Netanyahu calls for resuming settlement activities quietly
NAZARETH, Israeli media sources said that the Israeli premier’s office asked the cabinet ministers not to make statements about the end of settlement freeze and demanded the right-wing parties to cancel celebration plans in this regard and to continue settlement construction quietly.
Sources also quoted Israeli Knesset member Danny Danon as saying that the Israeli government will start building 2000 settlement units on Monday in different West Bank settlements.
Yedioth Ahronoth newspaper said Sunday that the Israeli premier’s office director met with Danon, who oversees the festivities to be held in celebration of resuming settlement activities, as well as officials in the settlement council Yesha and asked them to avoid provocation with regard to the renewed settlement building and reduce celebrations.
Israeli cabinet ministers were also demanded to avoid making statements on the resumption of settlement activities in the West Bank.
Netanyahu earlier announced his insistence on the resumption of settlement building immediately after the alleged temporary freeze ends and called for more international pressure on Abbas to force him not to withdraw from the direct talks.
Thousands of Israeli settlers will participate today (Monday) in events held to celebrate the resumed settlement activities and dozens of buses boarding Israeli Likud activists will tour West Bank settlements to provide support for the settlers there.
Statistics collected by the land research center stated that the settlement activities during the period of the alleged settlement freeze did not stop and there were construction in more than 120 Israeli settlements at the expense of Palestinian lands.
According to these data, 1,520 settlement units are already under construction, 2,066 others are to be built soon and there are declared plans to build 37,679 units in the future.
The center also affirmed that the size of the confiscated Palestinian land, during the freeze period, amounted to 5,906 dunums, while 920 other dunums of agricultural lands were also bulldozed, 280 Palestinian homes and structures were destroyed, 830 others received demolition orders.
It added that Israeli settlers seized under police and military protection during the same period 13 Palestinian homes, while the Israeli occupation authority prevented the Palestinians from building 10 roads in different West Bank areas and allowed its settlers to build 28 roads.
In a related incident, Israeli minister of transportation Yisrael Katz ordered the building of a new road between Kiryat Arba and Al-Khalil city at a cost of about five million dollars.
For his part, minister of science Daniel Hershkowitz called, in a party held to celebrate the resumption of settlement activities in Yakir settlement, for starting to expand Israeli settlements and to bid farewell to settlement freeze.