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Israel Defies Law With Illegal Settlements

Zionists Don't Negotiate | 28.03.2008 01:29 | Anti-racism | World

For more on the Playbook used to write this one-sided report:

How to Become an Israeli Journalist

Olmert vows to press on with settlements
Published: Wednesday March 26, 2008

Prime Minister Ehud Olmert vowed on Wednesday that Israel would press on with settlement building on occupied Palestinian land despite international calls for a halt to the activity.

(So long as they are only 'calls', and nobody actually does anything to stop Zionism's annexation, they will continue for as long as they are allowed to.)

At a meeting with the foreign press in Jerusalem, Olmert also said he expected to reach only the framework of a peace deal with the Palestinians this year and warned of "painful" action against Hamas to halt militant attacks from the Islamist-controlled Gaza Strip.

(Attempting to blame the democratically-elected representatives of the Palestinians for a massive assault and possible reoccupation these Zionist Extremists - who rejected the pullout in the first place - have been plotting for months.)

Israel's settlement activity is one of the major reasons why Israeli-Palestinian peace talks have made little progress since they were renewed at a US conference in late November.

(Well, that, and the fact that they are a complete and utter charade, a stalling tactic for Zionist expansionism.)

But Olmert said: "There will be additional building as part of reality of life, and this fact was well explained to everyone involved."

Israel's staunch ally Washington, along with other nations, have urged the government to refrain from settlement construction in the occupied West Bank and annexed east Jerusalem to give peace talks a chance.

('Urging' is no different from making 'calls' ... Israel's ruling Extremists don't care. Like all other Fascist movements, they will push and push and push, towards the elimination of Palestine, unless someone actually stops them.)

Olmert also played down the chances of a comprehensive peace deal in 2008.

(His Government signalled months before Annapolis that it wasn't interested in such a thing, but this was completely ignored by the international press.)

"What we are trying to achieve is to reach a very accurate outline and definition of all basic parameters of a two-state solution," he said.

(What he's trying to do is stall long enough that the Zionists can create sufficient 'facts on the ground' that creating a Palestinian state will be 'impossible'.)

"I think that the understandings about the basic parameters that will define accurately the outline of a two-state solution, such an understanding can be reached within the current presidency."

(International Law and consistent UN Security Council Resolutions - all of which Israel is in violation of at present - already address these matters. The continuation of this phony 'process' is designed to allow Israel to avoid fulfilling its legal and moral obligations.)

US President George W. Bush said during a visit to the Middle East that he hoped for a signed peace treaty that would lead to the creation of a Palestinian state before he left the White House in January 2009.

(I wish I could fly ...)

But negotiations have made little progress, with both sides accusing the other of neglecting their basic obligations.

(But only Israel actually doing so, as it's become clear that it is the Palestinians who have no 'partner for peace', and peace will only come as the result of outside intervention, unless the Israeli public tosses out the Extremists who refuse to end their war.)

And one factor that could hamper any peace deal is Hamas, which violently routed forces loyal to Abbas from Gaza in June after a week of ferocious street battles.

(However, this was a reaction to a Coup Attempt, coordinated by the US and Israel. Since these revelations were proven weeks ago, I can only assume the media is deliberately misrepresenting this issue, as it further proves that israel is not interested in peace.)

"We are not going to speak to Hamas, we are going to fight Hamas... there can be no compromise on this," Olmert said, hours after Gaza militants fired nine rocket against southern Israel.

(In response to what provocation .. ?)

"We will deal with Hamas in other ways, and those ways will be very painful," he said.

(They will also be War Crimes.)

There has been a relative lull in violence in and around Gaza since Israel unleashed a wave of strikes in late February that left 130 Palestinians dead in a week. Five Israelis were killed over the same period.

However, only one Israeli civilians was killed, while over half of the Palestinians slaughtered were civilians, many of them, young children.)

In Ramallah, Abbas acknowledged that the talks had encountered "a number of obstacles" but pledged both sides were determined to succeed.

"Negotiations with the Israeli side are continuing and are covering all the questions related to the final status (of the Palestinian territories) without exception."

US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice is due back in the region on Friday on her second trip in three weeks, while a senior Palestinian official also said Bush has invited Abbas to Washington on April 24.

Israeli Defence Minister Ehud Barak and Palestinian prime minister Salam Fayyad are due to discuss security issues at a meeting later on Wednesday where the local media said Israel would make a goodwill gesture towards the Palestinians.

Barak and Fayyad were to discuss specifics of an agreement in principle for the deployment of Palestinian security forces in the northern West Bank town of Jenin.

The peace talks are based on the internationally-drafted 2003 roadmap, which calls on Israel to freeze construction of settlements in the occupied West Bank and on the Palestinians to improve security.

Washington has repeatedly urged both sides to respect their roadmap commitments, and sent US Vice President Dick Cheney to Israel and the occupied West Bank last week to press home the message.

