JERUSALEM (Jun. 19)
Initial work began yesterday for the establishment of Karnei Shomron Two, a new settlement in northern Samaria. Bulldozers began the ground work for a dirt road from the main road to a nearby hill, the site of the new settlement.
Karnel Shomron One, a previous settlement, already exists in the area, about a mile away from the new settlement. The plans call for an eventual linkage between the two settlements, which will become one urban center. A group of Gush Emunim settlers is scheduled to move into the place as soon as the initial infrastructure work is completed in two months time.
(In Washington today, reports of the new settlement drew a strong reaction from the State Department. A Department spokesperson, Jill Shucker, said “We are seeking confirmation of the report” and “we would deeply regret it if the Israelis are moving to establish another settlement.” Shucker reiterated the State Department’s position expressed earlier with respect to Alon Moreh. The second-settlement is “particularly damaging at this stage of the negotiations when we are attempting to build confidence” for success in the Egyptian-Israeli peace process, “she said. She added that U.S. officials are “in touch” with Israelis “here and in Tel Aviv” about this new development.)