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Israeli forces kill Palestinian in Al-Arrub
Israel: West Bank settlement starts double in 2013
Published Monday 03/03/2014 (updated) 05/03/2014 20:46
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Palestinians and Israeli activists hold a banner reading "No peace
with settlements" as they take part in a demonstration near the
West bank town of Jericho, on Jan. 31, 2014 (AFP Ahmad Gharabli)
JERUSALEM (AFP) -- Starts on new settlement building in the occupied West Bank increased by 123.7 percent last year, Israeli government data released Monday showed.

The release by the Central Bureau of Statistics came hours before Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was to meet at the White House with President Barack Obama, who has criticized settlement construction.

"We have seen more aggressive settlement construction over the last couple years than we've seen in a very long time," Obama said in an interview with Bloomberg View columnist Jeffrey Goldberg published on Sunday.

"If Palestinians come to believe that the possibility of a contiguous sovereign Palestinian state is no longer within reach, then our ability to manage the international fallout is going to be limited."

The Palestinians have long viewed Israeli settlement construction as a major obstacle to peace talks, arguing that Israel is actively building on land that should be part of their future state.

Israeli settlement watchdog Peace Now said that government figures showed that work began on 2,534 settlement housing units in 2013 compared to 1,133 the year before.

"It's official, the Netanyahu government is committed to only one thing: building settlements. It shows the lack of commitment to negotiations," a Peace Now statement said.

Obama is expected to try to persuade Netanyahu to accept a US framework for final peace talks with the Palestinians, but the Israeli leader has vowed to resist all "pressures."

Washington brought the Israelis and Palestinians back to the negotiating table in July following a three-year hiatus, after the last talks broke down in 2010 over the settlements dispute.
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1 ) J / usa
03/03/2014 21:00
Good! all i got to say. expand israeli land. drive palestinians to jordan

2 ) Brian Cohen / Israel
04/03/2014 19:38
Matches the massive increase in Palestinian violence.

3 ) Tom / USA
05/03/2014 00:13
The words "Israeli Settlement" should always be proceeded by the word SEGREGATED. The pro-apartheid ziotrolls will shrivel in the glare of that unapologetic accuracy. Apparently "Israel" is any piece of dirt where a Jew with a gun is standing. Zionists should go stand in Antarctica.

4 ) Colin Wright / USA
05/03/2014 03:13
To J #1 and Brian #2. You keep cheerleading. I couldn't ask for more.

5 ) Rami / Palestine
05/03/2014 14:12
#1 I'll be driven to Jordan after your driven to the moon.

6 ) Mel / USA
05/03/2014 17:58
Way to go Zionism! Build baby,build!But know,that you are MORE alone now than ever before,except for a reluctant& more isolated USG which can't WAIT to get Israel off its drooping back&bank account! Change is constant,Israel.And violent Zionism is digging Israel into a hateful black hole away from common-sense,with no SHOVEL! What Zionism builds,can be razed. It's all just walls & floors! But,permanent indigenous roots still stay,underneath your temporary structures. Palestine will be FREE!

7 ) Just / A Word
05/03/2014 19:37
The words "Tom / USA" should always be proceeded by the words NOT VERY SMART
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Israeli forces kill Palestinian in Al-Arrub
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