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    » 08/05/2013, 00.00

    ISRAEL - PALESTINE

    Peace negotiations do not stop Israeli West Bank settlements



    The enthusiasm for renewed talks between Israel and Palestine is dampened by a vote of the Israeli cabinet in favour of new settlements. For Christian Palestinian official Hanan Ashrawi, "Israel wants [. . .] to destroy the objective of the process". More than 500,000 Israeli settlers live in the West Bank.

    Tel Aviv (AsiaNews/Agencies) - A week after agreeing to talks with the Palestinians, Israeli government on Sunday added 20 West Bank settlements to a list some 600 Jewish communities prioritised for aid. For Palestinian official Hanan Ashrawi, such a move would have a "destructive impact" on peace talks.

    Benjamin Netanyahu and Mahmoud Abbas met in Washington on 29 July to resume talks frozen since September 2010. The two leaders and their respective delegations also met at an iftar organised by US Secretary of State John Kerry. The iftar is the meal Muslims have to break their fast during Ramadan,

    The issue of Israeli settlements in the occupied territories remains one of the main issues between the two sides.

    In the recent update to the National Priority Area List, Israel added 91 new settlements, 89 on the Palestinian side of the separation barrier.

    The Israeli government, who last week approved the release of more than 100 Palestinian prisoners as an incentive to resume talks with the first group due to be freed on 13 August, announced that funding for the territories was allocated for security reasons..

    About 500,000 Jews live in the settlements built by Israel since its1967 occupation of the West Bank and East Jerusalem.

    Considered illegal by the international community, the settlements established by Israel have always been one of the main stumbling blocks for peace.

    For Israeli peace group Peace Now, the National Priority List is an explicit attempt to encourage Israelis to set up new settlements in the territories. However, they are illegal under international law, and raise serious questions about Israel's commitment to negotiations.

    Four ministers abstained from the cabinet vote, including Environment minister Amir Peretz who said that funding Jewish settlements in the Occupied Territories "goes against efforts to promote peace".

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    See also

    24/11/2009 ISRAEL-PALESTINE
    In 20 years of violence, 7398 Palestinians and 1483 Israelis killed
    The data revealed by an Israeli human rights organisation. The United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs calls on Israel to revoke the permit system, which in practice prevents Palestinians the use of 60% of their territory.

    27/09/2010 ISRAEL - PALESTINE
    Construction resumes on West Bank settlements. Peace talks at risk
    From tomorrow building to resume in Shavei Shomron, Adam, Oranit, Sha'arei Tikva, Yakir, Revava, Kokhav Hashahar, Kedumim and Karmei Tzur. Netanyahu (and U.S.) call on Palestinians to continue the dialogue despite move . For Abbas, without the freeze on settlements dialogue is "a waste of time."

    01/09/2014 ISRAEL - PALESTINE
    Israel confiscates 400 acres of West Bank land for settlements
    The motive: revenge for the killing of three young Israelis. But the plans for Gevaot settlement date back to the 2000s. Abu Mazen: After Gaza war, this decision will lead to greater instability.

    23/04/2010 ISRAEL – PALESTINE – US
    Uncertainty surrounds Mitchell’s mission
    The US Mideast envoy has a difficult job ahead. He is in Jerusalem to jumpstart peace talks. The Palestinians demand a settlement freeze; Netanyahu responds that they will not stop in Jerusalem; the State Department notes, “We don't go to meet just to meet.”

    15/01/2005 PALESTINE – ISRAEL
    New administration, old fears
    The new president of the Palestinian National Authority, Mahmoud Abbas, is sworn in today.  Israel halts contacts at every level after the Gaza attack.



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