Destroying economic life on the West Bank

Posted on November 7, 2007

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BBC News

 Construction is continuing in dozens of Jewish settlements in the West Bank despite Israel’s pledge to freeze their expansion, an campaign group has said.

Peace Now says Jewish population growth is three times higher in the area occupied in 1967 than in Israel itself.

It says settlers are bypassing a ban on using caravans to expand settlements by erecting pre-fabricated homes on site.

Israeli settlements in the occupied territories are deemed illegal under international law.

Israel had pledged to stop their construction as part of internationally-backed peace efforts.

Peace Now says there is continuing construction in 88 out of about 150 of the authorised settlements, in addition to the building of permanent structures in 34 unauthorised settlement outposts.

Settler leaders expressed pleasure about Peace Now’s report, thanking it for “documenting their endeavour”.

Violation

Peace Now’s Director-General Yariv Oppenheimer said the Israeli military had stopped monitoring construction at the illegal outposts.

“There is no connection between what is happening in political negotiations and what is happening on the ground,” he told Israeli Army Radio.  [more]

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