Skip to comments.Israel approves new settlement between Jerusalem and Bethlehem
Posted on 12/19/2012 6:02:24 PM PST by MinorityRepublican
Israel's spate of settlement expansion around Jerusalem has increased again with the approval of 2,612 homes in a move likely to further inflame international criticism of Binyamin Netanyahu's government.
Givat Hamatos, across the pre-1967 Green Line between southern Jerusalem and Bethlehem, will be the first new discrete settlement created since 1997. Critics say it will become part of a chain of settlements in the area, further impeding access between the two biblical cities.
European diplomats in Jerusalem have warned that the construction of Givat Hamatos is a "game-changer" which could destroy the chance of a viable Palestinian state with East Jerusalem as its capital. A diplomatic source said the approval of the new settlement was "a devastating development for all those who believe in a two-state solution".
The decision by a Jerusalem planning committee followed an announcement on Monday to build an extra 1,500 homes in the settlement of Ramat Shlomo, and the authorisation by Netanyahu last month of development of a controversial expanse of land near Jerusalem. The latter, known as E1, is considered another "game-changer" by European diplomats.
The moves have attracted growing international censure. The four European members of the United Nations security council were on Wednesday reported to be drawing up a strong joint condemnation of the recent announcements.
The unusual statement, expected this week, from the UK, France, Germany and Portugal is set to follow blunt criticism from the United States on Tuesday. The state department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland said: "We are deeply disappointed that Israel insists on continuing this pattern of provocative action. These repeated announcements and plans of new construction run counter to the cause of peace. Israel's leaders continually say that they support a path towards a two-state solution yet these actions only put that goal further at risk."
(Excerpt) Read more at guardian.co.uk ...
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Through the prophet Zechariah the LORD God has spoken, “In that day I will make Jerusalem a stumbling block for all people; all that burden themselves with it shall be cut in pieces, though all the people of the earth gather against it.” (Zechariah 12:3). The LORD goes on in that chapter to warn, “And it shall come to pass in that day that I will seek to destroy all the nations that come against Jerualem