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28 New Settlement Buildings Approved by Israeli Government

November 27, 2009

As the US is applauding Israel’s “generosity” in offering a 10 month settlement freeze as a goodwill gesture designed to appease Abbas and the international community, it is simultaneously approving new construction on illegal West Bank settlements.

The “grand gesture”, as with most of Israel’s “grand gestures” to the Palestinians, was full of fine print that makes it impossible for any Palestinian leader to agree to or accept. For example, this 10 month settlement freeze did not include those buildings already under construction (which are a lot, as every settlement I have passed on the highways lately has new buildings being constructed…). The “settlement freeze” also does not include East Jerusalem settlements–which are some of the most controversial because many Palestinians believe that Israel is slowly “judaizing” East Jerusalem and kicking out Palestinian families who are in the way.

Another fine print exception to Israel’s offer of a settlement freeze is that public buildings in settlements and Area C’s (land in the West Bank that is under Israeli control, currently over half of the West Bank…) will still be built. Israel will most likely use this “public building” clause in order to construct more than just synagogues and fire stations.

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