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Israel, US pressure plans

Fri, July 06, 2018 12:28

By the Gazette Editorial Board

Israel in 2018 is bold, aggressive and more extremely provocative than ever before. And why is that so? Simply because the Trump Administration is not only turning a blind eye to the atrocities against the Palestinians by Netanyahu's right wing government, but is also supporting Israel at various levels, including at the UN.

The Israeli government then, with the approval of the US, is taking the liberty to put physical as well as financial pressure on the Palestinians. It hopes to force them to accept whatever the US is to suggest under a so-called "ultimate deal'.

Israel is doing whatever it takes to expand its illegal settlements. Its forces have for two days now been preparing to demolish the Bedouin village of Khan al-Ahmar in the occupied West Bank. And they are doing so violently and with complete disregard for human rights.

The village is situated between two big Israeli settlements, which explains why the demolition order has been issued. Under its aggressive expansionist plan, Israel is clearing the way for the enlargement of the already existing illegal settlements. It is doing so especially near Jerusalem so as to ensure that the territories they are usurping are not interspersed by elements of the Palestinian population.

Israel's actions have been condemned by the European Union and human rights organisations. Moreover, the office of the UN special coordinator for the Middle East peace process posted a statement on Twitter against the proposed demolition. It was, it said, contrary to international law and urged Israel to stop.

Is it expected to stop?

The forced displacement of Palestinians undermines a two-state solution, which Israel is deliberately acting against in favour of an alternative deal. According to leaked reports, the Palestinians are being pushed to agree to an economic rather than a political settlement of their cause.

This week, Israel's Knesset passed a law that withholds large funds, out of taxes collected by Israel on behalf of Palestinians, which the Palestinian Authority allocates to families of martyrs and prisoners. Israel calls the bill 'Pay to slay" claiming that the "bill will reduce terrorism".

Israel is pretending that the conflict is over. So, the Palestinians have no right to resist Israel's occupation and plans to deprive them of their land and human rights.

The fact is that the Palestinian Authority has a responsibility towards its citizens and the deducted amount will account for nearly seven per cent of the Authority's budget this year.

The bill is very much in line with the US Congress Taylor Force Act approved in March to cut US funding to the Palestinian Authority until it stopped paying money to what it called "Palestinian attackers".

Why should the Knesset not pass the bill when the US has already cut some $300 million channelled to UNRWA which serves more than five million Palestinian refugees?

The Israeli-US attempt to liquidate the Palestinian cause is clear.

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