Israel expands settlements, yet again
Israel's defense ministry has approved in recent weeks the expansion of Jewish settlements in the West Bank, a settlement watchdog group said Sunday.Really? You'd never know by the size of the checks they keep writing to Israel.
The expansions of the settlements were the first in years, the group said. The United States opposes such settlement activity on lands that Israel captured in 1967 and the Palestinians want for a future state.
The Israeli army signed last week an order for the expansion of the Beitar Ilit settlement near Jerusalem by 100 acres, [!!!] said the leader of the Peace Now group, Yariv Oppenheimer. The expansion of the legal boundaries of the settlement will connect it to Israel proper, Oppenheimer said.If one is 'proper' then by implication the other is NOT.
He said other settlements have been expanded but did not have full details.That doesn't sound 'defensive' to me.
Israel Radio reported Sunday that, in addition to Beitar Ilit, the settlements of Givat Zeev, Oranit and Maskiot have been expanded by order of the defense ministry, the radio said. The orders were signed by Defense Minister Amir Peretz, the radio said.
The expansions may have been an attempt to include unauthorized settlement outposts within the boundaries of the settlements with the plan of granting them final approval, the radio said.So, what else is new? The history of Israel has been one land grab after another - adverse possession, ad nauseum.
Oppenheimer condemned the expansions, saying they were apparently an attempt to take more Palestinian land ahead of Olmert's plan to lay down final borders by 2008.