Plan for new settlement false


JERUSALEM (JTA) — Reports that construction is due to begin on a new settlement in the Jordan Valley are false, The Jerusalem Post reported.

Contractors visited the site of Maskiot, a former army outpost, on Sunday. But government and defense officials told the Jerusalem Post on Tuesday that nothing new has happened on the project since the plan was approved by the Defense Ministry in July.

The plan has not been issued a final approval, nor have any construction tenders been awarded, according to the report.

Plans for the new West Bank community began about three years ago, when then-Defense Minister Amir Peretz made moves to turn the base into a community for former residents of Gush Katif. Strident criticism from the United States shortly afterward led to the plan being abandoned.

The news about the new settlement broke Monday on Army Radio just hours before Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was set to meet President Obama in Washington. 

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