Israeli settlement expansion has surged in the two months since a diplomatic Quartet report called for a halt to the construction of Jewish settlements on land claimed by Palestine.
|The Quartet, the U.S., Russia, EU and UN, urged Israel to cease building settlements on land claimed by the Palestinians but at the same time urged the Palestinians to cease incitement to violence. The incitement to violence often comes from Israeli actions as well. The Quartet recommendations are hardly new as the demand to cease settlement building was made in a February report as well. Indeed, the demand goes back as far as 2001 and the Mitchell Report: * The GOI should freeze all settlement activity, including the "natural growth" of existing settlements. " GOI stands for Government of Israel. In 2001 there were approximately 200,000 settlers living in the West Bank but now the number has almost doubled to 380,000.|
“it is not the presence of Jews, who have lived in the West Bank and Jerusalem for thousands of years, that is a barrier to peace. Rather, it is the unceasing efforts to deny that historical connection and a refusal to recognize that Jews are not foreign to Judea.This just assumes that east Jerusalem is part of Israel. The overwhelming majority of nations regard the settlements as illegal, as built upon occupied territory, and there is no international recognition of Israeli annexation of east Jerusalem. The continued settlement expansion means there will be less and less land available for any Palestinian state.The claim that it is illegal for Jews to build in Jerusalem is as absurd as saying Americans can’t build in Washington or the French can’t build in Paris. The Palestinian demand to ethnically cleanse their future state of Jews is outrageous and should be condemned by the United Nations instead of being embraced by it.”