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Time in Palestine

No freeze on settlements

April 25, 2009 

bulldozer1.jpgIsraeli Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, stated on Thursday that Israel does not intend to freeze the expansion and construction of Israeli settlements in the occupied West Bank.
The statements of Netanyahu came during a meeting with the Czech Prime Minister, Mirek Topolanek. The Czech Republic is the rotating head of the European Union.
The Israeli PM said that this issue should be parallel, stating the ?if the Israeli?s were barred from building in the West Bank, the Palestinians should refrain from building too?.
This position disregards the fact that settlements in the occupied West Bank are illegal under the international law and constitute a war crime.

Topolanek told Netanyahu that the European Union is concerned that the ongoing construction and expansion of Israeli settlements in the occupied West Bank would hinder the establishment of an independent, contiguous Palestinian state.
Netanyahu said that the ?West Bank is a disputed territory? and that he does not intend to halt the construction and expansion of settlements.
He stated that Israel does not currently plan to expand settlements, but added that ?if a settler wants to build a home in a settlement, then there is no problem in that? although it will ?enforce the law in dealing with illegal settlement outposts?, also referred to by Israel as ?random outpost?.

He slammed some European Legislators who are saying the EU should not upgrade its relations with Israel because of its violations against the Palestinians.

Netanyahu stated that relations with Israel should not be dependent on Israel?s relations with the Palestinians, and added that Israel will not accept preconditions.
The statements of Netanyahu come in direct contradiction to international law especially since Israeli settlements in the occupied West Bank are built on areas stolen from the Palestinian.

by Saed Bannoura – IMEMC & Agencies