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Monday, August 12, 2013

Israel announces the construction of over a thousand homes in East Jerusalem and the West Bank

As had advanced local media Israel has announced the tender for 1,187 households new to the colonies in the West Bank and in East Jerusalem.Thus, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu tries to calm anger over nationalist flank after its Executive approve the release of 104 Palestinian prisoners ahead of the resumption of the peace process.The first meeting between the two sides will take place this Wednesday in Jerusalem in an atmosphere of distrust and zero maximum optimism. U.S. was aware of this step after getting the revival of Israeli-Palestinian dialogue, stalled since 2010. The Israeli daily Maariv reported that the announcement on Sunday is agreed with Washington after the government voted in favor of the release of prisoners. While the right-wing government applaud the new homes, although considered "insufficient", the center-left led by Minister of Economy and number two in the coalition, Yair Lapid, defines it as "double mistake and counterproductive."

A much stronger criticism in Ramallah

Last week and at information on the construction of 878 homes in West Bank settlements, the chief Palestinian negotiator, Saeb Erekat, sent a letter to Secretary of State, John Kerry, protesting the "lack of good faith and seriousness" of Israel in the peace process. He also demanded to take measures to halt the construction he considers "the greatest obstacle to peace and a Palestinian state." Following the announcement on Sunday of the construction of 793 homes in Jerusalem beyond the Green Line (the border of 67) and 394 in four major West Bank settlements, the Housing Minister Uri Ariel said: "The Government is acting to reduce the high cost and the price of housing serving all citizens whether Negev, north or Judea and Samaria (West Bank). No country in the world accepts dictates of others on which may or may not build." A leading member of the ultranationalist party Bait Yehudit, Ariel claims that Israel has given in recent months to pressure from the international community "as long there is no public tenders construction in Judea and Samaria homes where there is a silent freeze. The announcement comes late and insufficient ". The Palestinian leader, Mohamed Shtaye, reporting that the announcement of Ariel "is a deliberate attempt to sabotage the efforts of the United States and the international community to resume negotiations to approve more homes in settlements to three days of the first meeting between Israeli and Palestinian ". In the environment of Netanyahu, remember vowed never to paralysis of the construction as a condition for the resumption of negotiations and the letter sent to Kerry protesting what they consider "incitement to hatred and violence" of the Palestinian leadership.

First prisoners

Israel on Tuesday released the first 26 prisoners of the 104 detained before the Oslo accords. Despite the appeal to the Israeli Supreme Court by the families of the victims of the attacks or planned by prisoners, the release becomes effective. The next day, the Jerusalem meeting between Erekat and Israeli chief negotiator, Tzipi Livni. No commitment to a definitive agreement in nine months as Kerry aims to be exercise 'fireman' to extinguish fires on the negotiating table. For now, the man in the talks, the veteran diplomat Martin Indyk already in Jerusalem with the hose ready.

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