22 January 2018
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  • » 01/02/2018, 17.40

    ISRAEL – PALESTINE

    Following Likud vote to annex West Bank, Israeli activist says Israel treats territories as its own



    Likud votes resolution in favour of Israeli settlements and sovereignty over "liberated" areas. For Israeli minister, “we have the moral right and obligation” towards settlers. “Israel uses its power to manufacture coercive living conditions for dozens of Palestinian communities, to try and expel them from their lands,” says B'tselem spokesperson.

    Jerusalem (AsiaNews) - "Israel treats the West Bank as though it was its own," said Amit Gilutz, spokesman for the Israeli-based B'tselem, commenting the unanimous vote by the central committee of the Likud, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's party, in favour of the formal annexation of the West Bank and unfettered settlement activity.

    The resolution calls for "free construction" and the application of Israeli sovereignty "on to all liberated areas of Jewish settlement in Judea and Samaria (West Bank).”

    Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was not present at the event, but more than a thousand people attended, including lawmakers and ministers.

    For one of them, Public Security Minister Gilad Erdan, “We must begin to enact this sovereignty, we have the moral right and obligation towards our settler brothers”.

    For Gilutz, the resolution is an attempt to solidify “ongoing processes, that Israeli governments have been advancing for decades," namely to use the land and resources “while completely disregarding the rights of Palestinians”.

    “In the area that was defined as ‘C’ under the Oslo accords in particular, Israel uses its power to manufacture coercive living conditions for dozens of Palestinian communities, to try and expel them from their lands,” the B'tselem spokesperson lamented.

    About 400,000 settlers and 2.8 million Palestinians live in the West Bank. The Palestinians want to establish a state in the West Bank and Gaza Strip with East Jerusalem as its capital.

    The international community considers Israeli settlements illegally occupied territories under international law.

    The recent decision by US President Donald Trump to recognise Jerusalem as Israel’s capital has triggered reactions from the UN and the international community.

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    EGYPT – LEBANON
    Muslims and Christians meet in Cairo for Jerusalem, 'the cause of causes'

    Fady Noun

    A conference was held on 16-17 January at al-Azhar. Many prominent figures from Lebanon took part, including the Maronite Patriarch Bechara Al-Rahi. The Arab world is divided between "complicit passivity" and "noisy but ineffective speeches". For a former Lebanese premier, coordinated actions are needed to ensure greater efficacy on behalf of Jerusalem’s "pluralistic identity " and "religious freedom". Card Al-Rahi called for joint prayers, Islamic-Christian interfaith solidarity in the Arab world, and support for the Palestinians.


    CHINA
    Yunnan: Christians accused of membership in an apocalyptic sect get up to 13 years in prison



    The Three Grades of Servants cult, an underground pseudo-Protestant sect founded in Henan, is especially strong in the countryside. Those convicted claim they are just ordinary Christians and know nothing about the sect. Defense lawyers have been threatened with loss of their license to practice.


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