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» 05/30/2013
Israel authorizes another 1000 houses in East Jerusalem
Demolitions of Palestinian property has already begun. The land was sold a few months ago. For activists this is a way to bypass a settlements freeze recently ordered by Prime Minister Netanyahu.

Jerusalem (AsiaNews / Agencies) - The Israeli government is ready to build another 1000 homes in East Jerusalem The news was released by Danny Seidemann, director of the Jerusalem settlement Terrestrial Jerusalem, an organization that monitors (illegal) settlements in Palestinian territory. In recent months, the authorities have already prepared contracts for 300 homes in the Ramot settlement north-east of Jerusalem. In Gilo (in the south) 797 lots are for sale land for construction. Seidmann explains that the plans were approved in 2012, while sales were made shortly before Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu ordered a freeze on settlements in the West Bank after the recent talks with John Kerry. The Secretary of State is trying to recover the peace process between Israel and Palestine demanding a freeze on Israeli settlements in the occupied Palestinian territories.

Behind the building of new lots is Housing Minister Uri Ariel,  himself a settler and a prominent member of the pro-settlements The Jewish Home which in the last election became part of the coalition led by the Likud. Ariel is pushing ahead with his agenda and these days he ordered the demolition of at least two housing complexes in Beit Hanina in East Jerusalem. To avoid protests, the Israeli government has placed strict controls in the area, off limits to the media and the population. According to Badran al-Salameh, owner of the houses, the Israeli government has not given him any notice.

"My daughter in law and my two grandchildren - he said - were the only ones inside the house. When I heard that there were bulldozers I immediately went to them, but the Israeli military stopped me."

For years Israel has been demolishing Palestinian homes with the excuse that they lack government approval. In this way, since 1967in East Jerusalem alone, more than 1,630 non-Jewish families were evicted from their homes.


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See also
Israel approves 500 new homes in West Bank
Netanyahu proposes direct peace talks every two weeks
For Obama talks between Israel and Palestine are urgent, but no one is budging
Israel offers 1500 new homes in the West Bank and East Jerusalem: the response to the new Palestinian unity government
by Joshua Lapide
UN criticizes Israel for new settlements in East Jerusalem and the West Bank
by Joshua Lapide

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