Anger over Israeli plan for new homes in Hebron

Israeli soldiers detain a Palestinian boy during recent clashes in the West Bank city of Hebron. (Reuters)
Updated 19 October 2017
0

Anger over Israeli plan for new homes in Hebron

AMMAN: Palestinians accused Israel on Tuesday of using the Hamas-Fatah reconciliation as a distraction while building illegal settlements in the old city of Hebron
The Israeli Planning Commission has approved the construction of 31 new settlements in and around Shuhada Street, an area under Israeli security control. New settlements in the heart of the city are banned under an Israeli-Palestinian agreement, and this is the first such approval since 2001.
Israel intentionally chose a time when Palestinians are engrossed by the Hamas-Fatah reconciliation and the prospect of a unity government, said Nayef Hashlamoun, director of Al-Watan, a civil society group in Hebron. “This action is extremely dangerous and it aims at further exasperating the already tense situation in the heart of the Palestinian city of Hebron,” he said.
Israeli settlers had worked methodically to change the nature of the city, Hashlamoun said. “They have converted Palestinian schools into synagogues and the bus station into a military post, and now they are destroying the ability of Palestinians to regain access to Shuhada street despite earlier agreements.”
About 800 Israeli settlers live under heavy military guard in the heart of Hebron, among about 200,000 Palestinians. Peace Now, the Israeli peace advocacy group, said the Hebron settlement was “the occupation at its most ugly.”
“The permits approved today would increase the number of settlers in Hebron by 20 percent, and they required significant legal acrobatics that might not stand the test of the High Court of Justice, while doing everything to please a small group of settlers,” the group said.
The latest settlements are part of a long-held Israeli plan to make the center of Hebron more Jewish, Mohammed Aboushi, a Palestinian expert on settlements, told Arab News.
“They have been trying to Judaize the city for some time, and even though they have not added any new settlements in 15 years this decision will make the already tense situation in the city unbearable,” he said.
The West Bank and East Jerusalem are occupied territories under international law and all Israeli settlement-building there in illegal.


Libya loses 400,000 barrels of storage capacity due to militant attacks

Updated 19 June 2018
0

Libya loses 400,000 barrels of storage capacity due to militant attacks

LONDON: Libya’s National Oil Corporation (NOC) said that at least 400,000 barrels of storage capacity has been lost within the past few days due to militant attacks on Ras Lanuf and Al-Sidra.
The NOC announced Monday that it has suffered “catastrophic losses” when two storage tanks were destroyed during fierce clashes in its oil crescent, northeast of the country.
Armed groups on Thursday attacked the Ras Lanuf and Al-Sidra terminals held by Haftar’s forces around 650 kilometers (400 miles) east of Tripoli.
Haftar led a “major offensive” on Sunday following the attacks to drive rival groups from the country’s northeastern oil crescent.
NOC chief Mustafa Sonallah warned in statements carried by Reuters that if oil exports from these terminals remain at a standstill it could cause a “national disaster.”
The oil firm warned on Friday that output could fall by up to 400,000 barrels per day if the export shutdown continues.