Israeli DM Approves Yet More Settlement Growth

US Blocks UN Security Council Efforts to Slam Expansion

by Jason Ditz, December 19, 2012

Settlement expansion announcements keep coming hard and fast in the weeks leading up to the Israeli election, with news today that Defense Minister Ehud Barak okayed the expansion of the Gva’ot settlement recently, but never actually announced it publicly.

The new announcement was another 523 housing units in the West Bank settlement, which lies just west of the Palestinian town of Bethlehem. Gva’ot only has a few dozen residents at this point, so the move is a massive expansion.

This marks nearly 10,000 new settlement homes being announced publicly in the past week, with most of the international community absolutely livid. The UN Security Council almost issued a statement today condemning the move, but the US blocked it.

Instead, the 14 members of the UN Security Council that aren’t the United States issued a joint statement blasting Israel for the expansions, saying they undermined faith in Israel’s willingness to negotiate a peace settlement. Israel’s Ambassador Ron Prosor condemned the rest of the world for criticizing Israel, noting that other things had also happened elsewhere in the world this week that didn’t relate directly to Israel, and that they could’ve conceivably also been the topic of discussion instead.

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