News / Middle East

Palestinians Angry About Israeli Settlement Expansion

An ultra-Orthodox Jewish man walks in Ramat Shlomo, a religious Jewish settlement in an area of the occupied West Bank, in East Jerusalem, claimed by both Israel and Palestinians, December 18, 2012.An ultra-Orthodox Jewish man walks in Ramat Shlomo, a religious Jewish settlement in an area of the occupied West Bank, in East Jerusalem, claimed by both Israel and Palestinians, December 18, 2012.
x
An ultra-Orthodox Jewish man walks in Ramat Shlomo, a religious Jewish settlement in an area of the occupied West Bank, in East Jerusalem, claimed by both Israel and Palestinians, December 18, 2012.
An ultra-Orthodox Jewish man walks in Ramat Shlomo, a religious Jewish settlement in an area of the occupied West Bank, in East Jerusalem, claimed by both Israel and Palestinians, December 18, 2012.
Scott Bobb
Palestinian leaders are reacting with anger to Israel's announcement that it intends to move ahead with the construction of hundreds of homes for Jews on East Jerusalem land that is claimed by the Palestinians.

Palestinian leaders on Tuesday protested the Israel government's final approval of the construction of 1,500 new homes in the Jewish area of Ramat Shlomo in East Jerusalem.

A spokesman for the Fatah movement, Ahmed Assaf, said the move violated international law and amounted to war crimes.

He said nobody in the world recognizes this Israeli decision. It will be opposed by Palestinians and on the political level will push Palestinians to the International Court of Justice.

Israeli construction of new housing in Jerusalem can take years because of the number of hearings and approvals needed before the land can be cleared.

The building plans for Ramat Shlomo were first revealed by Israel two years ago during a visit by U.S. Vice-President Joe Biden. The announcement took the U.S. government aback and caused sharp condemnation from Washington.

The Israeli government announced plans earlier this month to build several thousand homes in other settlements in the West Bank and East Jerusalem.

Palestinian and Israeli critics say this construction would create a buffer of Jewish districts around East Jerusalem, which both sides claim. It also would effectively sever land links between the northern West Bank, including Ramallah, and the southern West Bank, which includes Bethlehem.

Israeli supporters of the settlement expansion say special roads and tunnels could be built to connect the two Palestinian cities.

A spokesman for Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Ofer Geldman, said the government never said it would not build in neighborhoods in what he called the Israeli capital.

He said this decision does not change anything on the ground. If the Palestinians want to reach a solution to this problem, he said, why do they not return to the negotiating table?

The Palestinians have refused to resume peace talks with Israel as long as it continues settlement construction in the West Bank and East Jerusalem. The international community considers the construction illegal, a position that Israel rejects.

Israel announced the latest settlement expansion plans last month after the U.N. General Assembly voted overwhelmingly to upgrade the Palestinian Authority status at the world body to that of non-member observer state.

The Palestinians view this as international recognition of their long-desired state. Israel fears the new status would allow the Palestinians to access U.N. institutions, such as the International Court of Justice.

You May Like

Sunni-Shi’ite Divide Threatens Middle East Stability

Analysts say ancient dispute that traces back to Islamic Revolution is fueling modern day unrest More

Shifting Demographics Lie Beneath Racial Tensions in Ferguson

As Missouri suburb morphed from majority white to majority black, observers say power structure remained static More

Video Artists Shun Russia's Profanity Law

Restriction is toughest since Soviet era, though critics reject move as patronizing and ineffective act of censorship in line with a string of conservative morality laws More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: john237 from: usa
December 20, 2012 5:20 PM
Yes, Israel is the super power, who has no laws, no boundaries, no ethics, no morality, no shame, no humanity and no LOYALTY to any one including his creators and care takers. Well in short it is an outlawed nation and only Almighty will take care when the right time comes.


by: mark from: USA
December 18, 2012 2:24 PM
If the Palestinians are so angry they can always sit down with Israel and negotiate.

It is kind of hard to make demands when you have nothing to offer.

