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Israeli PM vows to build in Jerusalem despite criticism
Published Wednesday 19/12/2012 (updated) 20/12/2012 16:07
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Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu (C) speaks during his
meeting with ambassadors to Israel from Asia, in Jerusalem Dec. 19.
(Reuters/Ronen Zvulun)
JERUSALEM (Reuters) -- Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said on Wednesday his government would press ahead with expanding Jewish settlements around Jerusalem despite Western criticism of its plan to build 6,000 more homes on Palestinian land.

In addition to several thousand housing units approved earlier this month, Israeli media said initial approval was granted on Wednesday for construction of another 3,400 units in Jerusalem and in the West Bank.

Israel captured East Jerusalem in a 1967 war and annexed it in a move never recognized internationally. Palestinians want the area to be capital of a state they seek to establish in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip, land also captured by Israel.

"We are going to build in Jerusalem for all its residents, this is something that has been done by all previous governments and this is something that my government will continue to do," Netanyahu said in a meeting with foreign ambassadors.

"Jerusalem has been the capital of the Jewish people for 3,000 years," Netanyahu said, "Imagine that you would limit construction in your own capital, it doesn't make sense."

Netanyahu launched his latest settlement expansion push after Palestinians won de facto recognition as a state in a United Nations vote last month.

Israeli analysts see the settlement drive also as an effort by Netanyahu to enhance support for his right-wing Likud party against other hawkish rivals in a Jan. 22 parliamentary election he is expected to win.

Israeli settlements on occupied Palestinian land are illegal under international law.

The United States and Europe have strongly condemned Israel's latest building plans, and Israeli ambassadors were summoned earlier this month for a reprimand in at least half a dozen European capitals.

State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland said this week that Washington was "deeply disappointed that Israel insists on continuing this pattern of provocative action."

Nuland said settlement expansion put the goal of achieving a two-state solution already delayed by peace talks being stalled for two years, "further at risk."

Nimr Hammad, a spokesman for President Mahmoud Abbas told Palestinian radio the Palestinians may protest "to the (UN) Security Council and seek a resolution there" against Israel's latest settlement plans.
1 ) LOL what other country in / the world
19/12/2012 19:25
needs external approval to build its capital?

2 ) Ahavah (fr) / Il.
19/12/2012 19:29
As a sovereign State, you do what you have to do. You don't ask for permission from anyone. You don't apologize to anyone. You just do it!

3 ) JoeFattal / USA
19/12/2012 20:24
It is debatable if you say that Israel is a sovereign State. If someone ask Mr. Netanyahu to draw a line where Israel border is I bet he can come out with an answer. What Israel did is partitioned Palestinian territories and build right in between. By doing so they include themselves with the Palestinians. So in reality what we have is a State within a State, and you cannot exclude either one of them, and the irony about is Israel that got caught right in the middle.

4 ) @ Joe #3 / All, None, & the Rest
19/12/2012 21:03
If someone asks Mr. Netanyahu to draw a line where Israel border is,
he WILL come out with an ANSWER", IN THREE PARTS:
1- ALL OF JERUSALEM IS ISRAEL (both East & West), and
2- NONE OF GAZA OR (the West Bank) AREAS A & B, and
3- THE REST of the disputed territories lie will be determined by negotiations,
when and if the Palestinians ever decide to negotiate !!!

5 ) JoeFattal / USA
19/12/2012 21:33
@4) Negotiation for what. Do you really think that Israel going to give up the settlements and hand them to the Palestinians. Of course not. Its Israel that has to negotiate with the Palestinians, they are the one that found themselves right in their lap by building settlements between Gaza and the West Bank regardless if its area A, B, C, or D. And as far as Jerusalem is concern it is not all for Israel. Jerusalem was never recognize by the international community as Israel capital.

6 ) Anna / USA
19/12/2012 21:44
This is hard for me to understand, since so many Palestinians are without homes in refugee camps. So what are the Palestinians supposed to do, be absorbed into the rest of the Arab world, and the ones in proximity should just become Israeli-Arabs? Is Palestine losing all it's hope in front of my eyes? This, tragedy as it is, is just something we all have front row seats to see in our lives. Can someone just point blank say what is the truth here?

7 ) Abdul-Rahman / Palestine
19/12/2012 22:04
In response to the Zionist propagandist in Comment #1, international law argues against you; "2. Affirms that the enactment of the 'basic law' by Israel constitutes a VIOLATION of international law and does NOT affect the continued application of the Geneva Convention relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War, of 12 August 1949, in the Palestinian and other Arab territories occupied since June 1967, including JERUSALEM"

8 ) Abdul-Rahman / Palestine
19/12/2012 22:06
That is United Nation's SECURITY COUNCIL Resolution 478 that ruled as completely illegal the Zionist's attempt to ILLEGALLY annexed Al-Quds; "(a) All Member States to accept this decision; (b) Those States that have established diplomatic missions at Jerusalem to withdraw such missions from the Holy City;" So the Zionist fool in "comment #1" is nothing but a Zionist propagandist liar, and even the mythological "Bible" says the Jebusites were the first in Al-Quds/Jebus!

