New settlements in al-Khalil

A picture shows on October 17,2017 the area of an Israeli base in the center of al-Khalil (Hebron) in the occupied West Bank, where 31 settlers units are going to be built. (By AFP)

These are the headlines we are tracking for you in this episode of On the News Line:

New settlements in Hebron 

For the first time in 15 years, Israel has approved new settler housing in Hebron. 31 units will be constructed in Hebron's Old City as part of a bigger settlement plan for the occupied West Bank. Peace Now, an Israeli activist organization, has lashed out at the regime for the illegal project. On the other hand, Issa Amro, for the Youth Against Settlements, said the plan would "make life even more unbearable for Palestinians living in the Old City." About 35,000 Palestinians and 700 Jewish settlers are living in the area where the housing permit has been granted. Human rights groups have previously voiced concerns about Palestinians' situation in this area.

Kurdish crisis

The people of Iraq were seeing a period of relative calm after government forces backed by popular units managed to drive terrorists out of their last major stronghold in Mosul. But a political turmoil caused by Kurdish authorities’ much-criticized secession created an atmosphere of tension in the country. The Kurdish Peshmerga forces played a key role in the liberation of Iraq’s Daesh-occupied regions in Kirkuk and Sinjar. However, a recent secession vote put forward by Kurdish President Masoud Barzani further fueled concerns that the Kurds were seeking to seize control of the areas across northern and eastern Iraq. But the Peshmerga pulled out of disputed areas and opened the way for government troops to move into the strategically important territories.


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