Here is the latest news from Daoud on the court cases brought before the Israeli Supreme Court in June 2014 regarding the re-registration of the land and the bulldozing of trees on May 19, 2014.

Dear Friends of Tent of Nations,

We are still waiting for the response from the military authorities to the Israeli Supreme Court on the appeal brought by our lawyers after the destruction of our fruit trees on May 19, 2014. The military representative has to respond to the highest court by September 15, 2014.

In 2007, the Supreme Court recognized our legal claim to the land and said that the family can re-register the land in their name and referred it back to the Military Court with the recommendation that the military court settle the matter to re-register the land.  Since 2007, however, the military has delayed such action.  There is no current news from the military court about the decisions concerning the tree loss nor the re-registration of the land, but we will keep you posted if we hear anything from the military court.

On the ground, we already started with rebuilding the terraces again and preparing the land for new trees. We will start with planting from December 2014 until the end of March 2015. Our plan is to plant 3,000-5,000 different trees depending on how much rain we get.

Thank you so much for keeping us in your prayers. We will never give up hope, and we still believe that one day we will see the sun of justice rising again.

Blessings and Salaam from the land that is thirsty for Salaam,

Daoud Nassar,  Director
Tent of Nations
–People Building Bridges-
P.O.Box 28, Bethlehem
Tel: +972 (0)2 274 30 71
Fax: +972 (0)2 276 74 46
Mobile: +972 (0)522 975 985

Further News:

On August 31, 2014, the Israeli Government announced the takeover of 988 acres of farmland in the West Bank.  In case you haven’t heard about this, we thought we would give you a brief update (please see Article #1 posted below for the details).  The move clears the way for construction of a new settlement named Gvaot, which is on the hill opposite the Tent of Nations farm.  This move doesn’t take land from the Nassar family farm, but it will further the isolation of the farm, including the village of Nahalin, and make movement even more difficult for the Palestinians living in those five villages to the west of Bethlehem.  We are concerned for all of the families affected by this illegal move.

We are not asking for direct action at this time, but you are certainly welcome and encouraged to let President Obama and John Kerry know how you feel about this.  Please see Article #2 below, and thank them for their support in this instance.  Letters and phone calls really can make a difference.

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Article #1

Israel appropriates massive tract of West Bank land
Takeover from five Palestinian villages is biggest West Bank land appropriation in 30 years, says Peace Now; settlers laud Netanyahu, Ya’alon, government.

By Chaim Levinson and Jack Khoury | Aug. 31, 2014 | 11:13 PM | 3

Construction work in Elazar, a settlement in the Gush Etzion bloc, in July 2010. Photo by AP

Israel’s Civil Administration in the West Bank yesterday announced the takeover of 988 acres (3,799 dunams) belonging to five Palestinian villages between the Etzion settlement bloc and Jerusalem. The move clears the way for construction of a new settlement named Gvaot.

The announcement follows the cabinet’s decision last week to take over the land in response to the June kidnapping and killing of three teenage Jewish boys by Hamas militants in the area.

Peace Now, which monitors settlement construction, said it was the largest Israeli appropriation of West Bank land in 30 years.

David Perl, head of the Gush Etzion local council, said the “declaration of some 4,000 dunams as state land paves the way for the establishment of Gvaot, a new city in Gush Etzion. I want to congratulate the prime minister and the government of Israel on their promotion of the initiative, and the defense minister and head of the civil administration on getting the decision approved.”

The appropriated land belongs to five Palestinian villages in the Bethlehem area: Jaba, Surif, Wadi Fukin, Husan and Nahalin.

The move is the latest of a series of plans designed to attach the Etzion settlement bloc to Jerusalem and its environs. Construction of a major settlement, known as Gvaot, at the location has been mooted by Israel since the year 2000. Last year, the government invited bids for the building of 1,000 housing units at the site, and 523 are currently under construction. Ten families now live on the site, which is adjacent to a yeshiva.

Justice Minister Tzipi Livni told IDF Radio last night that the timing of the announcement was inappropriate. “Israel now needs to be recruiting the world to prevent steps being taken against it, and to work together with those moderate forces” she said. “Anything that can turn attention toward us and arouse criticism against us hurts the very things we are trying to achieve.”

