Friday 20 January 2017

Israel settlement 'surge' may punish Palestinians

Adrian Blomfield in Jerusalem

Published 02/11/2011 | 05:00

ISRAEL is considering expanding its controversial settlement programme as part of an array of sanctions to punish the Palestinian Authority for joining UNESCO, the UN's cultural arm.

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Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu convened his inner cabinet yesterday to study a series of punitive measures.

The cabinet did not disclose what steps, if any, it had decided to take, but a senior official was quoted in the Israeli media as saying three options were to be discussed. They include a proposal to strip Palestinian leaders of their "VIP status", halt the transfer of tax revenues collected by Israel on the Palestinian Authority's behalf and a "surge" in settlement construction, either in East Jerusalem or the West Bank.

Any expansion of settlements would represent a further blow to the already remote hopes of reviving the Middle East peace process. The Palestinian Authority has demanded a total settlement freeze as a condition for returning to talks. (© Daily Telegraph, London)

Irish Independent

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