(However, he only 'pressed' the Palestinians, who have lived up to their end, and ignored entirely the issue of illegal Settlements.)

Israel captured and annexed east Jerusalem in 1967 and considers it part of its "eternal, undivided capital", a claim not recognised by the international community which considers all Israeli settlements on occupied Palestinian land to be illegal.

The Palestinians want to make the eastern part of the Holy City the capital of their promised state.

(Even though Partition rewarded Zionist Terrorism and stole over half their territory, promised them the whole city.)

Gaza: Oxfam has the answer.

Israeli Construction Violates Roadmap, International Law

Israel Defies UN With New Settlements
Israeli official: “We don't need American approval” to expand settlements
Saed Bannoura - IMEMC


Israeli settlement

Tuesday December 18, 2007

An Israeli official announced Monday that Israel will allow construction within settlements that have already been established on Palestinian land in the West Bank, rebuffing a U.S. critique of one planned settlement expansion.

The announcement came the same day as a condemnation by the Quartet for Middleast Peace, made up of the US, EU, UN and Russia, of the Israeli plan to build 300 more units in Har Homa settlement near Bethlehem.

"We don't need American approval if we are doing something that we think, as a sovereign state, we should do", said a senior Israeli official about the decision to allow construction. The official stated that Israel will allow construction in existing settlements and built-up areas, but not expansion. At the same time, however, an Israeli peace group has released a study showing that Israeli authorities do not enforce the rules they set up against settlement expansion, enforcing just 3% of demolition orders made by the government.

Over 300 Israeli colonies, or settlements, have been built in the West Bank on seized Palestinian land – most of them constructed since 1993. 500,000 Israelis live in the settlements, the majority of which are new immigrants. All of these settlements are constructed in violation of international law, and have been condemned by the United Nations on numerous occasions.

Peace, Propaganda, and the Promised Land

Rogue Israeli settlements in West Bank continue
By Isabel Kershner Published: December 7, 2007

SHVUT AMI OUTPOST, West Bank: For two months, Jewish (but more importantly, Zionist) youths have been renovating an old stone house on this muddy hilltop in the northern West Bank. The house is not theirs, however.

It belongs to a Palestinian family, and the seizure of it, along with the land around it, for a new settlement outpost is a violation of Israeli law. But although the police have evicted the group five times, they keep coming back.

Yedidya Slonim, 16, one of the renovators here, who grew up in another West Bank settlement, Tzofim, said of the police: "We come back straight away, as soon as they've gone. They come every week for half a day. It doesn't bother us so much."

The cat-and-mouse contest here lays bare a core dilemma of the Israeli-Palestinian dispute: Israel has pledged that it will permit no new settlements in the territory it has occupied since the 1967 war, allow no more expropriation of Palestinian land and dismantle unauthorized outposts - like this one - erected since March 2001, but it has never applied the muscle needed to do so.

"Shvut Ami is a chronicle of failure of law enforcement," said Michael Sfard, an Israeli lawyer who represents the Palestinian owners of the house on behalf of Yesh Din, an Israeli volunteer organization that fights for Palestinian rights. In this respect, he said, the area is "a jungle."

So the settlers continue building a patchwork of communities to try to preclude the drawing of a border between Israel and a future Palestinian state. At the vanguard are the hilltop youth, teenagers like Yedidya, who work to complicate the demographic map ever more.

A settler organization called The Land of Israel Faithful has promised to set up another seven outposts over the eight-day Hanukkah holiday - and to "strengthen" Shvut Ami.

According to Peace Now, an Israeli advocacy group that tracks settlement activity, most of the hundred or so outposts already in existence are built at least partially on private Palestinian land.

Shvut Ami sits across a valley from Mitzpeh Ishai, a new neighborhood of the Jewish settlement of Kedumim. Kedumim was established in the 1970s between the Palestinian villages of Funduk, Kadum and Imaten, about 11 kilometers, or 7 miles, east of the 1967 lines.

Most of the world considers all Jewish settlement in the West Bank a violation of international law. The Israeli government asserts that the territory is disputed. The hilltop youth believe it was promised to them by God.

Sometimes, a price is paid in blood. On Nov. 19, a local settler, Ido Zoldan, 29, was shot and killed in his car by Palestinian gunmen at the entrance to Funduk. Zoldan, who grew up in Kedumim, had worked in his father's construction company, which builds settlement homes all over the West Bank.

The Al Aksa Martyrs Brigades, a militia affiliated with the mainstream Fatah movement headed by the Palestinian president, Mahmoud Abbas, took credit for the attack. Three suspects have since been detained - all members of Abbas's security forces from the village of Kadum.

(Armed settlers also routinely attack and harass Palestinians in the region.)

Five nights after the killing, hundreds of settlers converged at the entrance of Funduk in protest. They rampaged through the village, smashing the windows of houses and cars.

