The Palestine Monitor
A PNGO Information Clearinghouse
New Labor Leader Amir Peretz OKs 350 new housing units in West Bank
22 November 2005
Yesterday the Israeli Housing Ministry announced its plan to build 350
additional illegal housing units in the Ma'ale Adumim settlement east of
Jerusalem. Ma'ale Adumim is one of the most controversial of Israel's
illegal West Bank settlements because its location, and the Wall being built
around it, effectively severs the northern West Bank from the southern West
Bank and Arab East Jerusalem from the rest of the West Bank. It is also the
largest Israeli settlement with a population of around 30,000.
The decision was made by Chaim Herzog, the Israeli Labor Minister, a member
of Israel's Labor party. It was approved by new Labor party leader Amir
Peretz. The approval came after the Labor party had already withdrawn from
Sharon's coalition government.
A spokeswoman on behalf of Herzog said that there is general agreement
within Israel that Ma'ale Adumim will become a part of Israel in any future
agreement with the Palestinians.
Such actions and statements violate the Road Map by attempting to prejudice
final status negotiations. According to the Road Map, Israel is obligated
to freeze settlement expansion and remove all outposts that have been set up
by settlers without official Israeli permission. Under international law,
Israel is obligated to dismantle all settlements east of the Green Line.
Instead, Israel continues to build and expand settlements, even under the
eye of the new 'leftist' Labor leader, violating the Road Map, international
law, and American demands.