Ahead of Kerry Visit, Israel Announces 1,859 More Settlement Homes

Announcement Puts Peace Talks in Even Deeper Peril

by Jason Ditz, November 03, 2013

Israel threw the already struggling peace process with the Palestinians into major doubt last week, announcing 5,000 new settlement units and following that up with a plan to demolish the homes of 15,000 Palestinians in occupied East Jerusalem.

They followed that up with an announcement of 1,859 more settlement homes today, including 1,031 in the West Bank and 828 more in East Jerusalem. The construction will begin in a few months.

A top PLO member suggested the Palestinians are considering going to the UN Security Council over the recent announcements, while Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu insisted he never planned to stop expanding the settlements.

That conflicts with previous reports of a deal for a de facto freeze after a single 1,000 home announcement as part of the pact for starting the peace process, though Israeli officials seem convinced that now that the process has sort of started, anything goes.

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