BY LORA VLAEVA

 

Israel is going ahead with its decision to expand settlements in East Jerusalem. That despite concern from Europe and the United States. BBC has this report.

 

“Many governments have long regarded Israeli settlement activity as illegal under international law. The latest plans by Israel to build 3,000 new housing units have been heavily criticized.” [Video: BBC]

 

The decision to build in the key region E1 of East Jerusalem is at the heart of the problem. Indeed, this would cut the West Bank in two and would isolate E1 from Jerusalem, making the eventual creation of a united Palestinian State even more difficult. [Video: Sky News

 

Israel's decision came just one day after the UN’s de facto recognition of the Palestinian state, when a vote upgraded the PA’s status from “entity” to “observer state.” In a statement, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s office maintained Israel would not change its settlement plans, and The Guardian suggests Israel could face harsher rebukes from the international community.

 

The recall of the British ambassador would be a dramatic and unprecedented rebuke to the Israeli government.”

 

A spokesman says Britain isn’t proposing to do that, but international pressure is growing. Governments in Germany, France, Britain, Spain and Sweden have spoken with Israeli ambassadors on the issue, while Brussels and Russia have expressed their opposition to new settlements. White House spokesman Jay Carney said this during Monday’s press briefing:

 

"We urge Israeli leaders to reconsider these unilateral decisions and exercise restraint as these actions are counterproductive and make it harder to resume direct negotiations."

 

UN Secretary General Ban Ki Moon says the settlements would be a “fatal blow” to Israeli-Palestinian peace and would violate international law. Bloomberg editors point out, Palestinians might now have one new weapon in their diplomatic arsenal.

 

“Palestine can attempt to gain access to the International Criminal Court, where it might challenge Israel’s actions as an occupying force.” [Source: Bloomberg]

 

But an op-ed for Israel’s YNetNews blames both Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas and Israel’s Netanyahu for what the paper’s Emanuel Rosen calls a series of “cheap diplomatic gimmicks.”

 

“In the mirror of history, both sides looked mostly pathetic this past week... When this catastrophe does occur, history will accuse both Netanyahu and Abbas of criminal negligence and extreme irresponsibility.”

 

Despite diplomatic pressure, Israel is keeping to its settlement plans for the time being.

Israel Building Settlements Despite International Concern

by Zach Toombs
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Transcript
Dec 3, 2012

Israel Building Settlements Despite International Concern

BY LORA VLAEVA

 

Israel is going ahead with its decision to expand settlements in East Jerusalem. That despite concern from Europe and the United States. BBC has this report.

 

“Many governments have long regarded Israeli settlement activity as illegal under international law. The latest plans by Israel to build 3,000 new housing units have been heavily criticized.” [Video: BBC]

 

The decision to build in the key region E1 of East Jerusalem is at the heart of the problem. Indeed, this would cut the West Bank in two and would isolate E1 from Jerusalem, making the eventual creation of a united Palestinian State even more difficult. [Video: Sky News

 

Israel's decision came just one day after the UN’s de facto recognition of the Palestinian state, when a vote upgraded the PA’s status from “entity” to “observer state.” In a statement, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s office maintained Israel would not change its settlement plans, and The Guardian suggests Israel could face harsher rebukes from the international community.

 

The recall of the British ambassador would be a dramatic and unprecedented rebuke to the Israeli government.”

 

A spokesman says Britain isn’t proposing to do that, but international pressure is growing. Governments in Germany, France, Britain, Spain and Sweden have spoken with Israeli ambassadors on the issue, while Brussels and Russia have expressed their opposition to new settlements. White House spokesman Jay Carney said this during Monday’s press briefing:

 

"We urge Israeli leaders to reconsider these unilateral decisions and exercise restraint as these actions are counterproductive and make it harder to resume direct negotiations."

 

UN Secretary General Ban Ki Moon says the settlements would be a “fatal blow” to Israeli-Palestinian peace and would violate international law. Bloomberg editors point out, Palestinians might now have one new weapon in their diplomatic arsenal.

 

“Palestine can attempt to gain access to the International Criminal Court, where it might challenge Israel’s actions as an occupying force.” [Source: Bloomberg]

 

But an op-ed for Israel’s YNetNews blames both Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas and Israel’s Netanyahu for what the paper’s Emanuel Rosen calls a series of “cheap diplomatic gimmicks.”

 

“In the mirror of history, both sides looked mostly pathetic this past week... When this catastrophe does occur, history will accuse both Netanyahu and Abbas of criminal negligence and extreme irresponsibility.”

 

Despite diplomatic pressure, Israel is keeping to its settlement plans for the time being.

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