News / Middle East

    Israel Announces Plans for New W. Bank Settlement Homes

    Palestinians throw stones at Israeli settlers who are later detained by Palestinian villagers in a building under construction near the West Bank village of Qusra, southeast of the city of Nablus, Jan. 7, 2014.
    Palestinians throw stones at Israeli settlers who are later detained by Palestinian villagers in a building under construction near the West Bank village of Qusra, southeast of the city of Nablus, Jan. 7, 2014.
    VOA News
    Israel has announced plans for 1,400 new settlement homes in the West Bank and East Jerusalem, a move certain to upset Palestinians during a time of already fragile peace talks.

    The Israeli Housing Ministry on Friday announced that 800 homes would be built in the West Bank and 600 in East Jerusalem, both areas occupied by Israel's military since 1967.

    The move had been expected as part of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's efforts to calm concerns by some in his government about the release of Palestinian prisoners.

    The 26 prisoners were freed last month as part of a peace effort brokered by U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry. Israeli officials said they waited until Kerry left the region to announce the settlements.

    Palestinians have threatened to walk out of the talks, and possibly pursue legal action, if Israel goes ahead with the settlements, which are built on land Palestinians want as part of a separate state.

    Kerry this week wrapped up his 10th trip to the region since March. He initially set a nine-month deadline to come up with a comprehensive two-state solution to the decades-old conflict.

    Before leaving Jerusalem Sunday, Kerry said he is making progress towards a scaled-back framework deal, which he said would still be a "significant breakthrough."

    Meanwhile, Israelis and Palestinians continue to accuse each other of sabotaging peace efforts.

    Israel says the Palestinians should recognize Israel as a Jewish state and stop welcoming as heroes the released prisoners who were convicted of killing Israelis.

    Palestinians continue to complain about the settlements, as well as proposals for security arrangements in the Jordan Valley where the West Bank borders Jordan.

    Israel is looking to keep troops there, saying this is essential for security reasons. Palestinians say this would violate the sovereignty of their future state.

    Other key issues to be resolved include the remaining borders between the two states, the future of Jerusalem and the right of return for Palestinian refugees.

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    Comments
         
    by: John Stefanyszyn from: Canada
    January 11, 2014 10:16 AM
    The Jews, The Land, God...but Israel confesses that it is RIGHT (a right) to worship ANY ‘god’?

    The Jews claim the land of Israel because they say it was given to them by God.
    ....people have died because of this claim
    ...the Jews are using this reason to validate their taking of land.

    It is written in the "religion" of the Jews that the God of Abraham, of Moses is the One and Only Creator God...i.e. the only God of Israel...the only "religion" (in man's terms). They are commanded to acknowledge, worship, and serve ONLY Him.

    However, the nation of Israel says and has publicly confessed that they do not have an official "religion / god" (ref. Ambassador Oren). This is also confirmed in their constitution.

    Therefore, in so doing, the Jews are also saying that they do not recognize the above mentioned God (of Abraham, of Moses) as the official and only God of the nation of Israel.

    What do then the Jews (Israelis) believe in?...it is evident that they believe in and live by the way of life “freedom”...freedom of rights, freedom of religion, freedom of self-happiness, freedom of self -gain, freedom of self- sexual lifestyle...freedom of self-righteousness... as do all other democratic (self-ruling) nations.
    They, as well as all nations, embrace the desire to serve and magnify oneself (XES).
    And this way is self-serving, it creates conflict, and it creates death ….for each believes that they are right in their own eyes.

    Why should the True and Only God, whose Son is the Christ, stand for the Jews and defend their claim to the "land" when they have denied Him as the One and Only True God, have denied Christ-the Savior and His Son, and have denied the One True Way of Life?

    PS..God and Christ are not a religion but the only truth...there will NOT BE any belief in the freedom of self-rights, self-religion, self-interest in the kingdom of the Only God.

    Jesus Christ's return as the Only King will make this evident soon.

    John Stefanyszyn
    ...a bondman of the One Lord and King Jesus Christ, Son of the Only Creator God

    by: sally summer from: michigan
    January 11, 2014 1:35 AM
    THE BIBLE GIVES THE BOUNDARIES OF ISRAEL IN NUMBERS CHAPTER 34. GOD SAID I WILL BLESS THOSE WHO BLESS THE AND CURSE THOSE WHO CURSE THE [ISRAEL] . ISRAEL IS THE ONLY COUNTRY IN THE WORLD WHOSE BOUNDARIES ARE GIVEN IN THE BIBLE. THE ISRAELIES WON JERUSALEM BACK IN 1967 AFTER LOSING IT IN 70 AD GOD SAID IT WOULD NEVER BE TAKEN AWAY AGAIN.THE US WILL BE CURSED BY GOD IF THEY DON'T STOP GOING AGAINST ISRAEL

    by: MikeBarnett from: USA
    January 10, 2014 6:53 PM
    Israel's settlements in the lands taken in the 1967 War will likely be regarded as ethnic cleansing, a war crime under the World Court's charter. The US, as Israel's main supporter, may face sanctions if it does not ameliorate the situation. The US should consider imposing sanctions on Israel to compel it to begin removing its illegal settlements.

    by: Bob C from: FL
    January 10, 2014 8:22 AM
    The oppression continues, but the
    rest of the world is catching on. As
    Jimmy Carter said "the worst genocide
    in our lifetimes."

    by: Tom K from: Toronto, Canada
    January 10, 2014 8:06 AM
    Isreal has never going to give a state to Palestine, unless USA will stand up, and will say enough is enough, no more help to Isreal cut off all the aid for them and establish state, annex the land from Isreal to 1967 borders.Good luck to USA and to whole UN. It's a time for two State solution and a Peace Now.

    by: Paolo from: NJ
    January 10, 2014 7:57 AM
    Once again Israel demonstrates its desire not to negotiate in good faith with the palestinians by poisoning the well and then inviting them to drink.

    by: George from: New York
    January 10, 2014 7:51 AM
    We should stop the 30 billion dollar annual aid to this apartheid regime

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