Not fearing Obama, Israeli colonialism continues
by MainStreet, Mon Oct 12, 2009 at 10:29:07 AM EDT
'Israel thumbs its nose at Obama and the rest of the world' might have been a better title of this report from Al Jazeera.
Peace Now, Israel's settlement watchdog, just revealed that about 800 new housing units are being built in settlements across the West Bank in addition to the thousands already under construction. Despite US calls for Israel to stop building on occupied land, new building projects have begun over the past three months in 34 settlements. In addition, fifty-five buildings are in the process of being completed and foundations are being laid for an additional 50.
These projects are not among the 2,400 houses already alleged to be in different stages of construction that Israel aims to complete despite agreeing to a temporary halt in settlement construction.
"The settlers are working fast to produce as many construction starts as possible so that these new housing units will be counted as existing settlements and not included in any future agreed upon freeze," the (Peace Now) report said.
And if that report were not enough, house demolitions, the hallmark of Israel's ethnic cleansing of Palestinians families and their lands in the West Bank and East Jerusalem, continue. This demolition pretty much demonstrates that nothing has changed in spite of Obama's pledge to end the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
While American officials continue to claim that the mission of US Middle East Envoy George Mitchell is by no means over, and that he will still pursue his efforts to convince the Israeli government to agree to some sort of settlement freeze, Israeli plans for further colonization of Palestinian land continue undisturbed. The latest Israeli plans call for the destruction of the West Bank village of al-Walajah for the second time in six decades.
According to Israeli press reports, Israel is planning a massive new settlement in the vicinity of Jerusalem, on land owned by Palestinians of al-Walajah. The project, expected to be approved by the Israeli ministry of the Interior, could become the single most populous settlement built in the occupied Palestinian territories since 1967 according to the Israeli daily Maariv. The project plans prepared by the ministry of the Interior and the Jerusalem municipality call for 14,000 housing units for 40,000 settlers on 3,000 dunums of land which would require the demolition of al-Walajah residents' homes, according to the paper.
The original village of al-Walajah was located on the opposite side of its current location, on a mountain slope facing east, just about six kilometers south of Jerusalem. It was very close to Battir, the village in which I was born and brought up. The two villages were separated by a valley, with Battir on the opposite slope from al-Walajah, though a little further south and were very closely linked.
Netanyahu represents just more of the ugly same, with Obama being viewed as just another stumbling block to be pushed aside.