Israeli Settlement Expansions Continue - by Stephen Lendman
Currently, around 500,000 Jews reside illegally in over 120 West Bank and East Jerusalem settlements as well as dozens of outposts. Their numbers grow daily despite occasional pledges to curtail or slow them, the latest last November when Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu declared a 10 month freeze, calling it a move to "help launch meaningful negotiations to reach a historic peace agreement that would finally end the conflict between Israel and the Palestinians."
Never mind Israel's history of past peace process futility because all previous efforts were more pretense than real, or as some Palestinians say - How can they negotiate in good faith without a willing partner? They've never had one and don't in Netanyahu, an extremist hard-right zealot.
The same holds for a settlement freeze, just rhetoric with no substance, especially given Israel's plan to make all Jerusalem a Jewish city, according to Netanyahu. During a May 22, 2009 Jerusalem Day ceremony (commemorating the city's 1967 reunification), he declared:
"United Jerusalem is Israel's capital. Jerusalem was always ours and will always be ours. It will never again be partitioned and divided."
For East Jerusalem Palestinians, it means removing them one settlement expansion and home demolition at a time.
So much for the peace process and freeze, evidenced by a February 26 Haaretz report saying Israel "plans to build another 600 homes in East Jerusalem" on Occupied Palestinian land.
Then on March 10, Israel's Interior Ministry approved 1,600 in Ramat Shlomo, "an ultra-Orthodox East Jerusalem neighborhood" during vice president Joe Biden's visit to restart no-peace peace talks, the same as past stillborn efforts.