U.S. gives Israel green light to build in 57 West Bank settlements
|Thursday, September 2,2010 15:22|
OCCUPIED JERUSALEM, As de facto Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas ventures into futile negotiations with Israel, the U.S. has given Israel the green light to resume construction in 57 Israeli settlements in the occupied West Bank, Israeli sources said, despite the alleged decision to freeze settlement activity until September 26.
Israeli Army Radio disclosed that construction plans were finally approved in the past few months and will materialize in at least 57 settlements.
The radio station added that regional councils for the settlements throughout the West Bank "acquired" lands years back for construction projects, and therefore do not need approval from the Israeli government to begin implementing plans for large-scale building.
Statistical data recently published by the Israeli Ministry of Interior shows a rise in the West Bank’s settlement population, with 8,000 new settlers settling there within the last six months. There are 320,000 Israeli settlers currently residing in the West Bank.
Meanwhile, the international campaign to release abducted MPs denounced the U.S. consulate’s refusal to accept a letter from the families of Jerusalem MPs asking the American President, Barack Obama to intervene and put a close to the issue faced by MPs threatened to be exiled from Jerusalem.
The international campaign emphasized in a statement Tuesday that the step by the U.S. Consulate constitutes a flagrant bias with Israel.
The U.S. consulate in Jerusalem refused to receive a note from the Jerusalem MPs sitting in for their 62nd day at the Red Cross headquarters because of allegedly not having enough staff to receive the letter.