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News and views on Israel, Zionism and the war on terrorism.

May 30, 2003

Israel Steps Up “Settlement Roadmap”: Israeli Paper

The source for this piece is Turks.USA, not, I think, a pro-Western or pro-Israeli organization. But they cite Yediot Aharonot, the Israeli daily, for the story. Read with caution
JERUSALEM, May 29 – Only hours after adopting the “roadmap” which calls for freezing the settlement activity on occupied Palestinian lands, the Israeli Housing Minister prepared a project to build new 12,000 units in the West Bank and Gaza Strip, an Israeli paper reported Thursday, May 29.

The Israeli daily Yediot Aharonot said that the Israeli Housing Ministry “justified the project as a natural growth of the already existing settlements”. The paper called the move “the settlement roadmap,” in a clear mocking of the U.S.-backed roadmap for peace between Israel and the Palestinians.

Israeli Housing Ministry announced Friday, May 23, it has invited bidders to construct a new residential district in the largest Jewish settlement in the West Bank. The plan to build 502 apartments in Maale Adumim settlement, near (occupied) Jerusalem, is Israel's largest expansion project for a single settlement announced so far this year.

Under the roadmap for peace handed to the Israelis and Palestinians on April 30, Israel is required in the first phase to freeze all settlement building activities on occupied Palestinian lands.

The Israeli paper, for its part, considered the Israeli government’s clear “contradiction” as an evidence to the effect that “it (the Israeli government) applies double standards in dealing with the future of Palestinian territories”. [more]