Israel Will Use Prisoner Release as Excuse for More Settlements

Jewish Home Aims to Block Already Agreed to Releases

The deals surrounding the ongoing Israel-Palestinian peace talks involved 104 prisoners being released and a one off settlement announcement, Israel has already gone well beyond the agreed to level of settlements, and has only released about 25% of the prisoners promised.

But some more prisoners are about to be released shortly, and Israel’s government apparently figures that having staggered out those releases into several stages, they can use the release as an excuse for massive new settlement expansion announcements yet again.

The official excuse for doing so is that the prisoner releases are too controversial to do all at once, and on top of that the only way to get the opponents of peace talks to go along with the releases is to placate them with huge new settlements that undermine the process.

But even that appears to be insufficient, as Jewish Home is pushing a new bill this week in Israel’s parliament that would forbid Israel from releasing the prisoners, even though the deal to release them happened months ago and the cabinet already approved it. The bill would reiterate demands for massive new settlement expansions, arguing that not expanding the settlements would “defame the whole settlement venture.”

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Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is news editor of Antiwar.com.