13/11/2013

Middle East peace talks...

Israel plans ‘unprecedented’ settlement expansion, 20,000 new units in the West Bank

Adam Horowitz on November 12, 2013

Haaretz reports on a massive expansion of Israeli settlements in the West Bank which reporters Chaim Levinson and Barak Ravid describe as “unprecedented” in recent years. Peace Now Director Yair Oppenheimer says the new tenders reveal Israel’s intention in the occupied territories, regardless of whatever negotiations are taking place.

Oppenheimer:

The [peace] talks are only for show. Behind the scenes, the government plans to destroy all chance of the two-state solution and flood the area with new settlements. The issue of the tenders is unequivocal evidence of Netanyahu’s intention of sabotaging the chances for an agreement.

The new tenders originally included over a thousand units in the E1 area which would connect Israeli settlements in East Jerusalem to the large settlement Ma’ale Adumim, effectively cutting the West Bank in half. President Obama has said that Israeli expansion in E1 “would be very difficult to square with a two-state solution,” and Netanyahu ordered a freeze on the E1 tenders after they were issued, apparently wanting to avoid even more confrontation with the U.S.

More from Haaretz:

The Housing Ministry has issued a tender to hire an architect to plan the construction of 1,200 housing units in the E1 area, which links Jerusalem and Ma’aleh Adumim in the West Bank, as part of a larger wave of tenders to construct some 20,000 housing units in the West Bank at a cost of NIS 45 million.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was updated on the plan earlier Tuesday and shortly afterward ordered to freeze all construction plans in the E1 area. Officials in Netanyahu’s office told Housing Minister Uri Ariel that he must immediately halt the tender for selecting an architect to plan the project in E1.

The broader plan of some 20,000 housing units encompasses several urban areas, as well as the Binyamin Regional Council and Gush Etzion. This is an unusually large and unprecedented planning tender in the last decade. The tenders are for planning only – some are skeleton plans, some are in a general urban building scheme and others in a detailed urban building scheme.

http://mondoweiss.net/2013/11/unprecedented-settlement-expansion.html

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April 14, 2004 - 'Arafat Warns U.S. Could Kill Middle East Peace'
http://www.commondreams.org/headlines04/0414-07.htm

'US could kill Middle East Peace'
http://kruitvat.wordpress.com/2013/11/10/us-could-kill-mi...

3 hours ago - Abbas: 'Cancel Building or Peace Talks Over'
http://www.israelnationalnews.com/News/News.aspx/173940#.UoLEmvk2aLc

25/10/2012

American 'Peace Process' killed 2,300 Palestinians

Israeli settlers from Bracha settlement throw stones at Palestinian farmers.jpg

Maan News Agency | June 15, 2012 

BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) — Israeli forces have killed nearly 2,300 Palestinians and injured 7,700 in Gaza over the last five years, the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs said Thursday.

Some 27 percent of the fatalities in Gaza were women and children, the UN agency said in a report highlighting the effects of Israel’s blockade.

The land, sea and air blockade of Gaza entered its sixth year on Thursday.

Under the blockade, exports have dropped to less than 3 percent of 2006 levels.

“The continued ban on the transfer of goods from Gaza to its traditional markets in the West Bank and Israel, along with the severe restrictions on access to agricultural land and fishing waters, prevents sustainable growth and perpetuates the high levels of unemployment,
food insecurity and aid dependency,” UNOCHA said.

Israel’s naval blockade has undermined the livelihood of 35,000 fishermen, and farmers have lost around 75,000 tons of produce each year due to Israeli restrictions along Gaza’s land border, it added.

Meanwhile, Israeli restrictions on imports have led to the growth of the smuggling trade. At least 172 Palestinians have been killed working in tunnels under Gaza’s border with Egypt, the report said.

Despite the risks, young men are still drawn to tunnel work in Gaza, where more than half the youth is unemployed and 44 percent of people are food insecure.

Mark Regev, spokesman for Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, said Thursday that the blockade was necessary because Gaza’s ruling party Hamas is a “terrorist organization.”

“All cargo going into Gaza must be checked because Gaza is controlled by Hamas, an internationally recognized terrorist organization,” Regev told Reuters in response to a petition by 50 aid groups, including six UN agencies, calling on Israel to lift the blockade.

http://occupiedpalestine.wordpress.com/

Foto: Israeli settlers from Bracha settlement throw stones at Palestinian farmers