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Tuesday, March 14, 2017
Excerpts: Palestinian map bureau closed.Blaze in Israel Fireworks

Excerpts: Palestinian map bureau closed.Blaze in Israel Fireworks
warehouse.Iran built arms factories for Hizbullah in Lebanon. Trump
Envoy,Netanyahu discuss peace and settlements March 14, 2017

+++SOURCE:Al Arabiya News:”Israel closes Palestinian map bureau, arrests
head”,by Agence France Presse
SUBJECT:Palestinian map bureau closed
FULL TEXT:Israeli police closed on Tuesday[14 Mar] a Palestinian research
center in Jerusalem and arrested its director, a prominent cartographer,
accusing him of working for the Palestinian security services.

The office of cartography in occupied east Jerusalem was shut down for six
months, a police statement said.

Israeli officials accused its head Khalil Tafakji of working with the
Palestinian Authority to monitor the sale of land by Palestinians to Israeli
Jews in east Jerusalem.

Israel seized east Jerusalem in the 1967 Six Day War and later annexed it in
moves never recognized by the international community.

Israel sees the whole city as its united capital, while the Palestinians
view east Jerusalem as the capital of their future state.

Israeli internal security minister Gilad Erdan said Tafakji’s work had been
“part of the Palestinian Authority’s plan to undermine our sovereignty in
Jerusalem and terrorize Arabs selling real estate to Jews in the city.”

“I’ll continue to act assertively to prevent Palestinian sovereignty in
Jerusalem.”

Selling land to Israeli settlers is punishable by death under Palestinian
law.

Senior Palestinian official Saeb Erekat condemned in a statement the
“illegitimate” closure and arrest, calling it part of Israel’s attempts to
“erase any Palestinian presence in the city.”

Several organizations promoting Israeli settlement in east Jerusalem have
used so-called straw men to carry out transactions.

Palestinians accuse the Israeli government of seeking to Judaise east
Jerusalem.

Around 200,000 Israelis now live in settlements in east Jerusalem.

Tafakji has been mapping the Palestinian territories for decades and is
regularly quoted by both international experts and the world press.

He works within Orient House, which was long a hub of Palestinian culture in
Jerusalem under the Palestinian Liberation Organization but was closed in
2000 by Israel.

+++SOURCE:Naharnet14 March’17:”Blaze in Israel Fireworks Warehouse Wounds
Seven”by Agence France Presse
SUBJECT:Blaze in Israel Fireworks Warehouse
FULL TEXT:A fireworks warehouse in northern Israel went up in flames on
Tuesday[14 Mar], wounding seven people and setting off a series of loud and
colorful explosions, emergency services said.

Firefighters were quelling the flames in the structure around Porat, a
village near coastal city Netanya, while evacuating residents and working to
prevent the fire from spreading to nearby homes.

A fire service spokesman said they were dealing with "a very big fire,
including explosions and fireworks being shot into the air."

Emergency medics said a 50-year-old man suffering burn wounds was taken to
hospital in serious condition. Another six people, two of them children,
were lightly wounded from debris.

+++SOURCE:Naharnet(Lebanon) 14 March’17:”Report:Iran Built Arms Factories
for Hizbullah in Lebanon”,by Naharnet Newsdesk

SUBJECT:Iran built arms factories for Hizbullah in Lebanon

FULL TEXT:Amid mounting pressure on Iran from US President Donald Trump and
the Israeli government led by Benjamin Netanyahu's administration, an
Iranian aide to the commander of the Iranian Revolutionary Guards said that
Iran has established missiles and weapons factories in Lebanon that it
handed over to the Hizbullah party, the Kuwaiti al-Jarida reported on
Tuesday[14 Mar].

A statement issued by the Iranian Defense Minister days ago said that
Hizbullah has become able to manufacture missiles capable of targeting the
entire Israeli territory, said the daily.

An unnamed source who spoke on condition of anonymity told al-Jarida that
after Israel destroyed years ago an Iranian weapons lab in Sudan, which
provided Hizbullah with weapons, and after the bombed arms supplies moving
to it through Syria, the Revolutionary Guards launched a project for the
establishment of weapons factories in Lebanon.

According to the source, these factories are built at depths greater than 50
meters underground above which different layers of barricades are built to
protect it from Israeli planes airstrikes.

The source added, the factories were handed gradually to Hizbullah and three
months ago they have become under the party's complete management and
supervision, according to the daily.

+++SOURCE:Naharnet(Lebanon)14 March’17:”Trump Envoy.Netanyahu Discuss Peace
and Settlements”.byAgence France Presse
SUBJECT:Trump Envoy.Netanyahu discuss peace and settlements

US President Donald Trump's special envoy Jason Greenblatt and Israeli Prime
Minister Benjamin Netanyahu discussed ways to reach peace with the
Palestinians as well as settlement construction, a statement said Tuesday[14
M].

The five-hour meeting, held in Netanyahu's Jerusalem office late Monday[13
M], came as Trump's administration begins to enter the decades-old
Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

The two "reaffirmed the joint commitment of both Israel and the United
States to advance a genuine and lasting peace between Israel and the
Palestinians that strengthens the security of Israel and enhances stability
in the region," a joint statement from the premier's office and US embassy
said.

They also "continued discussions relating to settlement construction in the
hope of working out an approach that is consistent with the goal of
advancing peace and security."

The international community considers continuing settlement growth in the
West Bank a major obstacle to peace.

According to the statement, Greenblatt "reaffirmed President Trump's
commitment to Israel's security and to the effort to help Israelis and
Palestinians achieve a lasting peace through direct negotiations."

Greenblatt was due to meet Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas in Ramallah in
the occupied West Bank on Tuesday[14 Mar].

The statement cited Netanyahu as telling Greenblatt he believed "it is
possible to advance peace" while Trump is in the White House.

Greenblatt himself wrote on Twitter that he had a "very positive and
productive meeting" with Netanyahu during which they discussed the "regional
situation, how progress towards peace with Palestinians can be made &
settlements."

At a White House meeting in February, Trump asked Netanyahu to "hold back on
settlements for a little bit."

But Netanyahu has found himself caught between maintaining relations with
Washington and holding together his right-wing governing coalition, with
some pushing for immediate action.

On Tuesday]14Mar], pro-settlement members of the coalition were seeking to
advance a bill to annex a large Israeli settlement east of Jerusalem of some
37,000 people called Maale Adumim.

The bill was on the agenda for a ministerial committee meeting later
Tuesday[14Mar].

- Abbas US visit 'soon' -Amid warnings that such unilateral moves could lead
to a crisis with Trump's administration, Netanyahu has reportedly been
seeking to delay the bill.

A source familiar with the discussions told AFP the coalition chairman wants
to put off the vote by three months, but Education Minister Naftali Bennett
of the hardline Jewish Home party is only willing to agree to a one-week
delay.

On Friday[10 Mar], Trump invited Abbas to visit the White House "soon" to
discuss ways to resume the peace process.

When Netanyahu met with Trump at the White House last month, the US
president broke with decades of US policy by saying he was not bound to a
two-state solution to the conflict.

The peace process has been deadlocked since April 2014 following the
collapse of indirect negotiations led by then US secretary of state John
Kerry.

The US State Department had on Monday[13 Mar] described Greenblatt's visit
as an orientation trip to enable him to get a sense of how "we can create a
climate that leads to eventual peace negotiations".

Spokesman Mark Toner said the trip was "the first of what will become many
visits to the region
===========================
Sue Lerner - Associate, IMRA

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