APN / Peace Now In the News - February 20, 2020

The Times of Israel (Live Now): "Peace Now: New East Jerusalem building plans a ‘serious blow’ to two-state solution" (February 20, 2020)

The Peace Now settlement watchdog group calls Prime Minister Netanyahu’s announcement of the construction of new housing units in East Jerusalem a “serious blow” to a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

“This is the last point that can allow territorial contiguity between Bethlehem and East Jerusalem — the most significant Palestinian metropolitan area — and if the neighborhood is built, it will not be possible to connect the two cities,” the group says in a statement.

The group calls the move “another cynical election exercise” by Netanyahu and questions whether his transitional government has the legal authority to move forward with the new construction.

It also says despite Netanyahu’s backing of the recently unveiled Trump peace plan, “he is doing everything possible to preclude the chances for peace and prevent a resolution of the conflict.”

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Al-Monitor: "Despite divisions in wake of Trump’s plan, Israelis & Palestinians labor for peace" (February 20, 2020)

Peace Now's Shaqued Morag: "Having ties with Peace Now is not normalization, because we support change to the existing situation, rather than preservation." She also said that when Peace Now representatives paid a visit to Ramallah after the release of the Trump plan, they did not encounter any opposition or threats. "I have never encountered a Palestinian who refused to meet with me about this. I believe that we must continue working together toward our common objective,” Morag added.

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New York Times: "Netanyahu Announces New Homes in East Jerusalem, Days Before Election" (February 20, 2020)

Peace Now, another Israeli anti-settlement group, said the plans amounted to “state suicide” by preventing any viable two-state option for the future. "If nobody stops it, then in a year or two they will begin to build" in Givat Hamatos, said Hagit Ofran of Peace Now’s Settlement Watch department.

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The Jerusalem Post: "Netanyahu announces 2,200 new housing units in Jerusalem's Har Homa" (February 20, 2020)

“[Prime Minister Benjamin] Netanyahu is asking to land another fatal blow to the chances of a two-state solution for two peoples,” said Peace Now. “The planned neighborhood places a wedge in the heart of the Palestinian urban sprawl that exists between Ramallah and east Jerusalem, and as such prevents the establishment of a Palestinian state with its capital in east Jerusalem. Netanyahu is leading Israel to the reality of a binational apartheid state and is putting the Zionist enterprise in jeopardy.”

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AFP: "Israel plans to build 9,000 more homes" (February 20, 2020 - published in The Daily Star and other news outlets)

Israel has developed plans to build 9,000 settler homes in annexed east Jerusalem, the first such project in the city in more than 20 years, watchdog Peace Now said Tuesday... the Atarot plan "also includes the demolition of dozens of Palestinian residential units that were built in the area without permits throughout the years."

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Jewish Press: "Report: Israel Plans to Build 9,000 Housing Units in Northeastern Jerusalem" (February 20, 2020)

Peace Now noted that if the plan is approved and the project is built, it will be the first time Jerusalem receives a new neighborhood since the Netanyahu government established Har Homa in 1997. “Netanyahu is dragging Israel into a reality of a bi-national apartheid state and is putting the Zionist enterprise in jeopardy,” Peace Now charged.

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