Israeli Settlers Have Helped Their Bedouin Neighbors, Whom the Palestinian Authority and the EU Have Kept Living in Shacks

Located about seven miles east of Jerusalem, Khan al-Ahmar consists of little more than a cluster of tents and tin shacks that are home to a few hundred Bedouin. The Oslo Accords placed the settlement, along with the nearby Jewish village of Kfar Adumim, in Area C of the West Bank—which was to remain under direct Israeli control pending further negotiations. Because the structures making up Khan al-Ahmar were built illegally, the Israeli government has tried for years to relocate the Bedouin to somewhere where they could live in more suitable conditions. But both European governments and the Palestinian Authority have gotten in the way, as Danny Tirza explains:

Proposals submitted by the [Israeli West Bank] Civil Administration to the Bedouin to relocate onto building plots—which would include public infrastructure and compensation—were rejected on various grounds, often due to political pressure from the Palestinian Authority, backed and assisted by European organizations. . . . Likewise, in violation of Israeli law, . . . EU representatives erected light buildings for the Bedouin on state lands. Under pressure from various factors in the EU, the site has even won the protection of Germany’s Prime Minister Angela Merkel.

The Civil Administration’s law-enforcement agencies froze construction on the site and prevented any development or strengthening of dilapidated buildings in the area, preserving the inhumane conditions in which the Bedouin live. However, a large group of settlers from Kfar Adumim came to the aid of their Bedouin neighbors for humanitarian assistance. . . . It turned out that despite the international controversy, the human connection still exists, as it should.

[Recently] reports came of a compromise proposal agreed to by the Bedouin families, according to which the Bedouin would be relocated to the Arad Valley within Israeli territory and near other members of [their] tribe in the area. Those who had been relocated would receive residential land, financial compensation, and permanent-resident status in Israel.

There is no doubt that the proposed agreement will benefit the Bedouin families. Now, the question is whether the Palestinian Authority and the European Union will allow the Bedouin to implement the agreement and improve their living conditions, or whether Khan al-Ahmar will once again be held hostage by a political struggle.

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Read more at Washington Institute for Near East Policy

More about: Angela Merkel, Bedouin, Europe and Israel, Palestinian Authority, West Bank

How European Fecklessness Encourages the Islamic Republic’s Assassination Campaign

In September, Cypriot police narrowly foiled a plot by an Iranian agent to murder five Jewish businessman. This was but one of roughly a dozen similar operations that Tehran has conducted in Europe since 2015—on both Israeli or Jewish and American targets—which have left three dead. Matthew Karnitschnig traces the use of assassination as a strategic tool to the very beginning of the Islamic Republic, and explains its appeal:

In the West, assassination remains a last resort (think Osama bin Laden); in authoritarian states, it’s the first (who can forget the 2017 assassination by nerve agent of Kim Jong-nam, the playboy half-brother of North Korean dictator Kim Jong-un, upon his arrival in Kuala Lumpur?). For rogue states, even if the murder plots are thwarted, the regimes still win by instilling fear in their enemies’ hearts and minds. That helps explain the recent frequency. Over the course of a few months last year, Iran undertook a flurry of attacks from Latin America to Africa.

Whether such operations succeed or not, the countries behind them can be sure of one thing: they won’t be made to pay for trying. Over the years, the Russian and Iranian regimes have eliminated countless dissidents, traitors, and assorted other enemies (real and perceived) on the streets of Paris, Berlin, and even Washington, often in broad daylight. Others have been quietly abducted and sent home, where they faced sham trials and were then hanged for treason.

While there’s no shortage of criticism in the West in the wake of these crimes, there are rarely real consequences. That’s especially true in Europe, where leaders have looked the other way in the face of a variety of abuses in the hopes of reviving a deal to rein in Tehran’s nuclear-weapons program and renewing business ties.

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Read more at Politico

More about: Europe, Iran, Israeli Security, Terrorism