Peace Now: Israeli Government Approves Settlement Expansion
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Peace Now: Israeli Government Approves Settlement Expansion

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The Israeli government has approved plans to expand 11 Jewish settlements in the West Bank, according to officials of the dovish movement Peace Now.

Leaders of the organization, which opposes settlement expansion, say the plans embrace about 1,000 acres of land in the West Bank.

The organization said that while the plans are technically legal, they nonetheless constitute a violation of the Palestinian self-rule accord by the government of Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin.

Aharon Domb, spokesman of the Council of Judea and Samaria, the umbrella settlers’ organization, accused Peace Now of making common cause with Israel’s enemies.

The latest developments come in the wake of last week’s controversy over plans for the settlement of Efrat to expand.

After protests by Palestinians, the government halted construction plans and worked out a compromise with the settlement to build on land closer to Efrat.

At a news conference in Jerusalem on Monday, peace Now officials also accused the government of setting aside thousands of acres of West Bank land on which new roads will be built to enable Israeli settlers to bypass Arab towns.

Peace Now leader Tzalli Reshef accused the government of at one moment pursuing a policy of peace, and at the next, approving building plans that would add thousands of residential units to the settlements.

“Either the left hand doesn’t know what the right hand is doing,” Reshef said, “or else, if the intention is to evacuate some of this territory in the future, these projects are a colossal waste of money.”

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