Archive | November, 2010

Israel Holds US Hostage. Again.

14 Nov

Israel’s prime minister has briefed his cabinet on a package of incentives the US has proposed if it renews a partial freeze on settlement construction.

According to diplomats, the US has said it will:

  • Not ask Israel to extend the new freeze when it expires
  • Provide 20 F-35 fighter jets worth $3bn (yes, $3bn)
  • Veto or oppose any initiatives at the UN Security Council critical of Israel
  • Sign a comprehensive security agreement with Israel at the same time as any peace deal is finalised.

In return, Israel would stop building for 90 days in the occupied West Bank.

Yeah. Another great piece of negotiating by the Obama team. (That’s irony).

Israel has occupied the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, since 1967, settling close to 500,000 Jews in more than 100 settlements. They are considered illegal under international law, although Israel disputes this. There are about 2.5 million Palestinians living in the West Bank.

Israeli settlements on occupied land:

  • More than 430,000 settlers in the West Bank and East Jerusalem, alongside 2.5 million Palestinians
  • 20,000 settlers live in the Golan Heights
  • Settlements and the area they take up cover 40% of the West Bank
  • There are about 100 settlements not authorised by the Israeli government in the West Bank


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