Tuesday 12 December 2017

Israel plans another 'security wall'

Robert Tait

BENJAMIN Netanyahu, the Israeli prime minister, is planning to build a security barrier between the West Bank and Jordan to assert borders control over a future Palestinian state.

The fence would extend from the Dead Sea to near the southern Israeli city of Eilat.

The Israeli newspaper 'Maariv' reported that Mr Netanyahu had ordered work to begin as soon as another fence on the border with Egypt's Sinai Peninsula is completed.

An Israeli official confirmed that the barrier was under consideration but said that a final decision had yet to be taken.

The proposal provoked an angry response from the Palestinians, who portrayed it as an attempt to undermine John Kerry, the US Secretary of State, who is due to visit Israel and the West Bank tomorrow.

In another development certain to trigger Palestinian outrage, Israel issued tenders for 1,859 settlers' homes in East Jerusalem and the West Bank on Sunday, according to Peace Now, an Israeli anti-settlement group.

"The tender bidding process should take between two to three months and contractors could begin to build after about a year," a Housing Ministry spokesman said about the dwelling tenders.

Mr Kerry, who helped revive Israeli-Palestinian negotiations in July after a three-year break, is now in Cairo on a Middle East visit that will also bring him to Israel and the West Bank.

His meetings with Israeli and Palestinian leaders are likely to focus on the peace talks, which have shown little sign of progress, and Iran's nuclear programme. (© Daily Telegraph, London)

Irish Independent

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