Isreal running US foreign policy?
WASHINGTON /By THE ASSOCIATED PRESS
The Trump administration put the Palestinians on notice Friday that it will shutter their office in Washington unless they’ve entered serious peace talks with Israel, U.S. officials said, potentially giving President Donald Trump more leverage as he seeks an elusive Mideast peace deal.
Secretary of State Rex Tillerson has determined that the Palestinians ran afoul of an obscure provision in a U.S. law that says the Palestine Liberation Organization’s mission must close if the Palestinians try to get the International Criminal Court to prosecute Israelis for crimes against Palestinians.
A State Department official said that in September, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas crossed that line by calling on the ICC to investigate and prosecute Israelis.
But the law leaves the president a way out, so Tillerson’s declaration doesn’t necessarily mean the office will close.
Trump now has 90 days to consider whether the Palestinians are in “direct and meaningful negotiations with Israel.” If Trump determines they are, the Palestinians can keep the office. The official said it was unclear whether the U.S. might close the office before the 90-day period expires, but said the mission remains open at least for now.
Even if the office closes, the U.S. said it wasn’t cutting off relations with the Palestinians and was still focused on “a comprehensive peace agreement between the Israelis and the Palestinians.”
The State Department official said in an email that “this measure should in no way be seen as a signal that the U.S. is backing off those efforts.” The official wasn’t authorized to be identified by name and requested anonymity.
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Extremist Israeli settlers attacked Palestinian olive harvest and stole it over the past weeks.
Last Sunday, a Palestinian landowner found their olive crops near Qalqilia harvested and stolen, and many mature trees damaged by toxic chemicals. The perpetrators, who came from the illegal settlement of Kidumim, also cut many trees.
The Palestinian farmer also discovered sewerage water had flooded the orchard, pumped from a nearby caravan owned by an illegal settler. The villagers have at least 500 dunums of land for the olive orchards isolated behind the Apartheid wall, to which israel places extremely restricted access on them.
Extremist Israeli settlers also raided olive trees owned by villagers of Awera, near Nablus, at dawn on Sunday. The orchards lie near the entrance of the illegal Israeli settlement of Itmar . According to a Palestinian Authority official, settlers stole from the 420 olive trees that grow on the land of Ata Darwish.
The violations affect a key source of income to many families in Palestine, thereby forcing them out, and facilitating the annexation of their land by Israel.
The Israeli Occupation Forces (IOF) reportedly prevented dozens of Palestinian farmers from reaching their land which is located on the Israeli side of the Apartheid Wall in order to pick olives, despite having special Israeli permits to enter the area.
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Universities protect free speech for the powerful while disciplining protesters.
huh? Afraid of free speech, I guess.
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Thousands of extremist Israeli settlers stormed Joseph’s tomb an archaeological site in Nablus, West Bank on Friday night. While Tens of thousands of Israeli settlers stormed Al-Ibrahimi Mosque as well in Hebron, West Bank for the second day in a row under tight protection of Israeli police and special units.
According to eyewitnesses, more than 30 buses arrived carrying hundreds of settlers who stormed the tomb in Nablus to perform Talmudic prayers and religious rituals and lasted until the early morning hours. This lead to clashes with Palestinian youths who were provoked by the settlers and the soldiers who stormed into their the city.
Israeli Occupation Forces (IOF) fired tear gas and rubber-coated metal bullets at the youths, at least three Palestinians were wounded by the bullets and several others suffocated from the gas and were taken to hospitals for treatment.
Recent events have left Arab and Muslim students wondering if the prestigious New York university is safe for them.