Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu rejected the Palestinian claim that new construction in Judea and Samaria constitutes a violation of the agreements reached at the start of the current, ongoing peace negotiations.
Netanyahu accused the Palestinians of attempting to manufacture a crisis. He said they knew well at the beginning of the talks that Israel accepted no limitation on construction beyond the “green line.” The prime minister emphasized that Israel is living up to all the agreements that had been reached before the start of the new talks.
Netanyahu was speaking at the Sunday meeting of the Likud ministers, but his statement was publicized only Sunday night, in response to angry Palestinian reactions to the plan to construct 1,859 new housing units in Judea, Samaria and East Jerusalem.
According to AFP, the PLO is threatening to go to the UN Security Council over Israel’s announcement on Sunday of tenders to build new homes east of the “green line.”
“The PLO is considering a mechanism to go the Security Council and the UN against these new Israeli decisions, especially as there are international resolutions that consider settlements illegal,” senior PLO member Wassel Abu Youssef said.
According to Peace Now, which lovingly monitors Jewish activities in Biblical Judea, Samaria and Jerusalem, at least 1,031 plots were offered by Israel’s housing and construction ministry in the land where Abraham, Isaac and Jacob once herded their flocks, and that successful bidders would be able to start construction shortly.
Late last week, PLO Executive Committee member Hanan Ashrawi said that Israel is not interested in the two-state solution, rather in only creating “greater Israel.”
“The Israeli occupation is exposing its true intentions of creating ‘greater Israel’ rather than a two-state solution,” said Ashrawi. “The Israeli government has proven once again that it is not a partner for peace nor a member of the international community that respects the global rule of law.”
Ashrawi said the Israeli announcements “are the latest affront directed at U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and the U.S. administration’s efforts,” which led to resumption of Palestinian-Israeli peace negotiations in July.
Only one question remains, then: if the talks are off, can we have the released killer prisoners back?
About the Author: Yori Yanover has been a working journalist since age 17, before he enlisted and worked for Ba'Machane Nachal. Since then he has worked for Israel Shelanu, the US supplement of Yedioth, JCN18.com, USAJewish.com, Lubavitch News Service, Arutz 7 (as DJ on the high seas), and the Grand Street News. He has published Dancing and Crying, a colorful and intimate portrait of the last two years in the life of the late Lubavitch Rebbe, (in Hebrew), and two fun books in English: The Cabalist's Daughter: A Novel of Practical Messianic Redemption, and How Would God REALLY Vote.
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