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December 1998 
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MER - Washington - 8/2/97:

Even while the United Nations General Assembly met last month in special session to condemn Israeli policies, the Israelis continued to push forward not only with expansion of existing settlements butcreation of new ones.

The United States knows very well what is going on, but chooses to pretend otherwise. The Arab regimes who have called for a boycott of Israel in an Arab League meeting are afraid to pursue this policy for fear of American reaction.

One example of Israeli duplicity took place in mid-July when members of the right-wing youth movement known as Bnei Akiva were given permission by the Israeli Army to establish an "agricultural camp" just south of Hebron.

The site was quietly established by the "Nahal Brigade", an Army group which allows young Israelis to combine their army service with settlement creation. About 50 Israelis currently are living at the site, just a short drive from Hebron. Hoping to deflect criticism the Israelis temporarily say they are doing "agricultural development work" and that this location is an army one.

Within a few years, however, most of these special "agricultural" areas develop into permanent Israeli settlements with very special tax and monetary incentives provided by the government to those whobuild homes and live in these areas.



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