Despite objections from the United States, Israel appears to be moving forward with plans to build settlements on a 3,000-acre plot of land known as E1 that, if developed, would cut off Bethlehem and Ramallah from other Palestinian neighborhoods of East Jerusalem.
The decision led The Jewish Daily Forward to ask
what the move says about Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in regard to his relationship with the U.S., particularly following a recent United Nations vote that showed overwhelmingly support for recognizing Palestine as a state.
The new settlements, the Daily Forward said, are welcomed news for expansionist Israelis, who feel a two-state solution — which an E1 development might make nearly impossible — would be detrimental to the Jewish state’s future.
Netanyahu’s decision to move forward with the settlements puts Israel at odds with U.S. policy, which is opposed to any expansion of Jewish settlements on occupied land, which the administration argues is counterproductive in peace efforts with the Palestinians.
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