Israel Considers Halting West Bank Settlements (Temporarily)

Israel’s Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu has agreed to push his cabinet to halt construction of West Bank settlements for 90 days in order to revive peace talks with Palestine. In return, the U.S. will provide a $3 billion package with security incentives and fighter jets, oppose any U.N. measures critical of Israel and not ask for an extension on the freeze.

The settlement was reached in New York after seven and a half hours of talks between Netanyahu and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.

The freeze would only apply to residences and not public structures such as schools or community centers. East Jerusalem, which Palestinians view as the future capital of a free Palestinian state, is also not included in the freeze.

The Palestinian Authority reported it had not been informed of the proposed U.S.-Israel deal. It seems unlikely such a deal will lead to peace since in the past Palestinians have stated they will not resume peace talks until construction in Jerusalem halts.

Since the previous 10-month moratorium on construction was lifted, construction work has begun on 1,649 new housing units. “It turns out that the settlement freeze was no more than a 10-month delay in the construction and the settlers managed to fill in the gap very fast,” the Israeli organization Peace Now contends. “The government of Israel must renew the freeze in a way that will stop all settlement activity, including the projects that started in the last few weeks, until there is a final agreement between the Palestinians and Israel regarding the borders and the future of the settlements.”

There are nearly 500,000 Jews in over 100,000 settlements in the West Bank, and are considered illegal under international law.

Israel has not agreed to the new deal yet. Several members of Netanyahu’s cabinet have voiced opposition to the measure, with Vice Premier Moshe Yaalon calling it a “honey trap.”


samantha schutz
samantha schutz5 years ago

actually mr. education if you read the black and white letters that i have written you will see that i dont go by the Fox news 411 I choose to educate myself with out bias. Its quite interesting to me that people that work of off personal beliefs choose strongly to ignore straight foward facts. My choice at this point is to no longer go back and forth with a man with a small minded train of thought who chooses not to educate himself with the cold truth. hope you wake up and smell the truth good luck to you

Nico T.
Nico T.5 years ago

I thought that colonizing occupied countrie is a UN-violation.. I always wonder how easy the U.S. forgets such things and veto every UN proposition to make an agendapoint of it on a next UN-meeting. Maybe it is because the Jewish Loby is the second powerfull lobby-organisation in the U.S right after the elderly-lobby, maybe because they need a strong allie in the middle east, or maybe both, but by vetoing every anti-Israel sound, they are just reach the opposite.. There will never be peace, because Israel hightens his conditions every time by colonizing and demanding more concessions till the Palestinians have nothing left to trade for. The story will end for Israel if all the palestinan teritories are accupied and the Palestions have traveled to the neighbouring states. The likud-party treates the palestinans far worse then Berlusconi treates the gyphsies in and around Rome and for a far longer period. The Israeli have to know better. The Jews were persacuted ages. No, they don't treat Palestinians like the nazi's did, but they have to know better. They must know how it feels to be an second rate civilian with no rights. I even think that many Palestians would even accept Israeli rule, if they would have the same rights as the Israeli.

Bora S.
Bora Salama6 years ago

“To defend Israel today is to be either callous or wilfully ignorant” said a UK newspaper entry in 2004. One can see “the daily lot of nearly three million Palestinians as they battle with army checkpoints, curfews, random shootings, arbitrary arrests and air raids” The Israelis some so admire “humiliate and oppress Palestinians at a whim: last year, at the Nablus checkpoint, a middle-aged man was made to strip, get down on all fours and bark like a dog before he could enter his city. Women in labour routinely wait at checkpoints until some give birth there and see their babies die. Those that survive live a blighted childhood. Since September 2000, Israel has killed more than 660 Palestinian children and wounded 9,000. ...since 2000, nearly 4,000 Palestinians killed, and 30,000 injured; 400 were assassinated; and 25,000 homes were demolished. In addition, hundreds of acres of farmland were destroyed. No state on earth, except Israel, could get away with these atrocities, now routinely justified as “defence” against Palestinian “ terrorism”.

