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Israeli settlers dedicate new outpost to Obama

Ghassan Bannoura - IMEMC

June 6, 2009

In response to US President Barack Obama's plea to Israel to freeze new settlement construction, extremist Israeli settlers report that they have dramatically increased the number of settlement outposts in the West Bank over the last week, even going so far as dedicating one of the outposts "the Obama hut".

Map of Israeli settlements in the West Bank (2002 Foundation for Middle East Peace)
Map of Israeli settlements in the West Bank (2002 Foundation for Middle East Peace)

The current Israeli administration has voiced its support for settlement expansion, and the Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu even appointed settlers to high-level positions in the cabinet. The reported spike in settlement construction is considered by many to be a slap in the face of the US President's efforts to make peace in the region.

The sneeringly-named "Obama" outpost is part of the newly-established colony Oz Yehonatan, which was illegally constructed on stolen Palestinian land in the West Bank.

All Israeli settlements are considered to be in violation of international law and the Fourth Geneva Convention, which prevents the transfer of civilian populations onto land acquired by military takeover. There are currently over 500,000 Israeli settlers living illegally in the West Bank and East Jerusalem, most of whom moved there since the Oslo "Peace Agreement" was signed in 1993, in direct violation of that agreement.

Israeli officials have harshly criticized the new US President for calling for an actual freeze on settlement expansion, saying that George Bush, when he was President, allowed Israeli expansion of settlements while still saying publicly that the Israeli state was in adherence with a settlement "freeze". The officials are disappointed that Obama appears, unlike Bush, to mean what he says in his public speeches, and is actually taking diplomatic action (also unlike Bush) in that arena.



:: Article nr. 54901 sent on 07-jun-2009 01:48 ECT

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Link: www.imemc.org/article/60708



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