Israeli settlers start new illegal settlement post
near Bethlehem, Salhi and Erikat warn of the consequences
Israeli settlers start new settlement post near Bethlehem
Tuesday March 18, 2008 14:35 by Najjeb Faraj - IMEMC
Villagers of Al-Khader, located south-west of
Bethlehem city in the southern West Bank revealed on Tuesday that
Israeli settlers have started to build a new settlement post on their
Mounier Mussa, the land owner where the post is being constructed,
stated that, on Monday afternoon he went to his land following reports
from neighbors over Israeli settlers beginning construction on his land.
When he arrived at the land he said that a group of right wing Israeli
settlers from the Gush Etzion settlement, already built on land
originally belonging to Al-Khader village, had started to build a new
post on his land.
Moussa stopped the work on his land, argued with the settlers and made
them leave. Since his land is in Area C according to the Oslo accords,
it is under full control of the Israeli military. He reported the attack
to the Israeli military police.
Moussa went to court three years ago, when settlers tried to take his
land then. He won and the Israeli court issued a restraining order
against the settlers. On Monday, the settlers broke the court ruling and
attacked the land again.
Moussa owns around 14 acres in the area coveted by the settlers, and
alleged that former Israeli MK Yighal Biebi from the right wing
political group in Israel, Mifdal, was supporting the illegal
construction attempts on his land, and even offered money to Moussa in
exchange for the land.
Moussa maintains that he will never sell his land to the Israeli
settlers, as he fears that in any sale, the settlers will take not only
his land, but will also confiscate all the land around it, under the
claim of providing security for the settlement post.
The village of Al-Khader is often targeted by the Israeli army. Farmers
there are losing their land to the illegal Israeli wall, in addition to
the ongoing expansion of existing settlements which surround the
village, and now the attempt to build the new outpost .
Moussa stated that he will continue to fight in court to keep the
settlers away from his land, and added that he would "do what ever it
takes to keep the land that is the only source of income for me and my
Erekat: We can't discuss negotiations
while settlement activity is ongoing
Tuesday March 18, 2008 16:05 by Ghassan Bannoura
- IMEMC News & Agencies
The head of the Negotiations Department in the
Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO), Dr. Sa'ed Erekat, stated on
Tuesday that negotiations between the Palestinians and Israel can not
continue with ongoing Israeli settlement construction activity in the
The Palestinian official told Palestinian National Radio that he had
informed the Israeli negotiation team that talks between the two sides
must be suspended in the face of ongoing Israeli activity in the West
Bank, including Jerusalem.
The Palestinian-Israeli peace talks were revived last November during
the one day Annapolis conference in Maryland USA, based on the Road Map
Peace Plan of 2003.
The American-sponsored Road Map states clearly that Israeli must stop
its settlement activity.
Dr Erekat demanded that the international community must put more
pressure on Israel over its settlement activity, in addition to halting
its military attacks on the Palestinians, "in order to make the year
2008 a year of peace," the Palestinian official stated.
Bassam al-Salhi Secretary-General of the
PPP: Israel weakens Abbas through its Settlements Policy
Tuesday March 18, 2008 16:23 by Manar Jibrin -
Bassam al-Salhi discusses PPP vision for the near
future and criticizes all involved parties for failing to work for a
In an interview with Bassam al-Salhi, Secretary General of Palestine
People's Party on Tuesday, he said that during the last meeting of the
party, three issues were discussed. Among them was the political report
that was presented by the party's central committee focusing on the
party's vision in the current political situation and amidst the
obstructed peace negotiations with Israel. This vision includes the
party's declaration of an independent Palestinian state within the 1967
borders and East Jerusalem as its capital by the end of this year.
Al-Salhi justified this as cutting “the way over the obstruction of the
political process and our rejection to the submitted for a temporary
state." He added that "we are working on Arab and international
recognition and international protection in the Palestinian territories.
[Also, we] are struggling to achieve an end to occupation that focuses
on the construction of unified movement for the popular resistance
without excluding resistance and all of its forms according to the
Palestinian reconciliation document."
He indicated that Israel is applying a systematic and regulated process
aiming at destroying the bases of a Palestinian independent state. As
such, the People's Party is working to protect the option of two-state
solution based on stopping the current negotiations and its mechanisms.
In addition the party had called for suspending the negotiations due to
ongoing Israeli settlement building and attacks. He asserted that "we
[the party] see the necessity to returning the Palestinian cause file to
the UN Security Council and not only to the Middle East peace
Al Salhi also stated that there a tendency towards having an expanded
front for all of the Palestinian leftist parties. Concerning any
initiatives to bridge the gap between the Palestinians in order to end
their dividing state, al Salhi said that "the parties [Fatah and Hamas]
are not interested to end this state of divisiveness since they are
qualified to end it." He further stated that “we realize that both
Israel and the United States had played a major role in the failure of
the Palestinian experience and the national unit and in dealing
seriously with the outcome of the Palestinian legislative elections that
was held in 2006. Both the Palestinian Authority and the Hamas movement
are having their own interests that they both do not want to reach any
He added that "we support holding talks whether directly or indirectly
to reach real results that to reinforce the democratic experience. We
[and] some international sides are working to give the Yamani initiative
a chance to succeed.”
Regarding the Palestinian future situation, al Salhi said that "both the
US and Israel are not serious and not interested in achieving real
progress in the political process and are working to destroy and to
weaken the political peace track. They directly or indirectly are
working always to weaken the Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas through
Israel's acts on land and settlements."
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