06/17/2019, 13.59
ISRAEL-PALESTINE-USA
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Golan, Netanyahu dedicates settlement to Trump. Palestinian Catholic: Anti-peace policies

Yesterday the Israeli prime minister unveiled a (future) settlement on the heights that will bear the name of the US president. For critics it is a propaganda move ahead of the September vote. And the funds are lacking. Sabella: the choices of America and Israel "dictated by their political agenda" but "unwise". Critical long-term prospects.

Jerusalem (AsiaNews) - The decisions taken by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and US President Donald Trump "are in the long run, against a possible peace settlement with Syria, Palestine and other Arab nations," surmises Prof. Bernard Sabella, Catholic representative of Fatah for Jerusalem.

The academic was reacting to the decision of the Israeli leader to dedicate a (future) settlement  on the Golan Heights to the White House. "America and Israel - the executive secretary of the service to the Palestinian refugees of the Council of the Churches of the Middle East adds - go in the same direction, but their choices at the juridical and international level are certainly not wise in the long run".

Yesterday, in the context of an official ceremony with a more than substantial symbolic value, Prime Minister Netanyahu presented a new settlement on the Golan Heights, dedicated to the US president Donald Trump whose name it will bear.

The move intends to pay homage to the US president’s recent decision in favor of his Jewish ally: the recognition of Jerusalem as capital of Israel and the transfer of the embassy, ​​together with support for the Israeli claim to sovereignty over the disputed region of the Golan.

The gesture made yesterday has a largely symbolic value: construction has yet to begin and, at the moment, only one sign has been placed with the name of Trump and the US and Israeli flags. Critics see the move as mere propaganda, without any constraint or legal authority.

In his speech, Netanyahu spoke of a "historic day" and once again called Trump a "friend of Israel". The ceremony was attended by US Ambassador David Friedman, who described the settlement as "well deserved and much appreciated". It should rise near Kela, in the northern part of the Heights.

Also yesterday, the government approved a motion by Netanyahu, which called for an "initiative" aimed at the "creation" of a new community in the Golan. However, the resolution did not speak explicitly about settlement, there is no financial provision for its construction and there is great uncertainty over the timing. This is why, for opponents, the move is superficial and even on a legal level it is not possible to create new locations before the September vote.

"Given the alliance between Trump and Netanyahu - Bernard Sabella points out to AsiaNews - both are doing everything to ensure that the current premier wins and is confirmed in the early elections, although I'm not sure it will end up like this. On an internal level, doubts about Netanyahu's actual leadership increase and the situation is certainly not comfortable”.

From the recognition of the Heights to the move on the embassy, ​​adds the Palestinian Catholic, "we are talking about people, of leaders who act according to what they believe and nobody (on the regional and international level) stops them".

These are choices "dictated by the political agenda", warns Sabella, but "in the long run these decisions will hurt and will be a great obstacle for a prospect of peace in the Middle East". This requires a "deeper and farsighted vision", he concludes, but "the prospects are not good and this crisis is destined to continue. There are no better days on the horizon ".

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