Freezing Settlements’ Construction in East Jerusalem is the Core Issue of Settlements Freeze!

Freezing Settlements’ Construction in East Jerusalem is the Core Issue of Settlements Freeze!
On 17/11/2009, the District Planning and Construction Committee of the Israeli Municipality of Jerusalem gave approval to a plan to build some 900 new housing units in Gilo settlement south of Jerusalem. The settlement, which was built on private Palestinian lands and annexed illegally from residents from Beit Jala, and Sharafat and Beit Safafa towns to the Israeli illegally declared new boundaries of   Jerusalem after the 1967 occupation, was one of the first wave of settlements’ constructed and is considered one of the biggest in the occupied West Bank territory. However, the Israeli government and the Israeli Municipality of Jerusalem refer to Gilo and 17 other illegally built Israeli settlements in occupied East Jerusalem as neighborhoods. The Israelis relentless efforts to emphasize Jerusalem; including the occupied Eastern part of it as the eternal capital of the State of Israel; despite the fact that none of the World countries recognize such a claim or the Israeli dominion over occupied East Jerusalem, remains a constant item on the agenda of every Israeli government that came to power since 1967 but still fails to do so. See Map 1

What is this -Approving Deposits- a new tactic?
At the same time, the Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu declares a settlement freeze in the West Bank -excluding occupied East Jerusalem- the Israeli Municipality of Jerusalem wants to emphasize that Jerusalem is out of such declarations and comes up with a new tactic that allows the continuation of planning for the Israeli settlements by issuing -deposit plan- for 900 housing units. On the ground that is the initial stage when the District Planning and Construction Committee of the Israeli Municipality of Jerusalem conclude its remarks on the plan before it is introduced to the public for objections. Once the project plan had undergone these stages, approval of the final plan for the project will be granted. Accordingly, such process to go through including issue of tenders until the time for actual construction to start will take somewhere between 18 to 24 months period of time, hence it is concluded that the declaration of the 900 housing units at this time has a political objective  more than anything else.
Provocative and inflammatory declaration to embed political efforts to resume negotiation and to undermine the Palestinian Authority; because if anything, the Israeli declaration comes as a jab for the U.S political efforts and to the Obama administration that has failed to achieve any progress of its repeated efforts to persuade Israel to halt settlements’ construction. Netanyahu also chose to make it difficult, in fact impossible for the Palestinian Authority to agree to any efforts to resume negotiations talks with his declaration but that is what Netanyahu intended from the beginning. The U.S secretary of State Hilary Clinton is probably the only one who see things otherwise when she praised Israel’s efforts of the ten months settlements’ freeze but this is not the first indication that she has shown of her lack of understanding of the axes of the this conflict.
Netanyahu aims to buy time; and to stall any efforts to start the final status issues or any talk for a two state solution. Netanyahu is buying time to complete construction of the Segregation Wall to complete a plan adopted by the consecutive Israeli governments to force facts on the ground to declare Israel’s eastern borders and minimum compromise on Jerusalem.
Netanyahu, runs out of excuses
It became obvious but Netanyahu’s excuses that were abundantly repeated by his predecessors regarding construction in Israeli settlements from claims that the construction is ‘natural growth’ to ‘not building but expanding within existing blocks’ and many others are no longer convincing for even Israel’s closest alliances who are not buying it anymore and just sees Israel’s acts jeopardy to the foundation of the peace process.
It is fairly presumed that Netanyahu’s declaration to freeze settlements for 10 months period but excluding Jerusalem; is just another maneuver the Palestinians’ intention to declare the establishment of a Palestinian state on the Palestinian territory occupied by Israel in 1967, which stand to receive recognitions by many countries of the world; exceeding Israel in that sense.

Categories: Settlement Expansion