came in response to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu saying he is open to negotiating based on the Arab Peace Initiative.

Yehuda Glick’s meteoric rise from messianic margins to Israeli parliament

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Yehuda Glick holds a copy of his guide to ascending the Temple Mount with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu

“Extremist and dangerous forces have taken over Israel and the Likud movement,” Moshe Ya’alon remarked at a press conference following his ouster as defense minister. The focus of attention was on Netanyahu’s imminent appointment of Avigdor Lieberman to the defense ministry, overlooking Ya’alon’s replacement in Likud: US-born settler and face of the Temple Movement Yehuda Glick. While Lieberman’s appointment signifies a success for Israel’s secular right wing, Glick’s entrance to the parliament is a major step forward in the Religious Zionist takeover of Israel.

Ringleader in Abu Khdeir kidnapping and murder given life sentence

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16-year old Mohammed Abu Khdeir, kidnapped and murdered by three Israelis on July 2, 2014. (Photo: AFP)

The lead suspect of a gruesome kidnapping and murder of a Palestinian teen two summers ago was sentenced today by a Jerusalem district court to life in prison, plus 20 years for additional crimes, ending a lengthy criminal trial that shook Palestinian communities across Israel and the occupied territory. After the sentencing was announced the victim’s cousin Ansam Abu Khdeir told Mondoweiss the punishment was not enough, “he deserves more than he got, more than he will get,” she said.

Ringleader in Abu Khdeir murder case convicted in Jerusalem court

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Protesters hold posters of Palestinian teenager Mohammed Abu Khdeir, who was killed last year, outside the district court in Jerusalem on November 30, 2015. The court on Monday convicted two Israeli youths in the grisly killing of Abu Khdeir, while delaying a verdict for 31-year-old Yosef Haim Ben-David in the case due to a last-minute insanity plea. The judge determined that Ben David, and two Israeli minors had snatched Abu Khdeir from an east Jerusalem sidewalk in July 2014 and burned him alive in a forest outside the city. (Photo: Mahfouz Abu Turk/APA Images)

Today, a Jerusalem district court convicted the ringleader of the 2014 murder of Palestinian teen Mohammed Abu Khdeir who was abducted near his home in East Jerusalem and burned alive. The defendant, Yosef Haim Ben-David, 30, will be sentenced in the coming weeks. He along with two minors kidnapped Abu Khdeir and beat and killed the youth. The slaying prompted weeks of unrest and gained international prominence as a high-profile case of settler violence against Palestinians.

Ha’aretz journalist lauds wine from Jewish terrorist/vintner Menachem Livni

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Menachem Livni poses with wine from his winery.

Ha’aretz diplomatic correspondent and gourmand, Barak Ravid, recently tweeted a picture of “a likeable wine from the Livni vineyard in Kiryat Arba.” “Surprisingly good,” he concludes. The reason that the quality of the wine, produced in the darkest heart of the Israeli-occupied territory, is surprising, I would guess, is that Ravid believes that an admitted, convicted and unrepentant terrorist is unlikely to also become a successful vintner. But in Israel all is possible, at least for Jews.

Among the settlers

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Junk at a socialist kibbutz Naaran in the Jordan Valley. In the background, primitive radio receivers and the hills around Jerusalem. (Photo: Philip Weiss)

Israeli settlers on the West Bank tell Phil Weiss they are continuing the work of redeeming the land for Jews that early Zionists began when they expelled Palestinians in 1948, and that in the last year even the Tel Aviv establishment has come to recognize that there will never be a Palestinian state. Weiss reports from five days he spent undercover in Israeli settlements using the Airbnb service.

Groundbreaking Human Rights Watch report shows how settlement businesses contribute to Israeli occupation

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Human Rights Watch report cover shows Barkan, an Israeli residential settlement and industrial zone located in the occupied West Bank, that houses around 120 factories that export around 80 percent of their goods abroad. In the background is the Palestinian village of Qarawat Bani Hassan. (Photo: Human Rights Watch)

In a groundbreaking new report, Human Rights Watch has joined the chorus of voices calling on countries to label goods made in the Israeli occupied territories as the products of settlements, and calls on countries to withhold aid to Israel that can be used to “offset the costs of Israeli government expenditures on settlements.” The report titled Occupation, Inc.: How Settlement Businesses Contribute to Israel’s Violations of Palestinian Rights puts pressure on a “multitude” of private companies to stop doing business in the occupied territories, because they are helping to sustain an illegal settlement project that deprives the Palestinian population of their human rights.

