Subsidies, Commandos & Private Contractors.

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A few news reports from Al Jazeera English…

Israel floods settlements with subsidies

Israel has announced a partial moratorium on settlement construction. Yet, at the same time, it has invested in those already established in a bid to solidify their existence.

In the Jordan Valley there are 22 settlements viewed as illegal under international law.

But, as Al Jazeera’s Nicole Johnston reports, they benefit from a system of Israeli funding specifically focused on kick-starting settler economies.

Israel vows action against settlers

Give with one hand (above) and take with the other:

The Israeli army is planning to use special commando units, unmanned spy planes and mobile phone-jamming equipment to prevent new settlement construction in the occupied West Bank, according to a leaked report.

Army officials said the plan is only a “first draft” for potential measures to enforce a 10-months settlement suspension announced last month.

Inspectors tasked with monitoring the suspension have been repeatedly clashing with settlers since the halt and the leaked document is expected to raise tensions further.

Israel ‘outsourcing’ the occupation

Right from the Pentagon/BlackwaterXe playbook:

Concern is growing among Palestinians in the occupied West Bank as Israel steps up its use of private security contractors to patrol Palestinian territories.

The private firms are being used to help patrol checkpoints and protect illegal settlements in what has become a multi-billion dollar business for Israeli security companies.

But as Al Jazeera’s Nicole Johnston reports, some Palestinians are concerned that the private companies are using a different set of rules than the army, and this has raised new legal issues.

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