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Israel plans 20,000 Jewish homes in East Jerusalem PDF Print E-mail
May 10, 2007 at 12:00 AM

By Avida Landau
Reuters May 10, 2007

Jerusalem - Israel plans to build 20,000 new homes for Jews in a settlement in Arab East Jerusalem, angering Palestinians who want the land for a future state.

An Israeli official said on Thursday that the plan forsees three separate Jewish neighbourhoods being set up on land Israel annexed after the 1967 Middle East War in a move that has not been recognised internationally.

Some 200,000 Jews already live in the eastern part of Jerusalem among about
230,000 Palestinians who, under an agreement forged after Israel's capture of the city, are legal residents.

Yehoshua Pollak, a deputy mayor and chairman of the Jerusalem municipality's planning and construction committee, said the proposed units would provide housing mostly for young Israeli couples.

Palestinian Chief Negotiator Saeb Erekat condemned the plan, saying: "This destroys the efforts exerted to revive the peace process. The Israeli government must choose between settlements and peace. They can not have both."

Pollak said the project still needed to be ratified by other municipal committees, which could take several years.

The construction of the homes would create a Jewish residential bloc linking Jerusalem with two major Jewish settlement blocs north and south of the city.

The Jerusalem municipality several months ago scrapped a similar plan to construct 20,000 homes on hills in the western part of Jerusalem following opposition by environmentalists.

"After (that) plan was scrapped, the city had to look for other alternatives to provide housing for its growing population," Pollak said.

Israel considers all of Jerusalem its eternal and indivisible capital. Palestinians want East Jerusalem as the capital of any future Palestinian state.

Despite plans to remove unauthorised Jewish outposts in the West Bank, Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert has said Israeli construction in the territory is aimed at accommodating the "natural growth" of populations within the settlements.

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Vancouver panel says: "Enough!"
Wednesday, June 6th, 2007

It is the conviction of Canpalnet that there are many and varied pathways that can and do bring Canadians to a simple conclusion; namely, that Israel's occupation must be ended, for elementary justice, and to salvage the humanity of all.

To illustrate this, a diverse and distinguished panel of speakers assembled in Vancouver at a press conference on June 6th to express their opposition to Israel’s 40 year occupation of Palestinian lands, and to call for the government of Canada to take action against that occupation and in support of human rights and international law. The conference took place in the Bank of Nova Scotia Room at Simon Fraser University’s Harbour Centre campus in downtown Vancouver.

Dr. Naseer Aruri, noted Palestinian intellectual and prolific author, was a special guest. Born in Jerusalem, now Emeritus Chancellor Professor at the University of Massachussetts, he has been a member of the international board of Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch (USA), and Palestinian human rights groups. His most recent work is Dishonest Broker: The U.S. Role in Israel and Palestine.

A statement of support was sent by the all-party parliamentary group in Ottawa, the Canada Palestine Parliamentary Association.

That message and the statements of the panelists (listed below) are posted on this site.  

  • Svend Robinson, long time member of Parliament.
  • Sister Elizabeth Kelliher, of the Franciscan Sisters of the Atonement.
  • Murray Dobbin, journalist, broadcaster, and author of books on Canadian politics.
  • David Diamond, founder and artistic director of Headlines Theatre and recipient of the City of Vancouver’s Cultural Harmony Award.
  • Lee Lakeman, organizer of Vancouver Rape Relief and Women’s Shelter and a representative for the Canadian Association of Sexual Assault Centers.
  • Carl Rosenberg, editor of Canadian Jewish Outlook Magazine.
  • Terry Greenberg, recently retired member of Canada’s Department of Foreign Affairs.
  • Reverend Brenda Faust, Minister of Port Coquitlam Trinity United Church.
  • Henry Krause, pastor of Langley Mennonite Fellowship.
  • Cynthia Flood, prize-winning Canadian short-story writer.
  • Dr. Ivar Ekeland, Canada Research Chair in Mathematical Economics at UBC and former President of the University of Paris-9.
  • Ken Davidson, head of the International Solidarity Committee of CUPE (Canadian Union of Public Employees).
  • Thekla Lit, founder and president of BC ALPHA (Association for Learning and Preserving the History of World War 2 in Asia).

To see podcast of press conference:

40 Years of Occupation(Part 1) Press Conf. WM video - 9 mins - June 6, 2007

40 Years of Occupation(Part 2) Press Conf. video - 9 mins - June 6, 2007

 

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