The News Courier in Athens, Alabama

State and Nation

December 3, 2012

Israel rejects European pressure over settlements

(Continued)

Germany, which abstained in the U.N. vote, expressed concern Monday over the Israeli move but wouldn't say whether it had taken any direct measures in response. Netanyahu is due in Berlin on Wednesday for a previously scheduled meeting with Chancellor Angela Merkel.

Steffen Seibert, Merkel's spokesman, said Germany took a "very negative view" of the settlement announcement, which he said undermined peace efforts.

The Palestinians view continued settlement expansion as a show of bad faith and refuse to return to talks unless construction is frozen. Netanyahu notes a 10-month settlement slowdown in 2010 failed to jump-start negotiations, and rejects calls for a new construction freeze.

The U.N. General Assembly voted overwhelmingly on Thursday to recognize a Palestinian state in the West Bank, east Jerusalem and the Gaza Strip, territories Israel captured in the 1967 Mideast war. Israel still occupies those first two territories and restricts access to Gaza, though it withdrew all settlers and soldiers in 2005.

Netanyahu rejects a return to Israel's 1967 lines. His government campaigned against the U.N. measure, saying only direct negotiations could produce a Palestinian state.

Israel retaliated by announcing the next day that it would start drawing up plans to build 3,000 settlement homes in the West Bank and east Jerusalem. More explosively, from the Palestinian point of view, it said it would begin planning work for a chunk of land east of Jerusalem known as E1.

Building there would sever the link between the West Bank and east Jerusalem, which the Palestinians claim for a future capital. It would also cut off the northern part of the West Bank from its southern flank.

On Wednesday, Israel's planning and construction committee for the area is scheduled to hold a first-ever meeting to discuss developing the E1 area, a defense official said.

Text Only
State and Nation
Photos


Poll

Which foreign crisis is the biggest threat to the security of the United States?

Russia-Ukraine
Israel-Palestine
Iraq
None of the above
     View Results
Facebook
AP Video
Couple Channel Grief Into Soldiers' Retreat WWI Aviation Still Alive at Aerodrome in NY Raw: Rescuers at Taiwan Explosion Scene Raw: Woman Who Faced Death Over Faith in N.H. Clinton Before 9-11: Could Have Killed Bin Laden Netanyahu Vows to Destroy Hamas Tunnels Obama Slams Republicans Over Lawsuit House Leaders Trade Blame for Inaction Malaysian PM: Stop Fighting in Ukraine Cantor Warns of Instability, Terror in Farewell Ravens' Ray Rice: 'I Made a Huge Mistake' Florida Panther Rebound Upsets Ranchers Small Plane Crash in San Diego Parking Lot Busy Franco's Not Afraid of Overexposure Fighting Blocks Access to Ukraine Crash Site Dangerous Bacteria Kills One in Florida Workers Dig for Survivors After India Landslide Texas Scientists Study Ebola Virus Smartphone Powered Paper Plane Debuts at Airshow Southern Accent Reduction Class Cancelled in TN
Twitter Updates
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
Stocks
Parade
Magazine

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.
Business Marquee