Israel Announces Plan for 15,000 More Settlement Homes in East Jerusalem

Erekat: Construction Sabotages Peace Talk Efforts

The Israeli Housing Ministry today announced plans to build 25,000 homes across metro Jerusalem, and within this announcement were 15,000 new settlement homes within occupied East Jerusalem areas, a massive expansion of settlement in the area.

Israeli officials don’t present expansions in the East Jerusalem settlements as “settlement” expansion, however, as they insist the area, occupied since 1967, is part of the “eternal” capital of Israel, and will never be given back to the Palestinians at any rate.

The latest move sparked a lot of international criticism, with Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat declaring the move an attempt at “deliberate sabotage” of the peace process, and noting that all settlement construction in the occupied territories is illegal under international law.

The US had been pressuring Israel to “hold back” on settlement expansions, but no formal deal was ever reached. The US had proposed a deal where Israel would halt expansion of remote outposts, with more construction in East Jerusalem, but it seems Israel is going to just expand at an ever-growing rate without agreeing to any of the limits.

The timing of the announcement, amid the latest calls for peace by President Trump, risks Israel irking the US government, as once again it appears to be a deliberate attempt to both forestall new talks, and thumb their nose at the process in general.

Last 5 posts by Jason Ditz

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is news editor of Antiwar.com.

  • Joao Alfaiate

    And Abbas is actually going to waste his time visiting Trump. Abbas, what a joke. Resistance not collaboration.

    • unam_sanctum

      wrong. Collaboration is sorely needed.

    • Johnson11b

      There would be no occupation if Palestinians had not attacked Israel.

      Every time Israel offers to end the occupation, the Palestinians say “No!”
      Even Prince Bandar bin Sultan of Saudi Arabia (certainly not a Zionist) said that Arafat’s refusal to accept the January 2001 offer was a crime. Thousands of people would die because of Arafat’s decision & not one of those deaths could be justified.

      As Clinton later wrote in his memoir:
      It was historic: an Israeli government had said that to get peace, there would be a Palestinian state in roughly 97 percent of the West Bank, counting the [land] swap, and all of Gaza, where Israel also had settlements. The ball was in Arafat’s court.
      But Arafat would not, or could not, bring an end to the conflict. “I still didn’t believe Arafat would make such a colossal mistake,” Clinton wrote. “The deal was so good I couldn’t believe anyone would be foolish enough to let it go.” But the moment slipped away. “Arafat never said no; he just couldn’t bring himself to say yes.”

      • Schmizer

        bs – that was never on the table and has taken the form of a self-perpetuating myth.

        • Johnson11b

          Evidence?

          • Schmizer

            Did the deal, insure defensible borders, their own military, their own air space, sea space, currency, etc., for the Palestinians. Hell no.

          • Johnson11b

            Aggression has consequences!
            Do the Clinton Parameters say that Palestinian can’t have their own currency?

          • Joao Alfaiate

            Exactly. And that’s why the Palestinians are resisting Zionism.

          • Rq6800

            Where is there any mention of Zionism by name in the Torah, Bible, or Talmud??? Where did Abraham write about Zionism??? Where is Zionism connected to Judaism in the Bible…which passage??? You are nothing more than a poor sap pushing a monumental fraud…being Israel. They have no blood ties, or any biblical right to ANY part of Palestine. The abhorrent terrorist colonizer being the UK gave the Zionist menace land that was never theirs to give. The Balfour Declaration was worthless then as it is now.

          • Johnson11b

            “and Moses went up from the plains of Moab unto the mountain of Nebo, to the top of Pisgah, that is over against Jericho. And the LORD shewed him all the land of Gilead, unto Dan,
            2 And all Naphtali, and the land of Ephraim, and Manasseh, and all the land of Judah, unto the utmost sea,
            3 And the south, and the plain of the valley of Jericho, the city of palm trees, unto Zoar.
            4 And the LORD said unto him, This is the land which I sware unto Abraham, unto Isaac, and unto Jacob, saying, I will give it unto thy seed: I have caused thee to see it with thine eyes, but thou shalt not go over thither.”

            Deuteronomy 34:2.

          • Joao Alfaiate

            It also says in the Bible, “Thou shalt not steal” and “Thou shalt not covet.”

