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ISRAEL - NO CREDIBILITY
MID-EAST REALITIES - www.MiddleEast.Org - Washington - 8/22:
Whatever the actual policies of the government of Ehud Barak in Israel, Israel's
record of agreeing to one thing and doing another is legend. The Egyptians and Jimmy Carter found this out, as revealed in a prior exclusive MER article, when the Camp David promise to freeze all settlements for good ended up lasting for only 90 days...just long enough for the White House ceremony with Begin and Sadat just months before that year's Presidential election (Carter still lost).
Indeed, most of Israel's "settlements", including those that all but surround Jerusalem and now make territorial integrity all but possible for the kind of Palestinian Statelet Arafat is getting, have been built and expanded after Israeli promises to end or "freeze" them.
The following Reuters article is just the tip of this no-credibility iceberg when it comes to the huge gulf between what the Israelis agree to and present to the world, and what they actually do.
Meanwhile, even Barak's closest long-time friends and allies, including the two persons he personally brought with him to head up the Office of Prime Minister, have resigned and indicated he is not a man who can be trusted (he is of course a decorated Israeli military commando with a long history of intrigue, clandestine operations, and assassination).
Why in the world Arafat and company continue to further discredit themselves by propping up Barak and pretending he is offering things more than what the Israelis have always wanted "to give" to the Palestinians, now that is getting harder and harder to understand.
ISRAEL EXPANDS "FROZEN" WEST BANK SETTLEMENTS
By Deborah Camiel
JERUSALEM, Aug 21 (Reuters) - Israeli outposts in the occupied West Bank
continue to expand despite the fact that Prime Minister Ehud Barak froze
their growth less than a year ago, Israeli peace activists said on Monday.
Israel's Peace Now group accused Jewish settlers of defying an agreement
Barak that ordered the evacuation of eight outposts and the freezing of 17
others which were set up on West Bank land that Israel captured in the 1967
Middle East war.
``Building continues in 11 'frozen' enclaves and only half of those
due to be
dismantled were actually taken down,'' Peace Now spokesman Didi Remez told
``When Barak signed this agreement (in October 1999) he said the rule
would return, but things are still being done outside the public view.''
Peace Now said in a survey published on Monday that houses had been
roughly 64 percent of frozen settlements and that 41 percent of those
structures were permanent.
Israel's Deputy Defence Minister Ephraim Sneh said the October agreement
been implemented ``in general,'' though development in some outposts was
``The policy of the government is that at the height of negotiations
the Palestinians) we don't expand settlements and we don't give permission to
most of the requests that are presented,'' Sneh said on Israeli radio.
``But there are things that are logical, and those are permitted. If
classroom or a nursery are needed, or even if a few extra residential
buildings are needed in a given place, they are permitted.''
Rogue enclaves make up about a quarter of the 145 West Bank and Gaza
settlements inhabited by 170,000 Jews. They live among nearly three million
Palestinians on land the Palestinians want for a future state.
The Palestinians say that all settlements in occupied land are illegal
that Jewish settlers who believe they have a biblical birthright to the land
must leave in the context of a final peace treaty.
Settler leader Shlomo Filber told the radio the October agreement had
followed by further discussion between the settlers and Barak's
``All construction done in (the West Bank) is done with the permission
under the authority in daily contact with the civil administration and the
ministry of defence and the army,'' Filber said.
``Someone who knows and manages the matter receives the plans, confirms
like everywhere in the world, life goes on.''
Both Peace Now and the Palestinians complain that Barak says one thing
does another in the occupied lands in a tacit attempt to establish facts on
the ground before an agreement is reached with the Palestinians over the
issues of borders and the fate of settlers.
``When we check, we see the picture is very different on the ground...
is a policy change,'' Remez said.
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