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Palestine
IOF ok's WB apartments ahead of Biden's visit
IOF ok's WB apartments ahead of Biden's visit
Israel intends to continue with arrogant plans in establishing settlements despite allegations of "peace talks".
Tuesday, March 9,2010 11:31
IkhwanWeb

Israel okayed the construction of 112 apartments in a West Bank settlement Monday, a move that angered Palestinians a day after they reluctantly agreed to hold indirect peace negotiations with Israel's hardline government. The move also comes as US Vice-President Joe Biden was due to arrive for a visit to Israel, the highest-ranking official from Barack Obama's administration to visit the region so far

During Biden's visit, the US hopes to announce the restart of - indirect - Israeli-Palestinian "proximity talks," to be mediated by Obama's special envoy to the Middle East, George Mitchell, who was holding last-minute preparatory talks with the sides in Jerusalem and Ramallah on Sunday and Monday

Defence Minister Ehud Barak, of the left-to-centre coalition Labour Party, authorized builders to continue the construction of 112 apartments in the ultra-Orthodox settlement of Beitar Illit, south- west of Jerusalem

A spokeswoman for his office said the project of 112 apartments had already been given the green light by the previous Israeli government of Ehud Olmert and its first phase had started before Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu declared a moratorium on construction in the occupied West Bank in November

Chief Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat condemned the move

Intense negotiations between a team appointed by Abbas and the previous Israeli government of centrist premier Ehud Olmert were broken off some 15 months ago, just before Israel headed into elections that saw Netanyahu's nationalist Likud party return to power, while Olmert's Kadima was sent into the opposition

Biden was due to land in Tel Aviv Monday afternoon for a three-day trip that is also to include the West Bank cities of Ramallah and Bethlehem on Wednesday, a statement from the US embassy in Tel Aviv confirmed

Amid the frozen peace process, Obama himself has thus far refrained from visiting Israel, or the West Bank

 

tags: Settlements / Jewish Settlers / Negotiations / Abbas / Obama / Netanyahu / Olmert / IOA / West Bank / Biden / Obama / Ramallah / Expansion Of Settlements / Israeli Attacks / Israeli Violation / Peace Negotiations / Peace Process / Palestinian Authority / George Mitchell
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