Extremists vandalize Jerusalem church with Hebrew threats: ‘Death to heathen Christians’

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Anti-Christian graffiti sprayed on the Dormition Abbey church in Jerusalem. (Photo: Latin Patriarch)

For the second time in a year, Israeli vandals targeted a Christian church in Jerusalem Sunday with extremist anti-Christian graffiti. Assailants tagged the religious site with messages in Hebrew: “Death to the heathen Christians, “the enemies of Israel”, “Let his [Jesus’] name and memory be obliterated” and “Christians to Hell.”

Israel charges two Jewish extremist youths in Duma killings

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Sa'ad Dawabshe (R), Ali Dawabshe (C), and Riham Dawabshe (L), were killed from injuries sustained in a settler arson attack on the West Bank village of Duma on July, 31, 2015. (Photo: Hassan Shaalan/YNet News)

Israel charged two suspects this morning in district court for an arson attack on the West Bank village of Duma where Jewish extremists killed three Palestinians five months ago in most high-profile case of settler violence. The lead suspect is Amiram Ben-Uliel, 21, who is said to have confessed to the firebombing. His alleged accomplice, 17, is unnamed.

Brazil and Israel square off in diplomatic showdown over settler envoy

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Dani Dayan (Photo: Tomer Appelbaum)

Brazil is not interested in having a right wing settler envoy as Israel’s ambassador and Israel won’t take “No” for an answer. A diplomatic crisis has been unfolding between the two countries since last August when Netanyahu publicly announced the appointment of Dani Dayan, the former head the Yesha Council from 2007 to 2013, as Israel’s next ambassador to Brazil — without first consulting the Brazilian Foreign Ministry.

Israeli settlers at a wedding party cheer burning of Palestinian baby

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Israeli wedding-goers rejoice over the killing of a Palestinian baby. (Screenshot: Channel 10)

Israeli police have opened an investigation into a group of extremist Israelis who recorded themselves rejoicing over the killing of a Palestinian baby by stabbing a photograph of the toddler who was burned alive earlier this year. Footage of the incident aired on Israeli news stations last night, depicting a wedding party in a West Bank settlement waving knives and guns in the air while singing “we will take revenge on the Palestinians.”

‘There is no justice here in Israel’: Two found guilty of murdering Mohammed Abu Khdeir, but ringleader verdict delayed

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Aisha Abu Khdeir, aunt of shows a family album of pictures of Mohammed Abu Khdeir after an Israeli court issues guilty verdicts for two of the accused killers, and delays ruling on a third. (Photo: Allison Deger)

An Israeli court today convicted two Jewish minors who abducted and burned Mohammed Abu Khdeir alive in July 2014. The court delayed ruling on the alleged ringleader, 29-year old settler Yosef Haim Ben-David pending an additional psychiatric evaluation. “Frankly I was shocked. I hoped they all would get a punishment,” said the mother of the victim, Suha Abu Khdeir, 45, from her living room hours after the trial ended. “It’s like they burned him again.”

Israeli army makes post in Hebron activist house

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Israeli soldiers inside of the Hebron-based Youth Against Settlements office/living quarters, Saturday November 7, 2015. (Photo: Youth Against Settlements)

“I won’t take compensation from occupation,” Issa Amro says of destruction to his property in Hebron by Israeli soldiers. Early Saturday morning Amro, 35, awoke to dozens of Israeli soldiers entering the Youth Against Settlements house and presenting him with a military order to seize control of the house for 24-hours. Amro, along with an Italian journalist on assignment with an Israeli paper, and two international activists who were staying at the Youth Against Settlements advocacy center were then ushered into a single bedroom where, with the exception of escorted bathroom breaks, they were forced to stay until after daybreak Sunday.

Majority of Palestinian citizens of Israel blame gov’t for violence, fear revenge attacks, limit their movements

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Palestinian citizens of Israel protest outside of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's office in Jerusalem, 2013. (Photo:  Kobi Gideon/Flash90)

After violence took hold of Jerusalem at the beginning of October, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu charged the fault fell on Palestinian Authority, Hamas and the Islamic movement of northern Israel for inciting attacks against Israelis, and spurring demonstrations across the West Bank, Jerusalem and Gaza that have led to the killings of Palestinian protesters. Yet the 20-percent Arab-Palestinian minority in Israel believe that it is the Israeli government, and not the Palestinian leadership that is responsible for the outbreak of hostilities, according to a survey published by the Haifa-based think tank Mada al-Carmel.

