Over 1,300 new settlement homes approved for construction in East Jerusalem 8Nov10 November 10, 2010

Palestine Note -  8 November 2010

Washington – Over 1,300 new homes are set for construction beyond the Green Line in East Jerusalem, the Israeli Interior Ministry announced on Monday.

The announcement cocincides with Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu’s trip to the US, including an appearance before the Jewish Federations of North America in New Orleans and a meeting with Vice President Joe Biden, also on Monday.

Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat accused Netanyahu of sabotaging already frail direct negotiations, which have been suspended over failure to reach a compromise on settlement construction.

“We thought that Netanyahu was going to the US to stop settlement activity and restart negotiations but it is clear to us that he is determined to destroy the talks. He has shut all the doors to negotiations and we hold him responsible for destroying them,” he said.

The officials who made the recent construction announcement have said that it could take years before any construction begins. Erekat said that regardless of any bureaucratic element that would hold up construction, the move was still a sign of “bad faith”.

Earlier this year, a diplomatic row was sparked during a visit from Joe Biden when new settlement construction plans were announced. Biden was reportedly infuriated by the announcement in March, though the US reaction to the latest announcement is not immediately clear.

The US has repeatedly called on Israel to halt settlement construction, and has strongly urged for a renewal of the ten month moratorium that expired in September. Netanyahu has countered that such an agreement has no support in his government, and that pushing for an extension of the settlement freeze would weaken his coalition.

If you liked this article, please consider making a donation to Australians for Palestine by clicking on the PayPal link
Thank You.
Bookmark and Share

Add a Comment

required, use real name
required, will not be published
optional, your blog address