New Israeli Cabinet Committed to Settlement Building

Israel’s new housing  Minister Uri Ariel has signalled that the expansion of Jewish settlements in  occupied Palestinian territories will continue unabated.

Mr Ariel, who is a Jewish settler himself and a member of the pro-settler  Jewish Home Party told television audiences on Sunday that the incoming cabinet  of Prime Minister Netanyahu would continue settlement building “in accordance  with what the government’s policy has been thus far.” During the course of the  interview Ariel used biblical names for the territory occupied by Israel since  1967, saying that his government would “build in Judea and Samaria more or less  as it has done previously. I see no reason to change it.”

The building of Jewish settlements, which derailed peace talks in 2010 and  has so far prevented their resumption, is seen by most countries around the  world as a breach of international law. Since Palestine won recognition for its  claim to statehood at the U.N. General Assembly in November 2012 the government  of Israel has stepped up its settlement building plans. Since November plans to  build 11,000 new houses in the occupied West Bank and East Jerusalem have been  announced – nearly twice the number built from 2009 to 2012….



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