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US 'lack of reaction' emboldens Israel
Published Friday 30/11/2012 (updated) 02/12/2012 12:09
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Israel plans to build 3,000 housing units in the "E-1" area.
BETHLEHEM (Ma'an) -- Israel's plans to build 3,000 new settlement units in the occupied West Bank reflects America's "lack of reaction" to unilateral moves, the PLO's envoy in Washington said Friday.

Ambassador Maen Areikat was responding to the announcement by Israeli government officials of plans to build 3,000 new settlement units and expedite building in the so-called E-1 area of the occupied West Bank, a day after Palestine was admitted to the UN in a vote opposed by the US and Israel.

The announcement “represents a challenge for those who are attacking Palestine’s recent effort at the United Nations,” Areikat said in a statement.

“It is exactly the lack of reaction on behalf of the US, and others in the international community, to continued Israel violations of previous agreements that pushed us to seek intervention at the UN.

"It is imperative that the world, especially the US, take a principled and balanced approach to compel Israel to abide by international law and its obligations.”

In Washington, the White House said the new Israeli settlement expansion plan was "counterproductive" and could make it harder to bring Israel and the Palestinians back to the negotiating table.

"We reiterate our longstanding opposition to settlements and East Jerusalem construction and announcements," White House spokesman Tommy Vietor said.

"We believe these actions are counterproductive and make it arder resume direct negotiations or achieve of a two state solution," Vietor said. "Direct negotiations remain our goal and we encourage all parties to take steps to make that easier to achieve."

Data from Peace Now on tenders issued by Israel for new settler homes

Earlier an Israeli official announced plans to build thousands of new homes for its settlers in the occupied West Bank and East Jerusalem, defying a UN vote that implicitly recognized Palestinian statehood there.

The official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's conservative government had authorized the construction of 3,000 housing units.

Yousef Munayyer, executive director of the Washington-based Jerusalem Fund and a columnist at The Daily Beast news site, said the plans fit an Israeli pattern.

"For the past 45 years, the geographic patterns of Israel's colonial project surrounding Jerusalem have made it clear that its intentions did not match its rhetoric regarding a desire for a two-state solution," Munayyer said in a statement.

"Ironically, the Palestinians went to the UN because they saw no benefit in a 'Peace Process' in which the US failed to restrain Israeli colonialism. Today, the response from the US has been to demand Palestinians return to these negotiations and the response from Israel has been continued land grabs. Both Israel and the US could not have done more to support the Palestinians' rationale."

1 ) Outlier / USA
01/12/2012 01:09
Actually, it probably is meant as a dose - however misguided - of reality.

2 ) Rising seas existential threat / Ireland
01/12/2012 01:51
The fact that the hardline ethnic cleansing government relied on the support of just nine countries, including the Marshall Islands, Micronesia, Nauru, Palau and Panama, which may not survive rising seas due to global climate change, has caused a degree of alarm in the Israeli regime and a new resolution to demand the U.S. Congress adopt strong action against global climate change which is now, on reflection, another top existential threat to the security of the racist state's colonisation plans

3 ) Julie / USA
01/12/2012 02:32
izrahell must enjoy proving to the world what a flagrant criminal entity it is. they're just giving Pals more reason to prosecute them at the ICC

4 ) southparkbear / usa
01/12/2012 06:24
the beautiful thing about unilateral steps is that each party can act without consideration of others. in fact israel's reaction is a perfect complementary step. while palestinians decide to draw a state in the air israel is drawing 1 on the ground. thus, not only 2 independent steps but they should not cross as long as palestinians stick to air and israel to ground

5 ) Elisheva / U.S.A.
01/12/2012 07:24
How generous, so the Israelis are now going to build homes for the Palestinians to live on their own land -- how nice of them to replace some of the homes that they destroyed. Oh, so the homes were not destroyed at all, all along they were meant to be replaced by newer better homes. Thank you.

6 ) davravidumn / USA
01/12/2012 08:23
This is pathetic. If the US says that continued settlement construction in the West Bank is "counterproductive" to peace negotiations, then why doesn't the US withhold aid to Israel until such action is stopped?

7 ) Mark of Lewiston / USA
01/12/2012 08:48
It is futility squared to try any negotiating before Israeli elections. The best thing Abbas could do is publish a comprehensive proposal, with maps for land swaps before the Israeli elections. Give the Israelis something to debate that is more than cottage cheese and war with Iran. The US cannot bring peace. Only Israelis and Palestinians can do that and they both have to want it more than conflict.

8 ) shirley / australia
01/12/2012 10:44
rhe US dosent care it VOTED NO in reality it dosent want pal state but cant do naything about it but forget help will always be fake and will never lift finger honest to help calling agin for sanctions from suporters and start to manouver away from OSLO there is nothing to negoiate pal recources belong to pals and only dimantle settlements security time for pals to start new palns and can ask for peace keepers if violence continues GAZA and west bankand if denied by US violence UNSC fault

01/12/2012 21:45
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