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Peace Now: Settlement building doubles since freeze
Published Wednesday 07/09/2011 (updated) 09/09/2011 09:44
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BETHLEHEM (Reuters) -- According to Peace Now's latest report released Wednesday, construction in West Bank settlements has doubled since the end of a building freeze which ended US brokered peace talks between Israel and the Palestinians last year.

Peace Now's Settlement Watch Director of Projects Hagit Ofran told Reuters that the settlement construction rate over the past year has allowed settlers to bridge the gap created during a 10-month moratorium that ended last year.

"Our report shows that there were almost 2,600 units started in settlements after the settlement freeze which means that all of the freeze [achievements] was already erased," Ofran told Reuters in her Jerusalem office.

"The number of construction in Israel is half the number of construction in settlements and we believe that the government of Israel is working against the Israeli interest which is not to build in settlements and to make peace with the Palestinians," she added.

According to the report, based on the analysis of aerial photos of West Bank settlements and field visits in the ten months since the end of the building freeze, 2,598 new housing units were being built and the construction of 2,149 new housing units were completed.

The report showed that at least 3,700 units were under construction during the period of the last 10 months.

US brokered peace talks have been frozen since the Palestinians walked out in September last year over Israeli settlement building.

Ghassan Khatib, Head of Palestinian Governmental Press Office told Reuters that the report only reaffirms Palestinian claims.

"[The Peace Now report] reaffirms the danger of the situation in the occupied Palestinian areas.

"It also assures the credibility of the Palestinian Authority, which was always calling for international efforts to force Israel to respect the Palestinian international legitimacy and rights by halting the expansion of settlements, which are internationally illegal and are blocking any real peace process," Khatib said from the West Bank city of Ramallah.

In the absence of negotiations, Palestinians plan to apply in two weeks for full membership of the United Nations, as part of a campaign to win international endorsement of sovereignty within the West Bank, Gaza Strip and East Jerusalem.

Israel and the United States oppose the unilateral move, calling on Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas to return to talks.

Israel disputes Palestinian claims to all of the West Bank, saying a return to pre-1967 war borders would jeopardize Israeli security and citing historical links to an area the government calls by its biblical name, Judea and Samaria.

Some 500,000 Jews live in the West Bank and East Jerusalem, also captured in the 1967 conflict. There are about 2.5 million Palestinians in the same territory.
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1 ) need a / mathematician
07/09/2011 14:15

Peace Now must NOT have a mathematician working for them,
or they would know that doubling the construction rate of ZERO
before the moratorium would still be ZERO now !!!


2 ) Mel / USA
07/09/2011 16:56
Oh Lord! Have U e'er seen such an ugly thing as 'Fortress Zion''? It's like a concrete concentration camp for Jews,built by Zionists? All on stolen land&resources,filled with hate,bigotry,lies & greed? What a dive! Isrl's building its own Jewish PROJECT slums. What a waste of a gift,given to Jews,by WW2 super powers,to amend 4 the Nazi atrocities! Now,they build new ethno-ghettoes? No wonder Jews R leaving Isrl &going back to EU/US,&they can't get more to come,'cept Africans. UGLY!

3 ) Colin Wright / USA
07/09/2011 21:27
To 'need a' #1 'Peace Now must NOT have a mathematician working for them, or they would know that doubling the construction rate of ZERO before the moratorium would still be ZERO now !!' Not really. You're assuming Israel ever honored the freeze. She didn't, and to assume otherwise is silly. Israel never honors her commitments.

4 ) Colin Wright / USA
07/09/2011 21:37
Sorta 'Israel math.' Twice nothing is indeed something, since nothing was actually something in the first place.

5 ) Colin Wright / USA
07/09/2011 21:40
'...citing historical links to an area the government calls by its biblical name, Judea and Samaria.' I can't say as I blame you, but once again you are unconsciously buying into Israeli propaganda. Those who today call themselves 'Jews' aren't descended from those who called themselves 'Jews' and lived in 'Judea and Samaria.' The descendants of the latter today call themselves 'Palestinians.'

6 ) @ Mel #2 / Prayer
07/09/2011 22:01

You start a prayer with "Oh Lord", and, I'm absolutely sure,
that He would NOT appreciate your making a sentence,
with the two words "ugly" & (His people) "Jews" together !!!


7 ) BEN JABO / ISRAEL
08/09/2011 01:46
2 ) Mel / USA
Of course I have, you're pretending that you moved to Gaza, while you were still safe as roach in the USA
Stolen Land ? As I've asked many a time, show me where mention of it is made in the Koran, surely if it belonged to people other than the Jews, they would ahve mentioned it
It wasn't given to the Jews by WW2, you have to look back about 25 years or so, to find the reason
As per usual your knowledtge of history, just plain stinks, try the Balfour Declaration, you nitwit

8 ) Colin Wright / USA
09/09/2011 06:52
To @ Mel#2 #6 '"ugly" & (His people) "Jews" together !!!' Well, the Jews are only 'His people' according to the Jews, of course. If you read the parable of the evil husbandmen, it's quite clear that the Christian view is that Jews forfeited that status when 'they killed Christ,' and of course the Qu'ran defines Muslims, not Jews, as 'the children of Abraham.' Try to wrap your head around the thought that the Torah is not universally seen as the last word.
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