Protesters in Beirut decry Trump plan

Hundreds of protesters gathered near the US Embassy in Beirut against a White House plan for ending the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. The US plan heavily favored Israel, granting Palestinians limited self-rule in parts of the occupied West Bank. (Feb. 2)

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Arab Israelis protest against Trump’s peace plan | AFP

Arab Israelis protest against the US-brokered proposal for a settlement of the Middle East conflict, in the town of Baqa al-Gharbiya in nothern Israel. President Donald Trump’s long delayed Middle East peace plan won support in Israel but was bitterly rejected by Palestinians facing possible Israeli annexation of key parts of the West Bank.

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White House releases map of proposed Israeli, Palestinian state borders | AFP

The White House releases its proposal for the future borders of Israeli and Palestinian states as part of US President Donald Trump’s controversial peace plan. The map provided by the White House shows the West Bank area containing some 15 Israeli settlements, connected to the Gaza Strip area by only a tunnel. SOUNDBITE

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Unread post piles up at defunct Palestinian parliament | AFP

It has been more than a decade since the Palestinian Legislative Council (PLC) last met, due to infighting between Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas’s Fatah and Islamists Hamas. The two sides are currently talking up the prospect of new elections, the first since 2006, but for now the key Palestinian political institution, located in the occupied West Bank, lies empty.

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Tourists dressed as Santa hit Jerusalem for Orthodox Christmas | AFP

Some 50 people from around the world descend upon Jerusalem dressed as Santa Claus to celebrate Orthodox Christmas. The tour of the Holy Land included a swim in the Dead Sea, south of the West Bank city of Jericho.

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Mysterious artist Banksy unveils dark nativity in Bethlehem | AFP

A manger scene juxtaposed against concrete blocks seemingly pierced by a mortar shell — with Christmas looming, the latest Bethlehem offering by secretive artist Banksy appears in the Israeli-occupied West Bank.

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US softens position on Israeli settlements

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo announced Monday that the U.S. is softening its position on Israeli settlements in the occupied West Bank, the latest in a series of Trump administration moves that weaken Palestinian claims to statehood. (Nov. 18)

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Palestinian farmers rush to harvest their olive trees across Israel separation barrier | AFP

Early every morning, a group of Palestinians farmers from the occupied West Bank, hurry to harvest olives from their lands which currently lie on the Israeli side of the controversial separation barrier, after having crossed the Beit Awwa checkpoint by special permission from the Israeli army. Israel started the construction of its controversial separation barrier in 2002 during the second Palestinian Intifada (uprising).

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Demolished Palestinian house becomes conflict symbol | AFP

The piles of rubble that Latifa Naji used to call home have become an unlikely symbol in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. The two-storey cement home in the Al-Amari refugee camp in the occupied West Bank has been demolished by the Israeli army four times, most recently this month, as punishment for attacks carried out by the 71-year-old’s sons. For Palestinians the desire to keep rebuilding symbolises an ability to withstand Israeli collective punishment and a refusal to be forced from their homes.

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AP Top Stories August 16 P

Here’s the latest for Friday August 16th: Tlaib says she won’t visit West Bank relatives; Earnhardt’s plane bounced, went off runway; Photo of man sought in NYC subway scare released; Greenland says it’s not for sale.

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Here’s the latest for Friday August 16th: Israel says Rep. Rashida Tlaib can go to West Bank; Trump says voters have no choice but him; Truck drives through protest; Dale Earnhardt Jr. survives crash landing.

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Eid reprieve: Palestinian economic woes save sacrificial lambs | AFP

Vendors sell sheep at a market in the northern West Bank town of Nablus ahead of the Muslim Eid al-Adha, feast of the sacrifice, celebrations. The financial crisis in the Palestinian territories is causing hard times for residents but may lead to an unexpected reprieve for many sheep as locals struggle to afford an animal to sacrifice.

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