          • Rq6800

            Stupid liar…Zionism did not EXIST until its founding by Theodore Herzl. Furthermore there is nothing that connects the atheist/fascist ideology called Zionism with Judaism. Shove your fiction where the sun doesn’t shine….Furthermore NONE of the squatters in Israel have any proven blood ties with Abraham or his decedents.

      • Joao Alfaiate

        Quoting Clinton on the Question of Palestine? A man bought by Israel Firsters in the USA? What’s next? Making David Duke an authority on Afro-Americans?

        • Johnson11b

          Evidence that Clinton is a man bought by Israel Firsters in the USA?

          Was Prince Bandar bin Sultan of Saudi Arabia also bought?

          • Joao Alfaiate

            From Politico: “But there is one subject on which Saban does not hold back: his relationship with Bill and Hillary Clinton. No single political patron has done more for the Clintons over the span of their careers. In the past 20 years, Saban and his wife have donated $2.4 million to the Clintons’ various campaigns and at least $15 million to the Clinton Foundation, where Cheryl Saban serves as a board…”

          • Johnson11b

            Evidence that Bill Clinton’s opinion about the Clinton Parameters would be different if the Clintons had not received money from Saban?

          • Joao Alfaiate

            Schools in Israel need to improve the quality of their instruction in English.

  • Schmizer

    Israel has all that space for “settlers” so they have plenty of room for those Syrian refuges!

    • Hank

      Israel is the prime force behind all the “migrant-creating” wars yet it does NOT take refugees. Business as usual for the spoiled brat on the block! The US government is full of cowards who would lick Israel’s boot before they did anything reasonable and good for the American tax-paying citizen. What a shameful display of cowardice before the whole world. The USA doesn’t have leaders. It has cowardly spineless enablers of a war criminal nation!

      • Actually, no. You have everything backwards; hard to know where to start. It is the US thirst for oil, wealth, and power that supports wars in Libya, Iraq, and Syria. No doubt you drive an SUV or truck and demand cheap gas, but have no interest in the suffering your demand for oil causes. Blame Israel! But Israel had achieved a stable peace with these countries. And no country is under any obligation to take in refugees. As for the U.S. government, their alliance with Israel is based purely on self-interest, which includes military access, military technology, drones, medical research, computer technology, intelligence (information), etc. When the stuxnet virus blew up the Iranian centrifuges attempting to make nuclear bombs – with Israeli computer hacking – don’t you think that helped US interests? Or do you have the slightest idea what you are talking about?

        • Luchorpan

          Trillions have been spent. This isn’t for oil.

          It’d have been cheaper to develop North and South American oil and gas resources and to invest in solar.

          Israel is the core driver of US foreign policy.

          • I must respectfully disagree. The foreign policy of the United States is not based on Israel. There are mutual benefits but the U.S. wouldn’t be a superpower if it was insane, as you suggest.

          • Luchorpan

            The US doesn’t serve its interests; the US serves moneyed special interests. The strongest lobbies are the Israeli lobbies. The Saudis are also strong.

            The US empire is a superpower, bc after WWII we had the last standing developed economy. The Soviets fell, and there were no more competitors. Also, the US dollar is the global reserve currency, for now.

            We’ve been steadily trading at a disadvantage which undermines our economy as well.

          • Luchorpan

            It’s not a matter of “insanity”. Why should those managing the US government care whether it remains powerful?

            Those in government want to get rich. What would motivate anyone to care for the US and its people?

          • eric

            Well than they won’t be a super power because for sure they are insane But maybe every body else is insane too , So somehow we have been staying ahead in the past any way .

          • eric

            Mid east oil is the cheapest to pump out of the ground meaning higher profits for the oil companies . It is the easy money we want for our oil companies ..

          • Luchorpan

            $Trillions do not justify the profit. The US has spent trillions.

    • Illogical statement. Israel, like any nation, exists to protect and sustain its citizens. In this case, it is providing housing. Syrians are not Israeli citizens. However, the other Arab nations – such as Saudi Arabia – certainly have a moral obligation to take in fellow Arabs, but they have taken in ZERO refugees, although they actively support the war that created them.

