‘Israeli authorities are set to advance plans to triple the size of a settlement in the heart of occupied East Jerusalem, according to reports Thursday…

Peace Now’s Hagit Ofran told Channel 1: “The previous attempt to build apartments there, as if it were a regular real estate project, failed because there is no market of people who innocently want to live in the heart of a Palestinian neighbourhood. Only ideologues”.

According to Haaretz, “approval of the new units would take place as Netanyahu heads for a ten-day visit to Latin America and the UN General Assembly in New York”.’

The rest is here: Israeli authorities set to triple size of settlement in East Jerusalem

Meantime, instead of focusing on Israel’s daily violations of international law like this one, or its destruction last week of a Palestinian school, the thuggish and corrupt Palestinian President, Mahmoud Abbas, is filling his days by arresting non-violent Palestinian activists like Issa Amro for their Facebook posts. File this under ‘you couldn’t make it up.’

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This is a must-read analysis by Noam Sheizaf in the Israeli magazine +972. Here’s an excerpt:

The PA is an unusual institution. A massive part of its budget — 25 percent, it is said — is dedicated to security. Not securing Palestinians but rather securing Israelis. Palestinian police officers are forbidden from protecting Palestinian villagers against settler attacks. They need to call the Israeli police for that.

Over the past decade the Palestinian Authority took upon itself the role of Israel’s operations contractor of the occupation, with an understanding that quiet in the West Bank would create the requisite conditions for progress in peace talks with Israel. That’s what the Palestinians have always been promised, at least — if the violence stops, we’ll talk and you’ll get your state.

But it’s now clear that the dynamic is the exact opposite. The calm on the ground made Israelis believe that they can enjoy peace and prosperity without ending the occupation. The tragic paradox is that it was the intifadas that led to Israeli concessions (Oslo, the Gaza Disengagement), while the peaceful years resulted in more hardline Israeli positions and the expansion of settlements.”

Read the full text here: Israel still holds all the cards