Israel Approves New West Bank Settlement
Green light for construction comes after UN recognition of Palestine
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Nov 30, 2012 12:59 PM CST
A Palestinian protester holds a placard in front of Israeli soldiers during a demonstration in the West Bank village of al-Masara, near Bethlehem, on Friday.   (Nasser Shiyoukhi)

(Newser) – Israel approved the construction of 3,000 homes in Jewish settlements in the West Bank and east Jerusalem, drawing swift criticism from the Palestinians a day after their successful UN recognition bid. The Palestinians strongly condemned the announcement and repeated their refusal to start peace negotiations while building continued. With Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu apparently poised for re-election and insisting that any negotiations begin without preconditions, prospects for peace appear to be going into deep freeze.

The unusually large building plan came a day after the United Nations voted overwhelmingly to accept a Palestinian state in the West Bank, the Gaza Strip, and east Jerusalem as a non-member observer state, setting off jubilant celebrations among Palestinians. Israel fiercely objected to the UN upgrade, saying peace could only come from direct negotiations and unilateral moves would harm that prospect. The Palestinians said the UN recognition of a Palestinian state in the territories captured by Israel in the 1967 Mideast war was an attempt to salvage a possible peace deal and could bolster talks.

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Dec 22, 2012 11:40 PM CST
Interesting… Palestinian people exist whether or not their location is documented as a nation or not. Apparently, Israel will never acknowledge Palestine as a nation. Now that Israel has approved the construction of 3,000 homes in Jewish settlements in the West Bank and east Jerusalem, I do not expect any peaceful agreement between Palestine and Israel. Sadly, “It is what it is”.
Dec 1, 2012 7:37 PM CST
Meanwhile 1.6 million Arabs build houses inside Israel EVERY DAY and nobody makes any issue of it. Go see Arab homes going up in Nazareth and Acre and all around Israel. Why are Arabs allowed to build houses inside Israel if Jew can't do the same in Judah and Samaria?
Dec 1, 2012 7:26 PM CST
Build, Israel, build, build, build and settle, settle, settle all the way to the Jordan river! Israel is Jewish land and the Arabs have 21 lands of their own. Don't let any crazy ladies or the UN stop you from rebuilding and resettling the Jewish people back in their homeland!