The GOI should freeze all settlement activity, including the "natural growth" of existing settlements - Fuck that says Olmerde and extends Har Homa
sam and Nur points us to the post Annapolis ceaseless expansion of settlements as Israel's housing ministry plans 307 new homes in East Jerusalem.
Tenders have been invited for housing units in Har Homa, (Chomat shmuel - a loose translation is Rampart Mountain) an illegal settlement to the south-east of the city on land captured by Israel in the 1967 war and later annexed and first built on by the Natanyahus Gubment in 1997. East Jerusalem now houses around 200,000 illegal Jewish settlers.
"The battle for Jerusalem has begun," declared Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu days before construction began on the new settlement community of Har Homa in the southeast corner of annexed East Jerusalem. "We are now in the thick of it, and I do not intend to lose."
Fuck the US road map for peace is the GOI attitude and the heirs of Netanyahu ... which leaders from both sides had just agreed at Annapolis would again be the basis of talks.
Oh! but the road map, says Mark Regev )Olmerde's mouthpiece) applies to the West Bank, Jerusalem is different. Jerusalem is our capital. It is Israeli sovereign territory."
However, Saeb Erekat, the chief Palestinian negotiator, doesn't agree and has pointlessly protested, in writing, to the Quartet. State Department Deputy Spokesman Tom Casey said on Wednesday that he could not respond to the specific case of Israeli housing construction in Har Homa, but he reiterated that Washington expects both Israel and the Palestinians to fulfill their road map obligations.
The U.S. Embassy in Israel here could not give a definitive answer on whether it considers Har Homa to fall into the "construction-forbidden" settlement category.
What does the Blessed Tony have to say about the settlements ? Nothing apparently.
The road map ( full text here ) calls on Israel to dismantle its furthest settlements and to freeze all settlement activity. .... "Israel also freezes all settlement activity, consistent with the Mitchell report."
The report was led by former US Senator George J. Mitchell and was published on April 30, 2001 by the US department of State ... and says inter alia
"In addition to the Interim Agreement, customary international law, including the Fourth Geneva Convention, prohibits Israel (as an occupying power) from establishing settlements in occupied territory pending an end to the conflict."...."The GOI should freeze all settlement activity, including the "natural growth" of existing settlements."
Repeat after me ...(ad fucking nauseum) Jerusalem is different. Jerusalem is our capital. It is Israeli sovereign territory." ... you are going to here this novel theory of sovereign territory time and again.
UN sanctions anyone ? ... at least in 1997 , Concluding a two-day meeting this afternoon, speakers in the Security Council called upon the Government of Israel to rescind its 26 February decision to build a new settlement in the Jabal Abu Ghneim (The Arabic name for Shar Shoma) area of East Jerusalem. (UN Press release) Har Homa has its own website
HISTORICAL POSITION OF U.S. GOVERNMENT
The U.S. vetoed two different UN Security Council resolutions that called on Israel to stop construction at Har Homa. The U.S. was the only country of the 15 members on the council to vote against the resolution (Jerusalem Post, 3/9/97).
In a vote of 134 to 3, the United States, along with Israel and Micronesia, were the only countries among the 185 members in the UN General Assembly to vote against an April 1997 resolution demanding an immediate halt to construction at Har Homa. The previous month, a similar resolution condemning Israeli activity at Har Homa was passed 130 to 2, with only the U.S. and Israel voting against it (The Times, 4/26/97).
PS : Since the Annapolis "peace conference" last week, 27 Palestinians were killed in the Gaza Strip, 24 of them Hamas militants. 15 of them were killed in aerial attacks and six were killed in artillery shelling and three were shot.