Jerusalem (AsiaNews / Agencies) - With the midnight expiration of the moratorium on settlements in the West Bank, many Israeli settlers are ready to resume construction that has only been partially blocked for 10 months.
The moratorium was sought by the United States to allow the resumption of peace talks, broken off after the “Cast Lead” operation in Gaza. With the resumption of the expansion of settlements, the road to peace, officially reopened in recent weeks in Washington, is at risk.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu called on Palestinians to continue the dialogue "despite" construction. He also asked the settlers to show “restraint and responsibility”. But Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas said that if there is no freeze on settlements, the dialogues are "a waste of time."
Many settlers celebrated the end of the moratorium and plan to resume construction in the West Bank in the coming days. Israeli sources expect the resumption of work tomorrow in Shavei Shomron, Adam, Oranit, Sha'arei Tikva, Yakir, Revava, Kokhav Hashahar, Kedumim and Karmei Tzur. In Beit Hagai, south of the West Bank, foundations of a new settlement will be laid.
Political adviser to Barack Obama David Axelrod, said that the United States' urging and urging "to find some compromise, even without a freeze on settlements. Abbas said that next week he will meet with Arab leaders to search for a decision.
Under pressure from Washington, Israel had launched a partial moratorium on new construction in November 2009. But it has never been applied to the settlements of East Jerusalem. Since the Israeli occupation of '67 on the West Bank and East Jerusalem at least 500,000 Israelis live in more than 100 settlements. From the standpoint of international law they are illegal.
A Revava (northern West Bank), the settlers celebrated the end of the moratorium last night releasing balloons in the air. Among them were also Members of Likud, the party of Netanyahu and Shas, present in governmental structures.