Americans for Peace Now joins its Israeli sister-organization, Peace Now, in strongly condemning the Israeli government's approval of constructing hundreds of new housing units in settlements in the West Bank and East Jerusalem. APN welcomes the Obama administration's statement, issued last night, which states that settlement expansion threatens the two-state solution and calls into question Israel's commitment to a negotiated resolution to the conflict.
Commenting on the new approved plans for settlement construction, the director of Peace Now's Settlement Watch project, Hagit Ofran, said today: "We have no doubt that Prime Minister Netanyahu's settlement policy so far diminishes the prospects of a two-state solution."
APN's President and CEO Debra DeLee added: "The plans to further expand settlements in the West Bank and East Jerusalem are an assault on the two-state solution and therefore on the future of Israel as a Jewish state and a democracy, and as a state that is a respected member of the family of nations."
"What we have seen in the past few days – including the approval of 300 new housing units in Beit El to compensate the settlers for demolished structures built illegally on privately-owned Palestinian land – is preposterous. Instead of deterring the settlers from building illegally, Netanyahu is offering them an incentive to continue breaking the law. Make no mistake: massively building in a settlement like Beit El, which could not be annexed to Israel in the context of any realistic future agreement, can only be interpreted as an attempt to thwart a two-state solution."