APN to Obama: Tell Netanyahu to scrap plans for new settlement construction

Washington, DC – Americans for Peace Now (APN) is alarmed by new evidence, exposed today by our Israeli sister organization Peace Now, indicating that the Israeli government is planning massive new settlement construction in the West Bank, including in an area known as “E-1” adjacent to East Jerusalem. Settlement construction in E-1 would likely be a death blow to the two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. It has therefore been consistently and vehemently opposed by both Republican and Democratic administrations, and by the international community.  

The new evidence, some 200 pages Peace Now obtained through a Freedom of Information Act request, shows that for the past year, Israel’s Ministry of Housing has been actively working outside of the public's eye to advance plans for 55,548 new homes in West Bank settlements.

These include plans for construction of a massive new settlement in E-1, a swathe of land on East Jerusalem's Northeast flank. The documents show that the Housing Ministry is also working on plans for a new settlement known as "Givat Eitam," to be located south of Bethlehem. Plans for settlements in both of these locations were frozen by previous Israeli governments and by the current government, under pressure from the White House and from other governments. Settlement construction in both of these locations would, in effect, sever a future Palestinian state from East Jerusalem, and make a negotiated two-state solution impossible. 

APN urges the Obama administration to reiterate, strenuously, its objection to settlements in these locations – and anywhere else in the West Bank and East Jerusalem – and seek assurances from the government of Israel that it has no intention of building there.  

For the full text of Peace Now’s new report click here http://peacenow.org.il/eng/sites/default/files/MOH-report-Nov-2015.pdf