Saturday, February 16, 2013

Israeli Colonists Brace For Obama Visit

...At the heart of the dispute is Israel’s policy of building homes for Jewish settlers building communities built on land that the Palestinians feel is vital to a future state.

“We are a force to be reckoned with,” said Yigal Dilmony, deputy general manager of the Yesha Council which represents 360,000 Jews who have settled in East Jerusalem and the West Bank (what they call Judea and Samaria). “The reality on this territory is that we can’t be ignored.”

Late last year, the Israeli government announced it would speed up the start of construction of around 3,500 homes for settlers, connecting Ma’aleh Adumim to Jerusalem in an area known as E1 on the planners’ maps.

The settlers’ progress appeared unstoppable. But in 2013, the political landscape at home and abroad shifted.

In December, in a rare public show of unity, every member of the United Nations Security Council except the United States condemned the expansion plans. In January, U.N, human rights investigators said Israel must stop settlement expansion and remove all Jewish settlers from the occupied West Bank, saying that its practices could be subject to prosecution as possible war crimes.
Read the rest here.

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