Response to Israel finds another obstacle


Israel plans to build more than 6,000 new homes in Jewish settlements in the West Bank, an Israeli newspaper has reported, in a move that would offset its imminent withdrawal from the Gaza Strip....

On Sunday, the Israeli cabinet approved Israel's planned pullout from the Gaza Strip, which will make it illegal for 8,000 settlers to remain in Gaza and four West Bank settlements after July 20. However, a second cabinet decision on Sunday approved changes to the route of the West Bank barrier, and the changes could convince Palestinians that the Israeli prime minister, Ariel Sharon, intends to use the Gaza withdrawal as cover to annex the major Jewish settlements to Israel....

Under the plan, Maaleh Adumim, a settlement of 30,000 people outside Jerusalem, would be expanded by 2,100 housing units, the newspaper reported. Yedioth Ahronoth said the Israeli defence minister, Shaul Mofaz, had approved the marketing of the housing projects....

A spokeswoman for the ILA declined to discuss the report, while Mr Mofaz's office released a short statement saying he had approved building permits for "a limited number of housing units" in settlement blocs, but gave no figures....

The latest reports of new settlement homes will only reinforce those fears. The changes approved on Sunday place the major settlement blocs of Ma'ale Adumim and Gush Etzion on the Israeli side, and effectively annex about 7% of the West Bank to the Jewish state....

Full report: http://www.guardian.co.uk/israel/Story/0,2763,1425402,00.html


Created By: Zak Martin