Villagers said the Israeli soldiers and police officers accompanying the protesters mostly stood aside while the settlers ran wild.

Military officials said the Funduk protest had not been authorized by the army. Soldiers and police officers had dispersed the riot, detaining two settlers and two Palestinian villagers for throwing stones, they said.

But for years, the settlers have exploited the ambivalence displayed toward them by the Israeli authorities.

(Tacit approval of their actions, which Israel cannot legally hold as an official policy.)

The Shvut Ami outpost sits on private Palestinian land inherited by the two wives and children of Abd al-Ghani Salah Amar, of Kadum, according to documentation seen by The New York Times.

Amar built the stone house in 1963, 10 years before he died. The roughly 17 acres, or 7 hectares, of land are planted with hundreds of olive and almond trees, some figs and some vines. The estate is managed by one of Amar's daughters, Badriya Amar, 61, a widow who still lives in Kadum.

Amar filed a complaint with the Israeli police in early October for trespassing on her family land. Micky Rosenfeld, a police spokesman, said the ownership documents were being examined by the authorities for authenticity.

In the meantime, the site has been declared a closed military zone. Behind the settler youths who are building here are the guiding hands of adults. One of the leading ideologues of the outpost movement is Daniella Weiss, a former mayor of Kedumim. Yedidya said that "someone" from Kedumim connected them to the water mains, and local supporters bring over food and raise funds. Nachman Zoldan, Ido's father, helped out a lot in the beginning; Ido also provided equipment and advice before he was killed.

Yedidya said the outpost's synagogue would be named in his memory. Ido was supposed to help put down the floors.

Based on experience, there is no guarantee when Shvut Ami - Hebrew for "my people's return" - will be restored to Amar.

Another illegal outpost, Migron, was established on private Palestinian land in 2002. More than 40 families now live there in trailer homes. Peace Now successfully petitioned Israel's Supreme Court in 2006 to order its removal, but in Migron, nothing has changed. At the latest hearing, on Nov. 1, the Israeli defense minister, Ehud Barak, asked for a two-month extension to allow him to formulate a comprehensive plan for the removal of illegal outposts.

Amar last visited her orchards in early November, to try to pick a few olives. She was chased away by the settlers, she said. She was speaking by telephone because the only road to Kadum had been blocked by the army since the killing of Zoldan.

Yedidya suggested that Amar could move to Jordan or Egypt or one of the other Arab states.

"God gave this to us," he said. "Now that we're here, I don't think we're going to move."

Israel snubs settlement criticism

Israel is seeking bids from construction firms to build over 300 homes in East Jerusalem [GALLO/Getty]

An Israeli minister has rebuffed recent US criticism of Israel's plan to build new homes on occupied land in the Jerusalem area, saying nothing should prevent the project.

Condoleezza Rice, the US secretary of state, criticised on Friday the planned construction, saying it "doesn't help to build confidence".

Responding to the rare public US censure, Zeev Boim, Israel's construction and housing minister, reiterated Israel's position that it can build anywhere in Jerusalem - including the Arab east sector which Israel captured in the 1967 war.

"Secretary of state Rice should be congratulated for her efforts in relaunching the peace process," Boim said in Friday's statement. "But this cannot constantly be linked to the cessation of construction in Jerusalem."

Rice masterminded last week's Annapolis conference to press for an Israeli-Palestinian peace accord before the administration of George Bush, the US president, leaves office.

'Road map'

Palestinians consider East Jerusalem part of the occupied West Bank, which they want for a state and where Israel is obliged to freeze Jewish settlement activity under a 2003 peace "road map" championed by the United States.

"There is thus nothing to prevent the construction there, just as there is nothing to prevent construction anywhere else in Israel"

Zeev Boim, Israel's construction and housing minister

Boim said the controversial project, known to Israelis as Har Homa and to Palestinians as Abu Ghneim, "is within Jerusalem's municipal borders, where Israeli law applies.

"There is thus nothing to prevent the construction there, just as there is nothing to prevent construction anywhere else in Israel".

Israel announced earlier this week that it was seeking bids from construction firms to build over 300 homes and other units at the new site - located south of East Jerusalem.

A government spokesman said the tender was part of a seven-year-old plan.

Expanding city

Israel's annexation of East Jerusalem and integrating the surrounding West Bank areas within much expanded Jerusalem city limits is not recognised internationally.

Israel has settled Jews on much of that land, effectively isolating East Jerusalem.

Ban Ki-moon, the UN secretary-general, said the Israeli building project was "not helpful", and Nabil Abu Rdainah, a Palestinian presidential aide, said the Americans "must pressure the Israeli government to stop settlement activities".

Negotiators from the two sides will meet in Jerusalem on Wednesday for the first round of talks since Ehud Olmert, Israel's prime minister and Mahmoud Abbas, the Palestinian president, met in Annapolis.

Zionists Don't Negotiate