Mr. Abbas went to the UN and won his vote. He came back and told his people they now have a nation.

Nothing has changed. Nothing ever changes with the Palestinians. They have had many chances to have there own nation. Going to the UN got them nothing. Wave your little flag and show everyone your little piece of paper that says you have rights Mr. Abbas your actions have consequences you did what is good for you Mr, Netanyahu will do what is good for his people. Both Jewish and Arabs alike.

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Native Bees May Help Save Cropsi
X
Deborah Block
August 22, 2014 12:23 AM
U.S. President Barack Obama has called for a federal strategy to promote the health of bees that have been declining. The honeybee has been waning due to parasites, disease and pesticides. Wild bees may be used to take over their role as crop pollinators. Scientists first need to learn a lot more about wild bees, says biologist Sam Droege, who is pioneering the first national inventory on native bees. VOA’s Deborah Block went to his research laboratory in Beltsville, Maryland, to bring you more.
Video

Video Native Bees May Help Save Crops

U.S. President Barack Obama has called for a federal strategy to promote the health of bees that have been declining. The honeybee has been waning due to parasites, disease and pesticides. Wild bees may be used to take over their role as crop pollinators. Scientists first need to learn a lot more about wild bees, says biologist Sam Droege, who is pioneering the first national inventory on native bees. VOA’s Deborah Block went to his research laboratory in Beltsville, Maryland, to bring you more.
Video

Video US Defense Officials Plan for Long-Term Strategy to Contain Islamic State

U.S. defense officials say American air strikes in Iraq have helped deter Islamic State militants for the time being, but that a broad international effort is needed to defeat the extremists permanently. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel warned Thursday that the group formerly known as the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant, or ISIL, is better organized, and financially and militarily stronger than any other known terrorist group. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video Drug-Resistant Malaria Spreads in Southeast Asia

On Thailand’s border with Myanmar, also known as Burma, a malaria research and treatment clinic is stepping up efforts to eliminate a drug-resistant form of the parasite - before it spreads abroad. Steve Sandford reports from Mae Sot, Thailand.
Video

Video Gaza Conflict, Hamas Popularity Challenge Abbas

The Palestinian unity government of Mahmoud Abbas has failed to convince Hamas to agree to Egyptian-negotiated terms with Israel on a Gaza cease-fire. VOA State Department Correspondent Scott Stearns reports on what the Gaza conflict means for President Abbas, with whom U.S. officials have worked for years on a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
Video

Video Nigeria's 'Nollywood' Movie Industry Rolls in High Gear

Twenty years after its birth in a video shop in Lagos, Nigeria's "Nollywood" is one of the most prolific film industries on earth. Despite low budgets and whirlwind production schedules, Nigerian films are wildly popular in Africa and industry professionals say they hope, in the future, their films will be as great in quality as they are in quantity. Heather Murdock has more for VOA from Lagos.
Video

Video UN Launches 'Biggest Aid Operation in 30 Years' in Iraq

The United Nations has launched what it describes as one of the biggest aid operations in 30 years in northern Iraq, as hundreds of thousands of refugees flee the extremist Sunni militant group calling itself the Islamic State. As Kurdish and Iraqi forces battle the Sunni insurgents, the fighting has forced more people to flee their homes. Kurdish authorities say the international community must act now to avert a humanitarian catastrophe. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.
Video

Video Cambodian American Hip Hop Artist Sings of Personal Struggles

A growing underground movement of Cambodian American hip hop artists is rapping about the struggles of living in urban America. Most, if not all of them, are refugees or children of refugees who came to the United States from Cambodia to escape the Khmer Rouge genocide of the 1970s. Through their music, the artists hope to give voice to immigrants who have been struggling quietly for years. Elizabeth Lee reports from Long Beach, California.
Video

Video African Media Tries to Educate Public About Ebola

While the Ebola epidemic continues to claim lives in West Africa, information technology specialists, together with radio and TV reporters, are battling misinformation and prejudice about the disease - using social media to educate the public about the deadly virus. VOA’s George Putic has more.

AppleAndroid