Annexation....... Israel's True Intentions

Israel to build new Jewish settlement homes after UN Palestine vote

Binyamin Netanyahu's plan for mass building on occupied terrorities seen as retaliation for recognition of Palestinian state

The Israeli prime minister, Binyamin Netanyahu, has ordered the construction of thousands of new homes in Jewish settlements in the occupied territories in what will be widely interpreted as retaliation for the United Nations vote to recognise a Palestinian state on Thursday.

Israeli officials said the new construction would centre on expanding existing West Bank settlements and more home for Jews in occupied East Jerusalem where the government is imposing demographic changes in order to diminish the proportion of Arab residents. Netanyahu also ordered the advancing of plans for construction to link up Jerusalem with a Jewish settlement, Ma'aleh Adumim, which would have a profound effect on any future Palestinian state based on 1967 borders by cutting deep into the centre of it. The US and Europe have long pressured the Israeli government not to build there.

The announcement is a reflection of Israel's anger at the vote, and the Palestinian leadership at pushing for it.

Israel condemned the UN's recognition of a Palestinian state as damaging to peace while also, more privately, expressing concern at how many European countries backed the move.

Palestinian officials were mixed in their reactions with warnings that if the UN recognition is not used to renew the dormant peace process, then it will lead to more violence, while Hamas described the vote in New York as also a victory for armed resistance.

The Israeli government worked hard to portray the UN decision to effectively recognise a Palestinian state as undermining peace. The prime minister's spokesman, Mark Regev, described the move as "negative political theatre because it takes us out of a negotiating process".

"It's going to hurt peace," he said.

Dore Gold, a former Israeli ambassador to the UN, told the BBC that the Palestinian move was a "massive violation" of the Oslo peace accords.

"The main issue is what does this do to the peace process," he said.

Gold said that if the Palestinian president, Mahmoud Abbas, attempted to use the new status to declare an independent state then Israel would have to act and could go so far as "annexing territory".

But other Israeli officials sought to downplay the vote, saying it was symbolic and did not require action unless the Palestinians followed through with measures such as acceding to the International criminal court (ICC).

The Palestinian leadership rejected pressure from the US and Britain to renounce its new right to go to the ICC, but has said it is not likely to accede immediately. Instead, Abbas sees the issue as a card that can be played in negotiations, particularly over the issue of Jewish settlements – which some international lawyers believe are a clear cut breach of the Geneva Convention preventing "belligerent nations" from moving their nationals to live on occupied territories.

Salam Fayyad, prime minister of the Palestinian Authority, warned in Washington that if the UN vote is not used to put renewed impetus into the dormant peace process, it will strengthen armed groups such as Hamas.

"What we can all do is to see how we can take advantage of what happened, to enhance the political process. I hope more will begin to see things this way. Let's get together and have a serious discussion on whether things in the past few years proceeded the way they should have proceeded. We demonstrated, we Palestinians can govern ourselves in an effective way," he said.

The Hamas leader, Khaled Meshaal, said that the UN vote was in parallel with what many Palestinians see as a victory over Israel in the fighting in Gaza earlier this month. He told Reuters that armed struggle was necessary in conjunction with diplomacy.

"Negotiating without powerful cards on the ground has no meaning," said Meshaal. "It will turn into begging. This enemy doesn't give anything unless under pressure."

But the facts that Israel won the support of just nine countries, including the US, in the UN has caused a degree of alarm inside the Jewish state.

Israeli officials were shocked at the scale of European support for the Palestinian resolution, with France switching sides and Germany abandoning a pledge to vote against. Among EU nations, only the Czech Republic supported Israel.

For months, Israeli diplomats worked to persuade governments in the EU to, at the least, abstain in the vote in the hope that the Jewish state would then be able to deride a Palestinian victory as delivered by dictatorships and other less than democratic regimes.

Israel's position was supported by the EU's foreign affairs representative, Catherine Ashton, and Tony Blair, envoy for the Quartet of the US, EU, Russia and the UN attempting to kick start peace talks.

But the fighting in Gaza, fears about strengthening Hamas by not supporting a high profile diplomatic move, and the extreme position taken by Israel, particularly its foreign minister, Avigdor Lieberman, who threatened to overthrow Abbas, helped push many countries toward the Palestinian position.

Israel regards France has having led the charge after President François Hollande abandoned his earlier opposition to the Palestinian UN bid.

Britain abstained and was isolated enough to feel it had to justify its position by saying it would have supported the resolution if the Palestinians had renounced the right to accede to the ICC and had agreed to immediately renew peace negotiations.

The Israelis were particularly stung by the German decision to shift from opposition to abstention. Haaretz reported that Germany moved because of Israeli intransigence of Jewish settlement construction and because Israel had not met previous commitments to the German government. The paper said senior Israeli foreign ministry officials were "shocked" by Berlin's decision.

An opinion poll released on Friday showed that a slim majority of Israelis, 51%, do not believe there will be a lasting peace deal with the Palestinians. About 40% say there will eventually be an agreement but that it will take at least five years to reach. More than one third of Israelis expect the conflict with the Palestinians to intensify in the coming years.
peza peza
51-55, M
2 Responses Nov 30, 2012

"The Israelis were particularly stung by the German decision to shift from opposition to abstention." My mum and I were too lol! I wasn't following the news much as I am not that interested, however, I still checked the final results and I particularly checked the 9 that voted against and Germany wasn't amongst them, so I was like, how come my mum told me earlier they will vote against! I thought she mistakenly thought this until now as I am reading this!I must say, it is a complete victory, there are some amongst the 9 which I have never heard of O.o!

" Israel regards France as having led the charge "....... :))

If I am not wrong, France for the last period has been opposing or at least "abstinent", I think the change in government was positive even though I liked Sarkozy's suites!

The era of Bush / Bliar / Sarkozy is firmly behind us now......thank god..... ;)

Just today my mum was saying apparently Cameron has learned from Blair's mistakes, true the UK did not support but at least they did not oppose, give it sometime and they will shift to the supporting list just like how Germany magically shifted to another list in a blink of an eye lol!

I think we are moving further everywhere, hopefully my generation will see better days because I have seen some really bad events/ wars/unfair decisions and I am not even 25! I believe more awareness is being spread now and individuals/governments are taking more rational decisions.

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I saw this is it just makes me sick. How much more evidence do we need that they are simply not interested in peace????

Believe me, no matter how much Israel does these ignorants who support it will never learn/see and side with the right, because this is "the kind of people" who support Israel, blind people.

It's been obvious to me for over ten years now that the Isrealis have absolutely no interest whatsoever in a just , negotiated settlement...... to the Palestinians a lot longer I am guessing.
The only way to get them to the table in any meaningful way is continuing the resistance and bringing international pressure to bear upon them.

Yeah, I gave up on them years ago too. Maybe this latest nonsense will be enough to wake up those blinded by their rhetoric (or at least the fence-sitters). But I actually know people here in the Bible Belt of the US who just don't see it (evangelical Christians with Islamaphobia). You can't reason with some people, sadly.