In trying to solve the problem of Jewish persecution in Europe, which culminated in the Holocaust, Western powers helped to establish the Jewish state as a refuge for the Jews and their own consciences [at the expense of the Palestinians] But the ugly reality showing and [supporters of Israel] will have to take note some day.”

Bora S.
Bora Salama6 years ago

Stephen Amsel, unlike Margaret Mayer and her admirable patience, I find your details obscure main issues and allow you to slip in claims like

“Palestinians still on Israeli territory ... were offered citizenship” > first there was no Israeli territory, secondly it’s like the occupied French being offered German citizenship by the Nazis.

“especially in wars where one side ignores all civilized "rules" .... no uniforms,” > all? Anyway, why not create a level playing field first, allow the Palestinians to be armed like the Zionist are. If you’re referring to the Zionist attempt to wipe out Hizbollah (and its failure despite extra time granted by the USA and the UK) then why not look at the Zionist bombing violations

There are other presumptuous statements punctuating your comments.

I repeat two of your sarcastic comments to me amongst just a few more as a small example of what the public is now aware of. Tiny Israel is dragging the mighty US down the moral plughole.

The1948 Deir Yassin genocide

The 1954 Lavon affair

The1967 bombing of the USS Liberty

“The 1970s .. U.N.'s "Zionism is Racism" resolution”

The 1982 Sabra-Shatila massacre

“The 1990s ... international sympathy for the Intifada”

The February 2010 extrajudicial killing in Dubai using fake passports of other countries

The May 2010 storming of aid ships and killing of civilians

Stephen Amsel
Past Member 6 years ago

Sounds like a good idea.

Margaret Mayer
6 years ago


I responded to our comments and now they are not posted. I also suggested that perhaps we finish this conversation on the Tadamon site as this is extremely aggravating on many fronts.

Barbara Erdman
Barbara Erdman6 years ago

thanx for article

Margaret Mayer
6 years ago

I am in agreement of your frustration with this thread, it cuts people off and in addition even though comments are at the top, you have to post at the bottom. I will read through your comments and respond shortly.

Stephen Amsel
Past Member 6 years ago

My stuff got cut off AGAIN??? I checked and had six characters left. This is ridiculous. The last word was "justification".

Anyways, I see the irony of my position, but I don't see any flaw in the logic. It looks crazy at the level of a gut-reaction, but on closer inspection I don't see any crazy part at all.

Just to clarify the "unenforceable law" issue, you avoid them for two reasons: First, if you cannot enforce the law in all situations where it applies then it will lose credibility and be completely ignored. I do not want the Geneva Conventions to be lost entirely. Second, the failure to enforce it brings into question the validity of the legal code of which it is a part. There are already many people questioning whether countries sign treaties believing the rules in them are "just for the other guy". I would rather not see a general breakdown of diplomacy due to a loss of trust between nations.

Stephen Amsel
Past Member 6 years ago

My stuff got cut again. (Odd, Care2 said I had 2 characters left.) That sentence ended with " , etc.). "

Anyways, I just want to add that the relevant limits on international law exist for a reason:

The first rule of law-making: "Never write one you can't enforce." That is why when one side ignores the rules, the Geneva Conventions absolve the other of responsibility to them. A militia cannot be made invincible by the law just because it mixes so thoroughly with civilians that any attack on it will kill them. Morality can place limits, and those limits constitute the entire defense of Palestinian militias against Israeli forces. However, they have no obligations to follow the Geneva Conventions in their fight against those militias and I will not condemn any group for failing to go above and beyond its obligations.

The first (second?) rule of international lawmaking: "Try to prevent war." Never write one that says anything like "Countries can attack each other with impunity." That is why there are no limits on what can be lost by the aggressor in war. Imagine a dictator who cares less about his people than about his ego and the size of his domain (like Saddam Hussein). That is why land-gains in wars of conquest are not recognized, but in defensive wars they can be. I promote recognition of Israel's annexes in 1967, confirmed by peace-treaties, because I want to prevent wars on a much larger scale, beyond the Mideast. Is large-scale prevention of war a bad justificat