Open

Coming up

Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

FOCUS

Republicans block Obama's bid to hike minimum wage

Read more

WEB NEWS

Calls for ISIS media blackout after execution of James Foley

Read more

WEB NEWS

Web users divided over Darren Wilson

Read more

WEB NEWS

Web users take on 'Ice Bucket Challenge' to fight ALS

Read more

ENCORE!

From Paris's Liberation to 'arresting' art in Avignon

Read more

INSIDE THE AMERICAS

Ferguson riots: Pressure mounts on Obama

Read more

IN THE PAPERS

'The pen is mightier than the sword'

Read more

IN THE PAPERS

'Requiem for a recorder'

Read more

DEBATE

Pakistan's Political Turmoil: Can Imran Khan's PTI Party Depose the Government?

Read more

  • Two US Ebola patients leave hospital ‘virus-free’

    Read more

  • Turkey’s Erdogan names foreign minister Davutoglu as next PM

    Read more

  • US reaches historic $16.7bn settlement with Bank of America

    Read more

  • Special report: Supplying Ukraine’s soldiers on the front line

    Read more

  • US forces tried to rescue slain reporter from IS captors

    Read more

  • Israeli air strike kills three top Hamas commanders

    Read more

  • France delivered arms to Syrian rebels, Hollande confirms

    Read more

  • Tensions high in Yemen as Shiite rebel deadline looms

    Read more

  • Interactive: Relive the Liberation of Paris in WWII

    Read more

  • French village rallies behind besieged elderly British couple

    Read more

  • Former Irish PM Albert Reynolds dies at 81

    Read more

  • Former Femen activist detained after fighting veiled woman

    Read more

  • Thailand coup leader Prayuth Chan-ocha voted prime minister

    Read more

  • Brazil’s Silva launches bid after Campos plane crash death

    Read more

  • Brutal IS beheading video sparks social media pushback

    Read more

  • US attorney general visits Missouri town after fatal shooting

    Read more

Middle east

Israel begins enforcing limited moratorium on new buildings

Video by Elena CASAS

Text by News Wires

Latest update : 2009-12-02

Israel has begun enforcing a temporary moratorium on building new West Bank settlements. The 10-month freeze on new construction was announced by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu (pictured) last week.

REUTERS - Israeli inspectors armed with aerial maps and empowered to confiscate construction equipment have begun enforcing a limited government moratorium on new building in West Bank settlements, officials said on Monday.

The 10-month freeze on new housing projects was announced by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu last week, who pitched it as an attempt to persuade Palestinians to return to U.S.-sponsored peace talks suspended since December.

The temporary moratorium does not apply to areas in the West Bank that Israel annexed to its Jerusalem municipality after capturing the territory from Jordan in a 1967 war.

Palestinians, who seek to establish a state in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip, brushed off the Israeli step as insufficient and a ruse.

Netanyahu's decision pits the government against settlers who claim a biblical birthright to the land and who, in many cases, have long expanded their enclaves without state approval.

"We are conducting operations throughout the West Bank. We have issued stop-work orders and begun confiscating equipment," said Lee Hiromoto, spokesman for the division in Israel's Defence Ministry which handles West Bank administration.

 
"We have a good number of enforcement agents in the field, accompanied by security forces," he said.
 
Leaders of the some 300,000 Israelis living in the West Bank have accused Netanyahu -- whose coalition government includes pro-settler parties -- of capitulating to pressure from the Obama administration for a breakthrough with the Palestinians.
 
In Reuters TV footage that was aired in Israel on Sunday, Gershon Messika, head of the Samaria Regional Council in the northern West Bank, tore up a stop-work order delivered to him by an Israeli army major.
 
"This is an order to halt construction in the state of Israel. This is a racist, immoral and illegal decision which is therefore invalid," Messika said.
 
Asked about the incident, Hiromoto said: "There was no violence." He did not immediately offer details on where or why construction equipment had been confiscated.
 
Israel Radio said building inspectors had on Monday visited settlements in the Etzion and Binyamin blocs abutting Jerusalem.
 
The World Court has branded Israeli settlements illegal. The Palestinians, who number some 2.5 million in the West Bank, say the settlements could deny them a viable state.  

 

Date created : 2009-11-30

  • ISRAEL

    Palestinians reject Netanyahu's offer of partial settlement freeze

    Read more

  • ISRAEL

    Netanyahu offers 'far-reaching and painful' partial settlement freeze

    Read more

  • ISRAEL

    Netanyahu seeks 10-month partial settlement freeze

    Read more

COMMENT(S)