En gruppe militante jøder fra Gaza skal få bygge en ny bosetting i Jordan-dalen. Kunngjøringen kommer like etter at Mahmoud Abbas møtte Ehud Olmert. Den vil undergrave Abbas sin posisjon.
Kritikere av Israel hevder at det alltid skjer noe negativt hvis det er tegn til fremgang. Meldingen om den nye bosettingen passer inn i et slikt skjema.
For the first time in 10 years, Israel said Tuesday it will build a new Jewish settlement in the occupied West Bank, prompting Palestinian anger and American concern.
The announcement, by the defense ministry and settler groups, seems to run counter to the prevailing effort by Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, who has offered a series of gestures to the Palestinians after a meeting with the Palestinian president, Mahmoud Abbas, several days ago.
The new settlement will be called Maskiot, and approval was given for the construction of some 30 houses. The Israeli official insisted that all construction would be privately funded.
They will be used by the 20 families of the hawkish Gaza settlement Shirat Hayam, which resisted evacuation and wanted to move as a group. To get them to leave Gaza peacefully, the army promised to keep them together.
En embetsmann sier avgjørelsen er tatt og nå er vanskelig å omgjøre. Men omkostningene kan bli store for Israel. Den setter søkelyset på praksisen med å si en ting og gjøre noe annet. Det het at de ulovlige bosettingene skulle fjernes, men så har ikke skjedd.
Israel essentially decided to stop the building of new settlements in 1992 when Yitzhak Rabin became prime minister. But it has allowed existing settlements to grow despite its public promise to freeze settlement activity under the negotiated peace plan known as the road map.
Israel also promised that it would dismantle more than 20 illegal outposts set up since March 2001, but it has only dismantled one, and that under Israeli court order. Peace Now, a leftwing Israeli lobby that opposes the settlements and follows them closely, says that there have been more than 50 outposts established illegally since March 2001, and that there are more than 100 illegal outposts in the West Bank altogether, many of them, like the semi-settlement of Migron, built on private Palestinian land.