Palestinian officials did not seem very surprised last night by the Israeli cabinet decision. Immediately after last week’s cease-fire, Haaretz reported that senior officials in the Palestinian Authority were turning to the United Nations and the European Union warning that Israel was taking steps whose goal was to strengthen its hold on territories beyond the Green Line.

“It’s been proven that this government has no intention of moving forward with the peace process,” one senior PA official told Haaretz.

Nabil Abu Rudeineh, spokesman for Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, called on Israel yesterday to cancel the takeover. “This decision will lead to more instability. This will only inflame the situation after the war in Gaza,” Abu Rudeineh said.

Israel maintains that construction at Gvaot would not constitute a new settlement because the area is officially designated a neighborhood of a long-standing settlement, Alon Shvut. However, the area of Gvaot lies several miles away from Alon Shvut.

Article #2


Kerry calls Netanyahu to protest Israeli appropriation of West Bank land
The Israeli decision to declare 1,000 acres of land belonging to Palestinian villages in Gush Etzion as ‘state lands’ has drawn a deluge of international condemnation over the past few days.

By Barak Ravid | Sep. 3, 2014 | 8:00 AM | 9

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry talks to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on July 25, 2014, from his hotel room in the Egyptian capital, Cairo. Photo by AFP

U.S.: Israel’s West Bank land grab ‘counterproductive’ to two-state solution
By Reuters and Chaim Levinson
Sep. 1, 2014 | 12:47 AM | 3
Israel appropriates massive tract of West Bank land
By Chaim Levinson and Jack Khoury
Aug. 31, 2014 | 11:13 PM | 6
U.K., France, Egypt denounce Israeli appropriation of West Bank land
By William James | Sep. 1, 2014 | 7:59 PM | 29
Peace Now: Land grab mean to link Israel with West Bank, not just expand settlements
By Chaim Levinson | Sep. 3, 2014 | 12:06 PM

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry early on Wednesday spoke with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and sharply protested the decision to appropriate 4,000 dunams (1,000 acres) of land belonging to Palestinian villages in Gush Etzion and declare them state lands.

Peace Now, which monitors settlements, said this was the largest seizure of West Bank land in 30 years.
The United States expressed anger on Tuesday at the decision by the Israeli government to appropriate the land. Since the decision was announced on Sunday, U.S. Ambassador to Israel Dan Shapiro has conducted several conversations with senior Israeli officials to express the administration’s displeasure. A senior U.S. official said Washington is also angry that “Israel didn’t update us in advance and surprised us with this decision.”

U.S. State Department spokesman Jen Psaki on Tuesday issued a statement calling on Israel to reverse the move. She noted that the seizure of lands, together with plans for additional settlement construction in the West Bank and East Jerusalem – which America fears will begin shortly – sent a “very troubling message” and were “contrary to Israel’s stated goal of a two-state solution.”

European governments protested both publicly and in angry phone calls to the Prime Minister’s Office. British National Security Adviser Nigel Kim Darroch called his Israeli counterpart, Yossi Cohen, and conveyed Britain’s objections. Protests also came from France, Spain, and from Italian Foreign Minister Federica Mogherini, who was just appointed the EU’s next foreign minister.

The EU also condemned Israel’s move. “At this delicate moment, any action that might undermine stability and the prospect of constructive negotiations following the cease-fire in Gaza should be avoided,” the EU spokesman said.

A senior European diplomat said the Israeli decision was especially aggravating because of its timing – only days after a cease-fire had been reached with Hamas in Gaza, and as the international community was trying to help Israel advance such issues as preventing Hamas’ rearmament. “The Israelis have found the best way to put their finer in the eyes of all their friends in around the world,” said the European diplomat. He added that instead of focusing now on weakening Hamas and increasing supervision of the Strip, Israel not only makes such a move but presents it as a plan to build a whole new West Bank city, not just a “regular” settlement, as he put it.

Tent of Nations
-People Building Bridges-
P.O.Box 28, Bethlehem
Tel: +972 (0)2 274 30 71
Fax: +972 (0)2 276 74 46
Mobile: +972 (0)522 975 985

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