RAMALLAH, July 24 (JMCC) - Israeli settlement
expert Dror Etkes tracks ongoing building in Israel
's settlements -- construction underway despite the government's ten-month moratorium.
Just a couple hundred meters on, Etkes finds what he's looking for -- a For Sale sign advertising 10 family homes. From the top of a hill, Etkes watches Palestinian workers who are using wooden slats to prepare a framework for concrete. The foundations are from December, Etkes states knowledgeably and clicks his camera shutter button.Read
Now Etkes has further proof that there has not in fact been a freeze on settlement building since November, as Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu would have the world believe. In any case, the Israeli cabinet also made exceptions in the moratorium for public buildings such as synagogues and preschools, as well as allowing private homes already under construction to be completed.
The settlers' administration of Samaria in the northern part of the West Bank thus issued permits for 1,600 housing units -- nearly 10 times as many as in the previous year -- before the moratorium began. Etkes' latest research shows that settlers have also begun new construction projects since the moratorium took effect. At least 46 of the 120 official settlements are currently carrying out construction, the left-wing activist says. Talking about a moratorium is just a bad joke.
the story at Der Spiegel...