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August 31, 2012 | By Edmund Sanders, Los Angeles Times
JERUSALEM - Australian technology investor Kevin Bermeister has had some hits and misses in his career. He founded the popular file-sharing network Kazaa, built Australia's largest video game distributor and was an early investor in Skype. Less successful ventures included the now-defunct Sega World theme park in Sydney and an offshoot of troubled PC-maker Packard Bell. Now he has set his investment sights on Jerusalem. After buying a 185-room hotel and bidding on a troubled Jewish development in East Jerusalem that was about to be sold to a Palestinian billionaire, he has proposed his most ambitious - some say far-fetched - plan: Jerusalem 5800, a 30-year, $30-billion redevelopment blueprint to transform the ancient holy city into a sprawling international tourist hub. The businessman, who is Jewish, envisions 50,000 new hotel rooms, a new international airport in the West Bank and an underground metro line running through the city's archaeologically rich terrain.
January 10, 2010 | By Edmund Sanders
Born in a refugee camp in this restive West Bank city, Ammar Arafat threw his first stone at 13. At 15, he was jailed for scaling the fence at an Israeli military camp with explosives under his shirt. Upon release, he took up arms again and landed back in prison. Freshly out of jail for the second time, Arafat, 20, is mulling his next move. But nowadays, he has traded in his explosives vest for a designer military jacket with shiny Armani buttons. A more mature Arafat said he wants to enroll in college, find work as a Palestinian police officer and build a stable life.
March 5, 2009 | Paul Richter
U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, in an unusual public criticism of Israel, said Wednesday that its plan to destroy dozens of Palestinian homes in Arab East Jerusalem was "unhelpful" and contrary to Israel's obligations under a U.S.-backed peace plan. Clinton, closing her first foray into Middle East peacemaking, said the implications of the decision to raze the homes for an archaeological project "go far beyond" the 88 homes affected by Israel's plans.
March 12, 2011 | By Edmund Sanders, Los Angeles Times Staff Writer
A family of five Jewish settlers, including three children, was stabbed to death Friday night near the West Bank city of Nablus, ending a relative lull in deadly violence in the Palestinian territory. Two other small children escaped harm by hiding as unknown attackers apparently sneaked into the family's home with a knife and killed the parents and children, ages 12, 3 and 3 months. It was the deadliest such attack against Jewish settlers in the area since 2002. Israeli military officials immediately declared the Itamar settlement and surrounding Palestinian villages to be a closed military zone, setting up roadblocks and launching a massive search for the attackers.
December 23, 2009
Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton fumbled in Jerusalem last month when she hailed Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's decision to temporarily freeze West Bank settlement construction as "unprecedented," thereby suggesting it was somehow optimal. The 10-month freeze is far from ideal, because it allows completion of nearly 3,000 housing units and 28 public buildings already underway in the West Bank, and it doesn't include development in contested East Jerusalem. Still, it is important to acknowledge that this is is an unprecedented step for the right-wing Netanyahu, who has built a career out of opposing concessions to the Palestinians or negotiations for a separate state.
February 9, 2013 | By Maher Abukhater
RAMALLAH, West Bank - Israeli soldiers and border guards Saturday removed tents Palestinians had set up in an area south of Hebron, in the south of the West Bank, to protest Israeli plans to take over the land. The tent village named Canaan is the fifth that activists have set up in the last month on land they fear Israel intends to seize to build settlements. Israel has foiled each attempt. Mazen Qumsiyeh, a Palestinian activist at the Canaan village, said between 15 and 20 Palestinian and international activists made two attempts to set up the tents there.
November 30, 2012 | By Edmund Sanders, This post has been updated. See the note below for details.
JERUSALEM - Following a landmark United Nations vote upgrading the status of the Palestinian territories to become a “nonmember observer state” in the international body, Israel said Friday it would construct an additional 3,000 units of Jewish housing in the West Bank. The government is also moving forward with preliminary planning for a controversial development on the outskirts of Jerusalem that U.S. officials have opposed for decades, according to a government official, who requested anonymity because he was not authorized to speak publicly about the issue.
June 6, 2009 | Richard Boudreaux and Maher Abukhater
An Israeli border police officer shot and killed a Palestinian man and seriously wounded a teenage boy Friday during a violent demonstration against Israel's installation of a barrier in the West Bank.
April 16, 1986
Israel has quietly moved hundreds of Jewish Ethiopian immigrants into the West Bank despite U.S. opposition to settling them in Israeli-occupied Arab land. About 400 Ethiopian Jews live in government housing in Kiryat Arba and make up about 8% of the settlement, according to an official at a Hebrew language school in which many of the immigrants study. "American aid is not supposed to help in Jewish settlement of the West Bank, which the United States opposes," a U.S.
November 12, 2002
Re "No Olive Branches in the Grove," Nov. 7: As a Southern Californian peace activist accompanying Palestinian families during their olive harvest, I have witnessed the fear that farmers experience while attempting to reach their land and the Israeli army's and police's failure to intervene on behalf of Palestinians confronted by settler violence. Police spokesman Gil Kleinman claims that no distinctions are made between Palestinian and Israeli lawbreakers and that Israeli settlers are arrested if they break the law. However, we must remember that settlements are in violation of the Fourth Geneva Convention, and thus all settlers in the West Bank are essentially breaking the law. The violent acts of Israeli settlers upon Palestinians peacefully attempting to harvest their land are yet another layer of criminal activity largely ignored by both Israelis and the international community.
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