Israel legalizes 3 West Bank settlements, angering Palestinians (CNN) Cable News Network) From Guy Azriel JERUSALEM, ISRAEL 04/24/12)
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Jerusalem (CNN) -- The Israeli government said Tuesday that it has
decided to legalize the status of three settlement posts that were
built in the West Bank during the 1990´s.
The move to authorize the settlements of Sansana, Rechelim and
Bruchin was based on "decisions by previous governments," the office
of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said in a short statement.
The announcement was criticized by the Palestinians, with the
settlement issue a key obstacle to any hopes of reviving the peace
"The Israeli government has to make a choice between settlements and
peace. They can´t have both," said Saeb Erekat, chief Palestinian
negotiator. "The question here, if people say they accept the two-
state solution why do they continue building on land that is supposed
to be for a Palestinian state? I believe the continuation of
settlement activities is destroying the path of peace and path of two
Mark Regev, a spokesman for Netanyahu, said the only reason the
status of the three settlements had not been formalized before was
because of "technical and procedural issues"
Palestinian officials have halted all negotiations with Israel, both
direct and indirect, because of the continuation of what they
describe as illegal settlement building in the West Bank and
Jerusalem. The Palestinians want East Jerusalem to be the capital of
any future state.
The U.N. Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs said in
January that since 1967, Israel has established about 150 settlements
in the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, in addition to about
100 "outposts" erected by settlers without official authorization.
The settler population is estimated at approximately at 500,000, the
U.N. office said. CNN´s Kareem Khadder contributed to this report. (©
2012 Cable News Network 04/24/12)
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