9 ) ian / australia
20/12/2012 01:05
It's worse when he smiles.

10 ) Mel / USA
20/12/2012 02:41
LOL! #2:"Sovereign"?That's funny!Since when were parasites 'sovereign',LOL? Israels' an old postWW2 white-Zionist FOB,& a post Cold War US annex/weapons stash(off international record books).Hey!Obama,U hear that?Israel's sovereign(independent,self-sustaining,with defined borders).STOP the ILLEGAL US-TAX CHECKS to the parasite & SAVE THE HOST! Stop GIVING Israel free WMD's!U can apply SANCTIONS until Israel ENDS its ROGUE-NUCLEAR occupying-state-STATUS,on stolen Arab land!Cut the umbilical cord!

11 ) Yehuda Solomon / Israel
20/12/2012 03:52
Let's get this straight (and please, don't anybody use my own words against me and say, "No, Yehuda !!! YOU get this STRAIGHT !!!" and lecture me ... As I'm a regular reader here--as many of you are--you damn well know that's useless so save your breath): 1), 2), Damn-WELL said and Thank you. 3), You actually have good points. So for now let me just say that's why (eventually) we'll be formally annexing the W. Bank (and, yes, Gaza, too, believe it or not) and all Palestinians (cont.)

12 ) Yehuda Solomon / Israel
20/12/2012 04:08
will go to Jordan/Palestine, their nation. This "State" within a "State" (regardless what everybody else thinks) won't remain. Bet on it. @ 4), Regarding point #1: 100% correct; point #2: correct for now, but not ultimately (see above answer to 2)); point #3: forget about the when and if and you may as well start thinking of replacing the term disputed with: in process of being annexed. 5), 100% right about our settlements and that's why forget about negotiations. As far as (cont.)

13 ) Yehuda Solomon / Israel
20/12/2012 04:25
we're concerned--and that's all that damn matters--how many times do I have to say this ???--Jerusalem IS all Israel's. 6), So let me make this easy for you to understand. All Palestinians are supposed to go EAST of the Jordan River to Jordan/Palestine, their nation, where they have the best hopes for peace, prosperity and happiness. There's plenty of room for them there, the refugee camps can be all gone there, the money will follow them there, and THERE lies their future. THAT's the truth.

14 ) @ anna-6 / USA too
20/12/2012 05:21
I agree that "Palestinians are without homes in refugee camps," so when - Israel builds 6,000 homes in it's capital of Jerusalem, - Palestine should build 6,000 homes in it's two capitals of Ramallah and Gaza City, and - Lebanon, Syria, Jordan, Egypt, Iraq, Saudi Arabia, etc. should all build 6,000 homes in their capitals too for Palestinians are without homes, and LET'S FIX THE PROBLEM IN A REAL WAY, vs. some fantasy !!!

15 ) @ Joe-5 / USA too
20/12/2012 05:33
Yes, I "really think that Israel is going to give up" some settlements, and some Area C lands, BUT ONLY in exchange for: - secure borders, free from any Islamic threats, - Arab acceptance of Israel's Jewish character, and - an end to the conflict forever, without refugee return !!! "Do you really think that" Arabs are ever going to accept that ?? And, if NOT, you and the Arab/Muslim world can expect Palestine to remain what it is today, just a 9-Letter word, on UNGA stationary !!!

16 ) John Hillary / Promised Land
20/12/2012 08:50
6) I think you just did, Anna, at least in the short term. Whether it will all crash and burn, who knows, it's certainly very combustible. We know what has happened for the last 100 years. Israel became the naughty boy who got away with murder, in fact was egged on by bystanders. Now it's all grown up and who can stop it and turn it around. The world has ended up with a little monster and nobody wants to tangle with its temper tantrums and highway robbery, and it knows it has them over a barrel.

17 ) Bill / USA
20/12/2012 20:55
"We are going to build in Jerusalem for all its residents, this is something that has been done by all previous governments and this is something that my government will continue to do," Netanyahu said in a meeting with foreign ambassadors. HOW MANY OF tHESE HOUSES ARE FOR PALESTINIANS? The PM states that they are "for all its residents" or does he really mean "JEWS ONLY" I am curious to know, it would make a difference in my opinion.

18 ) Anna / USA
21/12/2012 01:49
Has the Israeli gov't ever built any houses for Palestinians? There is record of many houses being torn down instead. How many olive trees have been buldozed? How much water diverted and appropriated? Have any Israeli homes been torn down? Any Israeli trees? Any Israeli water diverted to help Palestinians? (thanks all for responding to me)

19 ) @ Bill-17 / USA too
21/12/2012 04:42
I read on the Israel news media, that one part of - a Jewish section in East Jerusalem was halted at least temporarily, because it was incompletely planned (insufficient roads, etc.), while - an Arab section (Salafah) is going ahead in East Jerusalem, as planned !!

20 ) The Criticism / Noise, Fury, & Nothing
23/12/2012 00:52
- The "Israeli PM will keep his vow to build in Jerusalem", and - The Palestinian PM can do no more than make a lot of Noise, show a lot of Fury, but it will all Signifying Nothing in reality !!
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