JERUSALEM (Reuters) – Israel announced on Monday plans to build 455 new homes for settlers thugs in the occupied West Bank, a move that could be followed by a deal with the United States on a limited construction moratorium.
Following are facts about the settlements Israel has built in the territory it captured in a 1967 Middle East war now at the heart of a rare rift between Israel and the United States.
- Some 300,000 Israelis live in more than 100 settlements Israel has built [on stolen lands] in the West Bank, and another 200,000 live in Arab East Jerusalem, areas home to some 2.5 million Palestinians seeking independent statehood. Israel has annexed East Jerusalem as part of its capital in a move not recognized internationally.
- Many settlers living in enclaves nearest to the cities of Tel Aviv and Jerusalem have cited cheaper housing costs as a motive. Others see themselves as pioneers exercising a biblical right of Jews to lands they call Judea and Samaria. [AshkaNazis and Sephardic Jews have no claim to Palestine! This includes every Zionist Israeli occupying Palestine since 1948 ]
- Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas demands a freeze in settlement construction before peace talks stalled since December may resume. Abbas cites a 2003 U.S. and European-backed peace “road map” that calls for a stop to settlement building alongside parallel steps by the Palestinians to curb violence against Israel.
- Benjamin Netanyahu, a right-wing prime minister who took office in March backed by a coalition of pro-settler parties who want Israel to keep much of the West Bank under any peace deal, says he would not build new settlements but wants to expand some existing enclaves to accommodate what he calls “natural growth” of the population. [What natural growth? Israel’s non-Jewish minority, consisting of more than 75 percent Arab Muslims, is growing at nearly 5 percent a year, faster than Israel’s Jewish population at 3 percent annually (according to 1997 figures)].
- The World Court deems settlements as illegal under international law, including the Geneva Conventions, a ruling Israel disputes. The United States and European Union have commonly viewed the settlements as obstacles to peace and urged their cessation.
- Netanyahu insists the settlements are not the “heart” of the conflict, and wants Palestinians to recognize Israel’s right to exist as a Jewish state before they may achieve statehood. Palestinians reject this demand saying they have already recognized Israel and should not have to define its ethnicity. [Every time the Arabs accept a demand, the NaZionists create new demands every year!]
(Writing by Allyn Fisher-Ilan, Editing by Janet Lawrence)
“At the heart of this is simple mathematics,” said the Guardian. “Forecasts from the United States’ Population Reference Bureau show Israel’s population doubling in 45 years, that of the West Bank in 21 years and that of Gaza in 15 years. In other words, Palestinians in the West Bank, Gaza and East Jerusalem, and Israeli Arabs will outnumber the Jewish population by 2020.”