Skip to comments.Mofaz tours E1 area, Gush Etzion, Affirms [Israel] will strengthen large settlement blocks
Posted on 11/16/2005 10:40:16 AM PST by anotherview
Nov. 16, 2005 19:30 | Updated Nov. 16, 2005 20:03
Mofaz tours E1 area, Gush Etzion
By ERICA CHERNOFSKY
Construction of the security fence in the Gush Etzion and Ma'ale Adumim area should begin as soon as possible, Defense Minister Shaul Mofaz said while visiting the West Bank settlements Wednesday.
Mofaz met with the heads of the settlements and following his visit affirmed that the government will continue to strengthen the large settlements blocks, according to the Defense Ministry spokeswoman.
He added that it would be these settlements that determine the eastern front of the state of Israel.
He also said that as soon as the plans were approved, building would begin in the E1 area, connecting Ma'ale Adumim to Jerusalem.
Addressing concerns that the fence will be a future border, Mofaz explained that at the moment, the fence is purely for security purposes and is not a political barrier.
Nonetheless, a statement released Wednesday by the Gush Etzion Regional Council warned of the possibility that the fence might eventually become a political separation, and demanded that settlements on both sides of the fence be treated equally.
The council also said they continue to view the proposed route of the fence as a hindrance to the development of Gush Etzion, and maintained that it interferes with the contiguity of the settlements, endangers their security and hurts their relations with their Palestinian neighbors.
Mofaz maintained that the IDF is the body responsible for the security of Gush Etzion, and only they have the authority to make decisions regarding the fence, though he said they will coordinate their efforts with the Gush Etzion Regional Council whenever possible.
The heads of the Gush Etzion settlements said they are waiting to see how the decisions made today will be put into practice.
Deputy Chief of Staff Moshe Kaplinsky, OC Central Command General Yair Naveh and Deputy Attorney General Etti Bendler accompanied Mofaz on his tour of the area.
The day of the next terror attack Israel should annex this areas. The fence should have been up long ago and needs to be finished with all haste.
Defense Minister Shaul Mofaz said Wednesday that Israel must continue to promote the building of the separation fence in order to provide its citizens with maximum security, as well as to strengthen the settlement blocs in Beitar Ilit, Efrat, Gush Etzion, Maale Adumim, Beit Aryeh, Ariel and the Jordan Valley.
Mofaz (left) with Shaul Goldstein
Photo: Gil Yochanan
Mofaz spoke during a tour of the Gush Etzion regional council.
The minister was accompanied by Deputy Chief of Staff Major-General Moshe Kaplinsky and IDF Central Command Head Yair Naveh.
Defense minister during tour of Gush Etzion (Photo: Gil Yochanan)
Mofaz met with the heads of the Gush Etzion, Efrat and Beitar Ilit regional councils, and discussed the issue of the fence with them.
This was Mofaz's first visit to Gush Etzion since the implementation of the disengagement plan.
At the end of the meeting, Mofaz said that "I intend to operate on two issues: The first is to continue to promote the building of the fence in order to provide the citizens with maximum security, and the second is to strengthen settlement blocs, because I believe that the settlement blocs must be strong, together with the Jordan Valley."
"I ordered the defense establishment to advance all the outline plans and to minimize bureaucracy," he added.
Regarding the plan to evacuate the Hebron market and the Amona outpost, near Ofra, Mofaz said that "The High Court of Justice set a date. I hope that we will reach an understanding with the settlers. In order to execute the plans, I am going to meet the residents this week and talk to them."
'Continued construction may cause serious political damage'
Gush Etzion residents object to the building of the fence and have asked to place obstacles in problematic spots instead.
Shaul Goldstein, head of the Gush Etzion regional council, said that "We are concerned that under the guise of a security fence, a political fence will be established. We intend on fighting the issue, we will not give up on our settlements."
Shimon Karniel from the settlement of Kfar Etzion told Ynet that "This fence is a bad thing. It will choke us and disrupt lives that have been built here for years."
"Our neighbors will be outside the fence and we will be inside. This fence will cut our territories and the Palestinians' territories in the middle. This will only increase hatred and harm security," he charged.
Peace Now Secretary General Yariv Oppenheimer said in response to Mofaz's comments regarding construction in the E1 area, "The defense minister's promises to continue building settlements in violation to the Road Map plan and Israel's obligations, harms the country's interests and may cause serious political damage."
Sooner rather than later. Now that the border is resolved and the green peppers, planted by Jews, can be sold the Baker-Rice-Wolfensohn mission need something new to pressure Israel about. Hopefully Israel doesn't listen.
"Palestine is the wrong name for their State. It should be called Anarchy."FReeper sgtbono2002
"Then let's wait and see what the Arabs do after they take Gaza. There's nothing like Arab reality to break up a Jewish fantasy."FReeper Noachian
A student told his professor he was going to "Palestine" to "fight for freedom, peace and justice,"Orwellian leftist code words that mean "murder Jews."
The Nature Of Bruce ~