The West Bank and Settlements

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With none of the security barrier’s four “fingers” (e.g. to enclose Ariel and Kedumim) built, and large gaps (e.g. between Gilo in south Jerusalem and Gush Etzion) remaining, Amos Harel thinks that the barrier will never be finished, and “hundreds of millions of shekels were wasted on unused roads that may never be completed.” (Ha’aretz)

Cellcom, Israel’s biggest mobile phone company, is praised (Peace Now) and criticized (Palestinians) by the left for a new commercial which shows Israeli soldiers playing soccer with unseen Palestinians on the other side of the security wall. (WTOP)

A “sense of personal security and economic potential is spreading across the West Bank,” along with more favorable views of Fatah, but some say Israel needs to do more to lift restrictions on economic growth. (New York Times)

A new study has shown that while Israeli municipalities as a whole receive 34.7% of their income from the government, settlement municipalities obtain 57%. It assesses the value of all buildings in the settlements at about $18 billion. (Ha’aretz)

National Infrastructures Minister Uzi Landau harshly criticized the state prosecutor for seeking to dismantle several homes in the unauthorized outpost Hayovel. The High Court of Justice gave the state four months to hold hearings, preliminary to carrying out demolition orders issued against them four years ago. (Jerusalem Post)

Noting that “one of the unwritten laws of war is that the winning side is allowed to do as it pleases after the cessation of hostilities,” Yoel Meltzer argues that there should be no difference in legitimacy between post-1948 and post-1967 communities. (Ynet)