Israeli PM Netanyahu is reported by Haaretz to be about to announce a very partial halt– actually, far from a total freeze– on the construction of new housing in those portions of the West Bank that are not part of the large chunk of it that Israel has gobbled up into what it defines as “Metropolitan Jerusalem.”
This news comes just nine days after he gave the go-ahead to the building of some 900 new housing units in Gilo,which is in the southern portion of occupied Greater East Jerusalem.
Ramallah-based Palestinian PM Salam Fayyad is reported by Maan as describing Netanyahu’s refusal to bring settlement construction to a complete halt, including in Greater East Jerusalem, as “the central reason for the stall in peace talks.”
Jerusalem is, as I noted in my latest CSM piece, a matter of great concern not just to Palestinians, but to Arabs and Muslims everywhere.
Here, by the way, are two other good pieces of news analysis on Israel’s construction program in Greater East Jerusalem:
- Lara Friedman, writing for Americans for Peace Now on Nov. 17, and
- Nir Hasson, writing recently in Haaretz, under the title “Israel building Jewish homes with one hand, destroying Arab homes with the other”.