Monday, 29 June 2009

New York Times on Israel´s West Bank Settlements Politics

Resisting Calls, Israel Insists on Building in the West Bank

Published: June 26, 2009
The peace group’s call bolstered the Obama administration’s unequivocal position against settlement activity, the subject of an unusually sharp dispute with Israel.

JERUSALEM — Israeli officials held firm on Friday against a total settlement freeze in the West Bank, despite a statement from the so-called quartet of Middle East peacemakers urging a complete halt to all settlement construction.

The largely conservative Israeli government, led by Benjamin Netanyahu and his Likud Party, said it would not build new settlements and would not expropriate additional land for settlement construction, and said that the fate of the settlements would be decided in negotiations.

But until then, said Mark Regev, a spokesman for Mr. Netanyahu, “Our position is that normal life should continue inside those communities,” which includes building that Israel says is necessary for natural growth.

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