The Boy David has issued a Press Release..
Commenting on plans for a new Israeli settlement the Foreign Secretary, David Miliband said:
"I was dismayed to learn of plans for new settlement construction in the Jordan Valley. These are clearly outside Israel's Roadmap and Annapolis commitments. At this important moment in the peace process all sides need to take steps to build confidence and ensure practical progress. As the Prime Minister spelt out clearly during his recent visit to the region, settlement activity in the Occupied Palestinian Territories represents a real obstacle to peace. I urge Israel not to approve these plans. We have made our views clear directly to the Israeli government."
Quite evidently the words of our craven prime Minister last week to the Knesset have had no effect ..
And to deliver this historic hard won and lasting peace, it is vital also that both sides now create the conditions for a final agreement:
#the Palestinians acting with persistence and perseverance against the terrorists who attack your country;
#Israel freezing, and withdrawing from, settlements ------ and like many of your friends, I urge you to make these decisions.
"We are currently in the process of constructing 20 housing units in the Jordan Valley settlement of Maskiot," a senior defence ministry official told AFP on condition of anonymity.
United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon's spokeswoman Michele Montas said " Ban had repeatedly stressed that "settlement construction or expansion is contrary to international law and Israel's commitments under the roadmap and the Annapolis process."
"The Secretary General urges Israel to heed the call of the (Middle East peace) Quartet to freeze all settlement activity, including natural growth, and to dismantle outposts erected since March 2001," she added. This Christian Science Monitor article from January 2007 shows how this was being done then - Israel eyes West Bank growth
There has been oposition to this move from the Leaders of the left-wing Meretz party.
There has been no let up in the land grabs, evictions and construction of settlements since Annapolis - ther are now over 470,000 Israelis living in West Bank setllements, 200,000 of them in East Jerusalem. This "Jordan Valley" site is the English version for settlers about living in the Jordan valley. They have an uncompromising view -
"The region is considered crucial to Israel’s security because it serves as the eastern defensive shield against attack.
The Jordan Valley Development Fund provides for the welfare of the people who live in the various communities in the Jordan Valley and N. Dead Sea area by supporting programs and activities in the fields of education, social welfare, development, security, health, cultural, environmental and Jewish identity for the different communities, strengthening them and the eastern border of Israel.
Nothing new here - Al Jazeera report from 20th February in Maskiot on the 20 hectares of land being used that has been illegally taken.
For an analysis of aggressive and rapacious Israeli policies on the settlements see the MideastWeb Middle East Web Log for 6th March 2008. Maskiot Settlement tells us about realities of Israeli Policy
"Actions, however, speak louder than words. The new settlement of Maskiot tells us that that Olmert's governments may not be the government a lot of Israelis thought they had voted for, and Olmert's policies may not be precisely what he sold to the Americans. Maskiot is probably the first new settlement to be created outside Jerusalem, with full government approval, since the Oslo peace process began. Its establishment violates two undertakings to the United States:
1. Not to establish new settlements
2. Not to settle settle evacuees from Gaza in them.
True, the settlement existed as an army base, and Israel may claim it is only "firming up" an existing settlement. However, that is clearly not the case. "