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4-year-old Israeli child killed by mortar fire in Nahal Oz
Israel says won't retreat on settlement plan
Published Monday 03/12/2012 (updated) 05/12/2012 20:45
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A Bedouin encampment of the Jahalin tribe is seen in front of the
Jewish settlement of Maale Adumim, near Jerusalem December 3,
2012.(Reuters/Ammar Awad)
JERUSALEM (Reuters) -- Israel will not backtrack on a settlement expansion plan that has drawn strong international condemnation, an official in Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's office said on Monday.

"Israel will continue to stand by its vital interests, even in the face of international pressure, and there will be no change in the decision that was made," the official said.

Britain, France and Sweden summoned the Israeli ambassadors in their respective capitals to hear appeals for Netanyahu to reverse course and deep disapproval of the plan to erect 3,000 more homes in the occupied West Bank and East Jerusalem.

"The announcement in and of itself is an assault not just on Palestine, but also on the will of the international community," Palestinian Authority spokeswoman Nour Odeh told Ma'an.

"The settlement plans are a strategic blow to the two state solution, which the world agrees is the only acceptable formula to resolve the conflict," Odeh added.

Israel's intransigence to the overwhelming condemnation by the international community is further proof that the Palestinian UN bid was the right path, Odeh said.

"It is incumbent upon international actors to take a very clear stand, in actions and not only statements, to stop the construction," she added.

Israel announced the planned settlement expansion on Friday, a day after the UN General Assembly granted de facto recognition to Palestinian statehood over Israeli and US objections.

All settlements are illegal under international law and and are routinely condemned by the international community.

The latest Israeli plan, however, also included "preliminary zoning and planning work" for settler housing in the so-called "E1" zone east of Jerusalem.

Israeli construction there could bisect the occupied West Bank, potentially cutting Palestinians off from Jerusalem and further undermining the possibility for a contiguous state.

Ma'an staff in Bethlehem contributed to this report
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1 ) UN resolution 66/18 / USA
03/12/2012 18:34
Reiterates its determination that any actions taken by Israel, the occupying Power, to impose its laws, jurisdiction and administration on the Holy City of Jerusalem are illegal and therefore null and void and have no validity whatsoever, and calls upon Israel to immediately cease all such illegal and unilateral measures;

2 ) Sarah / Holland
03/12/2012 18:42
They just know the world don't do anything, just like ca 110 years.

3 ) Big Mike cutting to the chase / USA
03/12/2012 18:48
Laws are no better than they are enforced and until Thursday's vote at the UNGA giving recognised Palestinian statehood, there was no way these international laws could be enforced in behalf of a non state entity. The game changer is Pals recognised sovereign statehood status to the Green Line. Let's see if the laws are now going to be enforced as they should be and as the laws require !!!

4 ) John Hillary / NMew Zealand
03/12/2012 20:09
1) Nice UN Resolution, which has, along with all similar ones, never had any teeth. Just the usual fiddling while Rome burns.

5 ) Yehuda Solomon / Israel
03/12/2012 20:58
@ 3), If the U.N., EU, Quartet, etc. wants to enforce any political, economic, other sanctions against us, so be it. Everybody can cuss and curse us till the pyramids are inverted and it won't mean a damn thing (and no doubt everybody already is). We in Israel UNDERSTAND the frustration the world feels with us. So the Big Question remains: Are we prepared to defy world opinion and judgment forever ??? ... Answer: You're damn right we are, Insha'All_h (and at least I'm honest about it).

6 ) Julie / USA
03/12/2012 21:00
"Israel will continue to stand by its vital interests, even in the face of international pressure, and there will be no change in the decision that was made," .......... so, in other words, they want Pals to sue them at the ICC

7 ) @ #s 1, 2, & 3 / USA too
03/12/2012 21:02
"The world CAN NOT do anything, just like ca 110 years", and there are perhaps 100 old Israel/Palestine related UN resolutions, and this new one is "going to be enforced" NO differently or at all.
The PLO didn't retreat on the UN Bid, and Israel won't retreat on settlements either, leaving the new "State of Palestine" to accept the consequences of their government's UN bid, just like Gaza had to accept the consequences of it's Hamas government's Fajr-5 rockets fired at Israeli cities !!

8 ) "Insha'All_h" / Big Mike
04/12/2012 00:05
5 ) Yehuda Solomon ; "You're damn right we are, Insha'All_h", Thing about it is God is not willing that Izrael continue in the spirit of arrogance of which you show a good example. He will bust the pride of the arrogant. Isa.5 [8] Woe unto them that join house to house, that lay field to field, till there be no place, that they may be placed alone in the midst of the earth!
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