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Feb 25, 2007 at 12:00 AM

Planning council approves illegal West Bank building plan

By Akiva Eldar, Haaretz Correspondent
February 25, 2007

The Supreme Planning Council for Judea and Samaria recently legalized the largest-ever illegal construction project in the West Bank. Part of the project is situated on private land, which belongs to Palestinian residents of the village of Bil'in.

The project calls for the construction of 42 buildings containing approximately 1,500 apartments. The buildings, already in various stages of construction, are in the neighborhood of Matityahu East, which is located in the large ultra-Orthodox settlement of Modi'in Illit.

Peace Now and Bil'in residents filed a petition against the construction a week ago at the High Court of Justice.

About a year ago, following another petition by Peace Now and Bil'in residents, the High Court ordered a halt on the construction and occupation of the buildings.

Following an appeal to the State Prosecutor's Office, the National Fraud Squad opened an investigation into those involved in the affair. The neighborhood is being built by Green Park and Green Mount, companies registered in Canada, along with two other companies: Ein Ami and Hefziba.

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Women's Boat to Gaza Captured

Zaytouna-Oliva Women Deported
Details Emerge about the Capture

Messina, Italy:  All 13 of the women on the Women’s Boat to Gaza are currently in the process of deportation after being captured by Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) and detained in a prison at Ashdod. Wendy Goldsmith, a member of the land team working to secure the release of the women stated that, “the deportation was much quicker than in prior flotillas. While we had a great legal team assisting the women, we suspect that the reason for the quick release was because of all the negative media attention Israel has been receiving for its illegal interception.”

According to early reports from the women released, the Zaytouna-Oliva was surrounded by two warships along with four to five smaller naval boats. The IDF gave warning to the Zaytouna-Oliva to stop their course towards Gaza. When the warning was refused, at least 7 IDF members, both male and female, boarded the Zaytouna-Oliva and commandeered the sailboat. This happened in international waters.

In the course of their capture, the women persisted in telling the IDF that Israel’s interception of their boat was illegal and that they were being taken against their will to Israel. 

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