Israeli soldiers evacuating a Palestinian woman from a building in Al-Makhour, north-west of Beit Jala, in the West Bank city of Bethlehem yesterday. According to reports, the building was to be demolished as the owners did not have the necessary permits.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has instructed his staff to plan for a new neighbourhood in a West Bank settlement, near where Israeli teenager Rina Shnerb was killed in an explosion last week. The flurry of activity comes amid a massive manhunt by Israeli troops for her killers and warnings from Lebanon's Hizbollah leader of an attack, weeks before an unprecedented repeat Israeli election on Sept 17. Many see such settlements as illegal. But with the polls looming, Mr Netanyahu is wary of losing the backing of hardliners who support such measures. Yesterday, he ordered the Israeli military to halve fuel transfers to Gaza in response to rocket attacks from the strip, raising tensions along Israel's southern border, on top of a threat from the north amid reported Israeli strikes on Iranian targets in Syria, Iraq and Lebanon.