      • Schmizer

        Israel is a Western style democracy (remember)? Therefore they should join the effort of other western-style democracies giving a helping hand to the poor refuges from Syria. It isn’t about religion in “western-style” democracies. With all the aid, the other “western-style” democracies hand over to the state of Israel, the least they could do is offer a helping hand with the wars fought on their behalf. Furthermore, using an argument to equate Saudi Arabia and other Muslim dictatorships with Israel, doesn’t jibe with your description of Israel as a “western style” democracy

      • Schmizer

        Israel is a Western style democracy (remember)? Therefore they should join the effort of other western-style democracies giving a helping hand to the poor refuges from Syria. It isn’t about religion in “western-style” democracies. With all the aid, the other “western-style” democracies hand over to the state of Israel, the least they could do is offer a helping hand with the wars fought on their behalf. Furthermore, using an argument to equate Saudi Arabia and other Muslim dictatorships with Israel, doesn’t jibe with your description of Israel as a “western style” democracy

        • Joao Alfaiate

          You are right not to equate Israel and Arab states like Saudi Arabia. Israel is far more dangerous and aggressive; expelled the native inhabitants of the country; bombs and invades its neighbors; Apartheid style 60 year occupation of east Jerusalem, the West Bank, Gaza, etc.

          • Johnson11b

            Aggressive??
            Israel has been under attack from the day it declared independence.

            Apartheid style 60 year occupation of east Jerusalem, the West Bank, Gaza, etc.???

            No occupier treats the occupied the same way it treats its own people, but no one ever calls that “apartheid” except when Israel is involved. Why?

          • Schmizer

            No – it was the same way in South Africa – Israel’s “best buddies” at the time.

          • Joao Alfaiate

            You mean by stealing the land of the Palestinians, shelling their cities, planting thousands of unwanted foreigners from Minsk, Pinsk and Miami Beach in their midst? Exactly, the world would not let anybody else get away with stuff like that but Israel and its friends in the America own the USG.

        • Johnson11b

          Unlike other Western style democracies, Israel has been attacked by Syria at least 3 times & is still in a state of war with Syria.

          Nevertheless, Israel has been providing medical care to wounded Syrian men, women & children.& Israel has decided to take in orphaned Syrian children.

          What do you mean by “the wars fought on their behalf?”

          • Schmizer

            I mean the war in Iraq, the war in Syria, and probably the war in Libya.

          • Johnson11b

            Israelis warned the US against going to war in Iraq. Kuwait had already been invaded by Iraq, but the US pushed Iraq out of Kuwait. If Iraq had wmd’s, the US would not come to Kuwait’s defense if Iraq invaded again.

            Syria? The US is in Syria fighting ISIS. Evidence that the US is in Syria to help Israel?

            Libya? The US tried to protect the civilians in Libya.
            Evidence that US was in Libya to help Israel?

          • eric

            The U.S.is in Syria to overthrow Assad like they Saddam in Iraq and Gaddoffi in Libya .

          • Johnson11b

            No. The US has been targeting ISIS, not Assad.

          • Schmizer

            Israel bombs Syria all the time, not so the other way around.

          • Johnson11b

            Israel is bombing weapons that are headed for Hezbollah in Lebanon. Hezbollah wants to destroy Israel.

          • Joao Alfaiate

            Hizbollah is part of the armed forces of Lebanon. It exists to keep invaders out of southern Lebanon, a task it has been pretty good at. History honors resistors and patriots, not Quislings like Abbas.

      • eric

        Saudi Arabia says they would take them in but there is likely to be to many terrorists among these refugees . They can’t take a chance on more terrorists .

  • Neuromancer

    There is either peace or there is no peace. The idea of a “peace process”, especially one that is over 40 years old, is ludicrous.

  • Very biased language. Jerusalem is not “occupied”, anymore than Istanbul, Mecca, Washington DC, etc. Wars happen. One side wins, the other loses. Move on.

    • Schmizer

      Haven’t we moved on from the law of the jungle and who has the biggest balls?

      • I see no evidence of that. Not on this planet.

    • Schmizer

      Jerusalme is “occupied” according the UN and the vast majority of the international community. Rogue nations don’t last. Ask Hitler and Tojo.

      • Your logic is as bad as your spelling. UN resolutions are as meaningless as New Years’ resolutions. The “international community” is a joke – just a tool of powerful nations. Look at the mass slaughter going on in Syria, Yemen, and so many tragic situations. Rogue nations do fine, as long as they don’t fight bigger thugs. There is no international court, only agreements between nations. Nazi Germany and Imperial Japan were defeated primarily by U.S., British, and Soviet military force – not by diplomats wagging their fingers or making speeches at conferences. But by your logic, why isn’t Berlin occupied? or Tokyo? Or Istanbul or Mecca? Apparently, the only wars that count are the ones you like.

