Israel’s envoy to the UN has slammed its “Year of Solidarity with the Palestinians” as “propaganda.” The UN announced 2014 as the year dedicated to identifying obstacles to the peace process and promoting solidarity with the Palestinians.
As world leaders send their condolences to Israel following the death of former PM Ariel Sharon, there are no tears shed among those who suffered most from his policies. Human Rights Watch says he evaded prosecution for crimes against humanity.
Israel has freed 26 Palestinian prisoners convicted in deadly attacks against Israelis after a court rejected an appeal by the victims’ families to halt the move. The prisoner release is the third of four planned as part of US-brokered peace efforts.
Israeli ministers have approved a bill to annex Jordan Valley settlements to the Jewish state, threatening US-brokered peace talks with Palestine. Ministers opposing the proposed legislation plan to appeal the decision and demand a revote.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has called for his housing minister to reconsider long-term plans to construct thousands of new homes in the West Bank and in the contentious E1 area outside Jerusalem.
Israel has long term plans to build some 24,000 extra settler homes on the West Bank and in East Jerusalem, according to the anti-settlement group Peace Now. Tenders cover highly sensitive land around Jerusalem stoking fears of peace talk disruption.
Germany told Israel to expect “severe diplomatic damage” should it fail to attend a periodic human rights review Tuesday, Haaretz reports. Israel severed ties with the UNHRC in March 2012 after it expressed concern over Israeli settlements.
Mahmoud Abbas has described the latest round of Israeli-Palestinian talks as the ‘last chance’ for peace and has called on the international community to seize that chance by following the EU in outlawing Jewish settlements on occupied territories.