Global Leaders Slam Israel's West Bank Expansion Plan

Officials say move would trample peace deals
By Matt Cantor,  Newser User
Posted Jul 25, 2008 9:46 AM CDT
President Bush, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, left, and Israeli PM Ehud Olmert stand outside during their meeting at the U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis, Md., Tuesday, Nov. 27, 2007.   (AP Photo/GPO, Avi Ohayon, HO)
camera-icon View 2 more images

(Newser) – Israeli plans to build a new West Bank settlement—one that was shelved after strenuous objections from the US in 2006—were revived yesterday, sparking an international outcry, the Washington Post reports. “They're burying the Annapolis process,” said a Palestinian negotiator, referring to agreements made at the Bush-led summit last fall. The State Department concurred, and UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon said it would violate international law.

One Israeli analyst tells the Post that the move, to build 200 houses at Maskiyot, on a former military base deep inside the West Bank, reflects a calculation that  "the American administration is too weak to do anything about it."  The plan has yet to be approved by Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, who interprets the Annapolis commitment not to build new settlements to exclude construction on areas Israel is expected to control under a future agreement.