Israeli settlers scuffle with police at West Bank outpost demolition

Israeli police surround a structure as an Israeli settler stands atop the structure near an Israeli flag and a banner, in the Netiv Haavot neighbourhood in the West Bank settlement of Elazar, which is slated for demolition by March 2018 November 29, 2017. (Reuters)
Updated 30 November 2017
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Israeli settlers scuffle with police at West Bank outpost demolition

NETIV HAAVOT, Palestinian Territories: Jewish settlers scuffled with Israeli police in the occupied West Bank on Wednesday in an unsuccessful attempt to stop the demolition of a building at a rogue settlement outpost.
AFP journalists said hundreds of young settlers at Netiv Haavot, in the Etzion settlement block, barricaded themselves in a carpentry workshop and resisted orders to leave peacefully.
They set fire to vehicle tires festooned with barbed wire to try to block access to the building but riot police and border police broke through and carried the protesters away.
“Security forces completed the demolition of the illegal structure,” an army statement said. There were no reports of arrests or injuries.
Several homes at the outpost, a satellite of Elazar settlement, are also to be demolished by court order, but residents have until March 2018 before the ruling is implemented.
The court accepted Palestinian claims that they were built on private Palestinian land and must be vacated.
About 430,000 Israeli settlers live in the West Bank — occupied in the 1967 Six-Day War — among 2.6 million Palestinians.
The settlements are illegal under international law and seen by a large part of the international community as a main obstacle to peace between Israelis and Palestinians.
The Etzion bloc has over the years grown into a large cluster of settlements south of Jerusalem, and officials expect it to form part of Israel under any future peace deal with the Palestinians.
 


Yemen groups agree to reopen Sanaa airport, still in talks on port at Sweden talks

Updated 12 December 2018
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Yemen groups agree to reopen Sanaa airport, still in talks on port at Sweden talks

  • Askar Zaeel, a member of the government delegation, said his camp would hold firm to UN Security Council Resolution 2216
  • Multiple draft proposals have been submitted to the two delegations over the past week

RIMBO, Sweden: Yemen's warring parties agreed on Wednesday to reopen Sanaa airport in the Houthi-held capital, sources said, as Western nations press the two sides to agree on confidence-building measures before the end of the first UN-led peace talks in two years.
The Iranian-backed Houthi movement and the Arab coalition-backed government of Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi were still discussing a UN proposal on the contested port city of Hodeidah, a lifeline for millions of Yemenis.
UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres is due to attend final talks in Sweden on Thursday to support his envoy's efforts to launch a political process to end the nearly four-year-old war. Another round of talks could be held in early 2019.
The Houthi militia hold most population centres, including Hodeidah and the capital Sanaa from which it ousted Hadi's government in 2014. The government is now based in the southern port of Aden.
The two parties agreed that international flights would stop at a government-held airport for inspections before flying in or out of Sanaa, two sources familiar with the talks said.
They have yet to agree on whether those inspections would be in Aden airport or that of Sayun, the sources added.
The Arab coalition intervened in the war in 2015 to restore Hadi's government controls the air space.
UN envoy Martin Griffiths, trying to avert a full-scale assault on Hodeidah, where coalition forces have massed on the outskirts, is asking both sides to withdraw from the city.
His proposal envisions an interim entity being formed to run the city and port and international monitors being deployed.
Asked if the government could accept that proposal, culture minister Marwan Dammaj said: "We are still discussing it."
Both sides have agreed to a UN role in the port, the entry point for most of Yemen's commercial imports and vital aid, but differ on who should run the city. The Houthi militia want Hodeidah declared a neutral zone, while Hadi's government believes the city should fall under its control as a matter of sovereignty.
"The devil is in the details - withdraw how far (from Hodeidah), the sequence, who governs and delivers services," said one diplomat, speaking on condition of anonymity.
They have also yet to agree on shoring up the central bank, and on a transitional governing body, although a deal was struck on a prisoner swap that could see 15,000 prisoners released.