        • Schmizer

          That isn’t “spelling”, that’s a typo, as anyone with a modicum of intelligence would know. Brush up on your history too. There is an international court at the Hague, and there was an international court at Nuremberg.

          • eric

            Both courts were political courts and the Hague court is preview of the kind of justice you will get from the NWO

        • Joao Alfaiate

          History is littered with unsinkable ship, 1000 year Reichs and unconquerable capitals. How many years did the Outremer last? Better buy a second passport and get ready to return to the Upper East Side, Los Angeles or Pinsk.

      • Johnson11b

        The UN is biased against Israel.

        For example, the UN criticized only one country for its treatment of women. It was not Saudi Arabia where women are not allowed to drive. It was not Egypt or Iraq or Yemen where girls suffer from female genital mutilation. It was not Palestine or Jordan or Iran where women are subjected to honor killings. It was Israel – a country that has had a female prime minister & female fighter pilots.

        The 10 worst countries for human rights are: Syria, Sudan, DR Congo, Pakistan, Somalia, Afghanistan, Iraq, Myanmar, Yemen & Nigeria. So why are there more UN Resolutions against Israel than against the 10 worst countries combined?

        There is no boycott of China even though China invaded Tibet & transferred millions of Chinese settlers into Tibet.
        There is no boycott of Turkey even though Turkey occupies part of Cyprus and Turkish settlers have moved into occupied Cyprus.
        There is no boycott of Morocco which occupies part of Western Sahara.
        Unlike China, Turkey and Morocco, the Israel’s occupation began because Israel was attacked. Also, unlike China, Turkey and Morocco, Israel offered to end the occupation if Palestinians would sign a peace treaty.

        • Schmizer

          Uh huh and England signed a “peace treaty”. How did that one work out?

          • Johnson11b

            Israel signed & honored peace treaties with Egypt & Jordan.

      • eric

        You can’t pay any attention to what the UN says . According to the UN Israel has committed more crimes against their Palestinian residents than all the other countries in the world . Yet the Palestinian population in Israel lives much better than all the Muslims around them .

    • Joao Alfaiate

      Is that the way you think about the Holocaust (TM)?

  • Joao Alfaiate

    So the Zionists decided to marginalize and expel the Palestinians, a process continuing to this day using “gentile” cash to make it all possible.

    • Why should the United States support the Palestinians? They have consistently supported every enemy of the U.S. for the last 80 years. In the 1930s, the Grand Mufti of Jerusalem was an enthusiastic supporter of Adolf Hitler; he made speeches for Hitler from Berlin and recruited 10,000 Muslim soldiers to commit atrocities throughout Europe (the Grand Mufti was the uncle and mentor of Yassir Arafat, by the way). In the Cold War, the Palestinians supported the Soviet Union against the U.S. for decades. In 1967, a Palestinian assassinated Bobby Kennedy, the leading candidate for U.S. president. The Palestinians supported Saddam Hussein against the U.S. And let’s not forget the Palestinians dancing in the streets and handing out sweets after the mass slaughter of innocent Americans on 9/11.

      • Rq6800

        The US should keep its terrorist nose out of the Palestinians business. The world knows that the US os owned by the Fed/Banks, and that most of mendacious megalomaniacs in charge are Zionists. Why do you think that the Palestinians have sheer disdain for the US???? maybe because the US is the biggest supporter of Israeli terror, theft, and mass murder against its people???? ….get a grip…

      • Joao Alfaiate

        Why should Uncle Sam support the Zionist enterprise? We just gave Israel $38 billion which could be used much better at home. All we get for our money is the hatred on a billion Muslims and interference in our political system by Bibi.

        • Johnson11b

          Former Supreme Commander of NATO and U.S. Secretary of State Gen. Alexander Haig described Israel as “the largest US aircraft carrier, which does not require even one US soldier, cannot be sunk, is the most cost-effective and battle-tested, located in a region which is critical to vital US interests. If there would not be an Israel, the US would have to deploy real aircraft carriers, along with tens of thousands of US soldiers, which would cost tens of billions of dollars annually, dragging the US unnecessarily into local, regional and global conflicts.”