As Israel clamps down on East Jerusalem, police evict Palestinian family for new settlement

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Israeli workers add water pipes to a house in the East Jerusalem neighborhood of  Silwan, where the Abu Nab family was evicted earlier this week after Israelis won a petition for their removal. (Photo: Allison Deger)

Israeli police and barking dogs woke Abdallah and Fatima Abu Nab from inside of the couple’s bedroom shortly after daybreak Monday morning, and told them to immediately and permanently leave their house in the East Jerusalem neighborhood of Silwan, bringing an end to an seven-year legal battle with Israeli settlers. This latest Israeli provocation took place in the heart of East Jerusalem where more than 40 Palestinians, and eight Israelis have been killed in shootings and attacks since the start of October.

‘There is no co-existence with cancer’: Right-wing Israelis demand gov’t give military ‘free hand’ to fight Palestinians

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Bentzi Gopstein, head of the far-right Lehava organization, arrested in Jerusalem protest after day of terror attacks throughout Israel. October 8, 2015. (Photo: Olivier Fitoussi)

Brandishing their typical black and yellow flags and Hebrew signs boasting “Kahane was Right” and “There is no co-existence with cancer,” hundreds of right-wing activists took to the streets of Jerusalem Thursday night in a growing phenomenon of public demonstrations led by the country’s leading fascist groups such as Lahava and La Familia. The march and the Israeli extremists willingness to resort to violence against their state’s security forces testify to the impact that incitement is having on Jewish youth throughout the country, and portends an ever-growing threat of entrenching the current spiral of bloodshed.

More than 1,000 clash with Israeli forces in Shuafat refugee camp as Netanyahu promises to crack down

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Israeli police cordon off the site where a Palestinian stabbed two Israelis Thursday afternoon, critically injuring one, in East Jerusalem. (Photo: Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)

At dusk Thursday evening nearly 200 right-wing Israelis took to the streets of Jerusalem, chanting racist anti-Arab epitaphs and nationalist songs. The march came at the end of day that saw Israeli forces kill two Palestinians and Palestinian attackers wound nine Israelis, including two soldiers, in four separate attacks, the highest number of serious injuries inflicted on Israelis in recent weeks. At the time of publication the right-wing group was marching from West Jerusalem into Palestinian East Jerusalem.

Israeli government is too involved in settler movement to take on Jewish extremists, says leading Palestinian legislator

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Aida Touma-Sliman (Center) during Knesset Committee on the Status of the Women, June 3, 2015. (Photo: Hadas Parush/Flash90)

Aida Touma-Sliman, a member of Knesset for the Joint Arab List, says that Israel could indict Jewish terrorists for the Duma murders but it lacks the political will to do so. “In the last few years there were 17 mosques and churches burned down or attacked by right-wing activists or racists,” she told Allison Deger. “These are the extreme cases, but everyday we hear about cases by the seashore, or at the nightclubs—or of hotels warning their visitors that they might have Muslims [guests].”

How Israel legitimizes vigilante terror

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PHOTO Dan Cohen

Immediately after the firebombing of the occupied West Bank village of Duma that killed eighteen-month-old Ali Dawabshe and later his parents, Israeli politicians competed to see who could be more extreme in their denunciations. But as the young parents of baby Ali succumbed to their wounds, the politicians who had been so vociferous were largely silent. What explains this gap between rhetoric and reality? Veteran Israeli journalist Akiva Eldar tells Dan Cohen the lack of Israeli accountability for Jewish vigilante violence is not new, “The message is that you can get away with murder, literally.”

Israeli defense minister says government knows who was behind Duma attack, but won’t prosecute

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Israeli police investigate the damage of the Dawabshe family home in Duma, firebombed on July 31, 2015. The graffiti the assailants sprayed reads: "revenge." (Photo: Reuters)

Six weeks after settlers torched a Palestinian home in the West Bank hamlet of Duma killing three—Ali Dawabshe, 18-months, Sa’ad Dawabshe, 32, and Riham Dawabshe 27—no one has been charged for the crime. Now, Israel’s defense minister says he knows who is behind the arson attack but is refusing to indict, because doing so could expose government interlligence sources.