Israel settlements move not 'punishment'

2011-11-02 19:48

Jerusalem - Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said on Wednesday that Israel's decision to accelerate settlement building was a fundamental right, not punishment for the Palestinians joining Unesco.

"We build in Jerusalem because it is our right and our obligation; not as punishment but as a basic right of our people to build its eternal capital," he told members of parliament.

Netanyahu's inner cabinet decided on Tuesday to speed up construction of Jewish settlements in east Jerusalem and the West Bank, a day after Unesco's general assembly voted to accept Palestine in as a full member.

The Palestinians seek to build the capital of their state in mainly-Arab east Jerusalem, annexed by Israel shortly after its capture in the 1967 Six-Day war, in a move never recognised by the international community.

Israel claims sovereignty over the entire city, which it calls its eternal and indivisible capital.

"Jerusalem will never return to the state it was in on the eve of the Six-Day War," Netanyahu told parliament.

The speeding of settlement construction was described by a senior government official, who spoke to AFP on Tuesday, as "punishment after the vote at Unesco".

And the decision to speed the building of the 2 000 settlement homes was accompanied by a plan to "temporarily freeze the transfer of funds to the Palestinian Authority," the official said.

Every month, Israel transfers to the Palestinian Authority tens of millions of dollars in customs duties levied on goods destined for Palestinian markets that transit through Israeli ports.

The money constitutes a large percentage of the Palestinian budget.

Israel often freezes the transfer of funds as a punitive measure in response to diplomatic or political developments viewed as harmful.

  • Barry - 2011-11-02 20:37

    OHH is not punishment for Unesco. A couple of weeks ago this clown was talking about ceasing building new settlements and therefore stop antagonizing palastine. Now it is not a punishment. Total terrorist.

  • Jaba - 2011-11-03 00:00

    Israel can build as long as the Palestinians use violence and/or make unilateral decisions. When the Palestinians ever decide to become a peace partner and sit with Israel at the negotiating table than i would agree that Israel halt the building in the west bank (not including Jerusalem which will never be divided) but as long as the so called Palestinians do what they feel and keep going around and bad mouthing Israel - there is no reason for Israel to stop building. BTW The biggest clown on News24 in Barry.

  • Adam - 2011-11-03 00:11

    Arabs invade with out declaring war - against international law - just like hitler did. Israel smashes them in 6 days and retakes the rest of jerusalem - holiest site in all of judasim restored back to a heritage site from the municipal rubbish dump(literally) the jordanians used it as. Jordan and Egypt shut their borders to thousands of israeli arabs who were promised homes in egypt and jordan after the war, refugees are born as they are stuck between 2 countries. Word palestinian is born, after not being heard for 20 years - these people abandoned by egypt and jordan feel its their god given right to claim the whole land of israel as their own and begin to campaign for it. Terror attacks begin and innocent israelis, men woman and children are murdered in cold blood, both in israel and abroad(muncich olympics, israeli athletes were murdered as 1 example) Israel is forced to deal with these refugees who over time have some how convinced the rest of the world that the entire land is theirs and they were robbed of it. A brief timeline of the insanity israel has to deal with on a daily basis. Barry is still an idiot

      Barry - 2011-11-03 08:16

      @Adam. No need for a history lesson. My strong feeling is there are winds of change coming to the middle east that not even the USA will be able to stop. Israel had better get ready follow those winds or else I fear for my friends lives in Israel. My jewish friends. O0ps I said a religious word (sorry) :) If you don't get that then so be it. Bless you

      Adam - 2011-11-03 13:29

      since israel was born in 1948 people like you have had these strange feelings that the winds of change were about to blow. still waiting for these winds. you have jewish friends. how very nice. i believe the term is mazeltov. you're still an idiot.

      Barry - 2011-11-03 15:09

      @Adam. Always the insulter. Bless I will not do the same although not many would disagree when I say you are quite clearly a bigot the world could well do without. Hope you change your views before it is too late.

  • Barry - 2011-11-03 18:30

    Interesting clip

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