Israeli jets violate Lebanon’s airspace 

Israeli jets violate Lebanon’s airspace 
A US F-16 fighter jet takes part in the "Blue Flag" multinational air defence exercise at the Ovda air force base, north of the Israeli city of Eilat, on November 11, 2019. (File/AFP)
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Updated 27 May 2020

Israeli jets violate Lebanon’s airspace 

Israeli jets violate Lebanon’s airspace 
  • Various Israeli military aircrafts were reported over areas in Lebanon

Israeli fighter planes have violated Lebanese airspace carrying out a number of flights in the past week over different parts of the country, state news agency NNA reported, citing the Lebanese army. 
Various Israeli military aircrafts were reported over the town of Kafr Shuba on Tuesday, and then flying over the western Bekaa regions and the south.
On the same day two Israeli warplanes violated Lebanese airspace over Alma al-Shab, flew over all Lebanese regions, and then left at 11.25 a.m..
Again at 10:35 a.m. two similar warplanes entered Lebanese airspace over the town of Kafr Shuba, and again flew over other parts of Lebanon.
There were similar incidents reported through the week, with intrusions by Israeli warplanes over Lebanon over Kafr Kila on May 25 and their sightings reported over the town of Rmeish.
There were further incursions reported the same evening when an Israeli plane entered the country’s airspace over the sea west of the town of Naqura, and flew over the Chouf area, Mount Lebanon, Beirut and its suburbs, Baabda and Aley. 
And in the early hours of May 26 a similar plane violated Lebanese airspace over the town of Yaroun, before flying over the southern regions.


Israel authorities approve new West Bank settler homes: group

Israel authorities approve new West Bank settler homes: group
Updated 51 min 21 sec ago

Israel authorities approve new West Bank settler homes: group

Israel authorities approve new West Bank settler homes: group
  • Over 90% of the homes lay deep inside W.Bank, which Palestinians seek as the heartland of a future independent state
  • Netanyahu directed authorities to approve construction in the occupied territories

JERUSALEM: Israel on Sunday advanced plans for 780 new settler homes in the occupied West Bank, settlement watchdog Peace Now said, adding the move puts Israel “on a collision course” with the incoming US administration.
Right-wing Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu had last week directed authorities to approve construction of the units in occupied Palestinian territories.
That came less than two weeks before President Donald Trump’s pro-settler administration was due to leave office.
All Jewish settlements in the West Bank are regarded as illegal by much of the international community.
But Trump’s administration, breaking with decades of US policy, declared in 2019 that Washington no longer considered settlements as being in breach of international law.
US President-elect Joe Biden, who will be sworn on Wednesday, has indicated that his administration will restore Washington’s pre-Trump policy of opposing settlement expansion.
Peace Now, an Israeli civil society group that opposes the occupation, said that Israeli planning authorities had approved “plans to build 780 housing units in settlements, most of them deep in the West Bank.”
“Not only will this settlement activity erode the possibility for a conflict-ending resolution with the Palestinians in the long-term, but in the short-term it needlessly sets Israel on a collision course with the incoming Biden administration,” the group said.
A spokesperson for the European Union said the move was “contrary to international law and further undermines the prospects of a viable two-state solution.”
The EU statement called on Israel to “reverse these decisions on settlements and show leadership to rebuild trust and confidence between the parties, which is necessary for an eventual resumption of meaningful Israeli-Palestinian negotiations.”
Beyond the change in Washington, experts say Netanyahu also has domestic political reasons for pushing settlement expansion.
Electioneering is intensifying ahead of Israel’s March 23 poll, in which Netanyahu is expected to face a fierce right-wing challenge from Gideon Saar, a defector from the premier’s Likud party.
Saar, a prominent pro-settler voice, split with Likud late last year to challenge Netanyahu, Israel’s longest serving premier.
“Prime Minister Netanyahu is once again putting his personal political interests over those of the country,” Peace Now said.
Israel has occupied the West Bank since the 1967 Six Day War.
Following years of settlement expansion, there are currently some 450,000 Jews living in the West Bank amid an estimated 2.8 million Palestinians.
Governments worldwide largely see settlements as illegal and an obstacle to a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.