          • Schmizer

            We haven’t had one aircraft under our control take off from that “aircraft carrier” as you call it. Gen MacArthur called Taiwan “an unsinkable aircraft carrier” and look how we withdrew diplomatic relations and abrogated the Mutual Defense Treaty. Taiwan was a far far better ally than Israel will ever be.

          • eric

            But Taiwan was a part of China

          • Joao Alfaiate

            Please explain to me how this Israeli aircraft carrier has in any way contributed to the welfare of the US and its citizens.

          • eric

            Right now today Israel has some of our new F35 fighter planes . These planes are not yet up to snuff or ready to fight .. By the time Israel get through with some of their additional electronics I bet these planes will be able to do everything we hoped they would ..

          • Johnson11b

            That’s like asking how airbags have in any way contributed to my welfare when I’ve never had a car crash.

          • Final warning on spamming Antiwar.com’s comments with the same cut and paste stuff over and over. Next step: Ban.

  • J C

    who are they building these for…

  • Rq6800

    Was that satire thou lapdog?? Israel is a non-country, and has no inherent historical rights to ANY of Palestine. Period.

    • Johnson11b

      How is Israel a “non-country?”

      • This is an Arab fantasy. There was never a war in 1948; the Arabs didn’t lose, and even if there was a war, it was some sort of tie. The only countries that are real countries on those conquered by Arabs. Everything else doesn’t exist. No wonder there is so many problems in the Arab world – Libya, Syria, Saudi Arabia, Yemen, Egypt…they worry about a war that was settled in 1948, while ignoring the problems facing them today.

    • This is the self-serving “logic” of a failing people (the Arabs). In their view, anything they conquer – is a country. So, the Arab conquest of Christian lands – that’s a “real” country. When the Turks conquered Constantinople – that counts. When the Arabs conquered Byzantine lands – that counts. When the Europeans got back the Holy Land – that didn’t count. When the Arabs got it back – that counts. The land that is now Israel has gone back and forth between many different peoples and nations – Romans, Hebrews, Persians, Christians, Mamluks, Crusaders, Ottoman, British…but someone, it belongs to a made-up people who never had a country. Too bad for Arabs – people can now check the facts and see through their lies. But let them make speeches at the UN and the Arab Summits about their made-up people. They can make all sorts of pretty speeches to fool college students about how people like Yassir Arafat (born in Egypt) and Omar Barghouti (born in Qatar) have the rights to the land, while people whose families have lived in Jerusalem for generations – if not centuries – are “settlers”. Well, fewer and fewer people are falling for this piffle. Meanwhile, Israel grows stronger, more advanced, more educated, while much of the Arab world can’t even feed itself.

      • A lot of good points in there. Too bad you decided to open it with an ethnic slur. You aren’t describing “the Arabs,” you’re describing the Islamists.

        Vis a vis ethnic slurs, this will be your only warning.

  • Gus Goodland

    “Israel” is a colonial settlement, from which the European colonizers slaughtered or expelled the territorial inhabitants.

    There is nothing complicated about this. There are no nuances. There are no ambiguities. There is nothing to debate. It is a brute fact.

    I am every day more mystified by the enormous amount of energy wasted on non-issues thanks to whatever herd or tribal weaknesses that cause otherwise intelligent people to swallow and inculcate story lines, narratives, mythologies, and plain bs promoted by the ruling class.

    Let us grow up and speak no more of the “settlements” as some obstacle to peace. The Zionists are correct that the true barrier to peace is the existence of Israel itself, which Palestine will never accept. Nor should it.

    • Johnson11b

      So you see no difference between a hit man murdering someone in cold blood & someone who is attacked & kills his attacker in self-defense?

  • eric

    I must admit I agree with you

  • Rq6800

    The British had no legal legitimate ownership of Palestine. They were and are an illegal colonial occupier who had muscle only…no ties, or rights to Palestine. Period. Where is the deed and that shows that Palestine and the surrounding lands were owned by the British??? The Balfour is as worthless and illegitimate as Israel is…

  • Rq6800

    Because there are still some people in the FBI and CIA who KNOW that Zionists are self serving sociopaths who hate the United States. Furthermore due to the US government being compartmentalized the right hands has no idea what the left is doing. Why would the Mossad warn the US government?? They hate our country and 9/11 was a boon for their agenda of perpetual chaos in the ME.