Two months ago, nearly to the day, Israeli officials greeted the eve of indirect peace talks with a massive new settlement announcement. The fallout was such that the talks were delayed for months and the tensions between the US and Israel still haven’t been fully resolved.
At the time Israeli officials shrugged off the timing as coincidental but now, less than 24 hours after the Palestinian Authority officially confirmed the start of those long-awaited talks, Israel has done it again.
Cabinet Secretary Zvi Hauser made very public announcements today that Israel intended to expand settlements in Har Homa and Neve Yaakov, both in occupied East Jerusalem.
The announcement appears to refute claims of a US-backed “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy in East Jerusalem expansion, as well as claims that the Netanyahu had ordered a secret halt to all such construction.
Rather it seems the policy has not changed, as that those in the right-far-right coalition government that oppose the peace process still retain the ability to openly sabotage the talks.
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