Americans for Peace Now (APN) joins its Israeli sister organization, Shalom Achshav (Peace Now) in sharply condemning Israel's final approval of a plan for the construction of a new settlement in East Jerusalem, which would severely complicate a future two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
APN calls on President Obama to take advantage of his meeting with Prime Minister Netanyahu in the White House today to demand that the plan be cancelled.
Peace Now revealed today that the plan to build a new, 2,610 housing-unit section of Givat Hamatos, north of Bethlehem, received a final approval last week (September 24th) with the publication of an official ad, announcing the plan as valid. This publication is the last step of the bureaucratic process of approving a settlement project, before tenders are issued, paving the way to imminent construction.
In December 2012, when the Israeli government approved the plan, APN called on the Obama administration to immediately intervene and block the plan. APN is now again urging President Obama and Secretary of State Kerry to weigh in and demand that Prime Minister Netanyahu freeze the plan to keep the door open for a future two-state solution.
The new settlement project is destructive to the two-state solution because it serves as a last link in a ring of Israeli settlements between Bethlehem and Jerusalem, which cut the southern West Bank from its northern part and thus impedes contiguity for a future Palestinian State. Furthermore, the construction of the new settlement project will make the implementation of a Clinton-style "parameters plan" in Jerusalem (Palestinian neighborhoods will be a part of Palestine and Israeli neighborhoods a part of Israel) all but impossible.
Peace Now today stated: "Prime Minister Netanyahu continues his policy to destroy the possibility of a two-state
solution. He is doing so in the West Bank, and he is doing so in East Jerusalem."
APN urges President Obama to not stand idly by as Israel's prime minister again acts to deny Israelis and Palestinians the peace they want and deserve.
For more on this new settlement project see here: http://peacenow.org.il/eng/GivatHamatosAproved