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Israel huge new settlement push raises Palestinian ire

A picture taken from the West Bank Town of Bethlehem on May 14, 2014 shows a part of the Israeli settlement of Har HomaIsrael unveiled plans for 3,200 settler homes Thursday in retaliation for the formation of a Palestinian unity government backed by Hamas and the international community, raising the Palestinians’ ire. Tenders for nearly 1,500 new settlement houses and plans to advance some 1,800 others were issued just 72 hours after the new Palestinian government was sworn in, ending seven years of rival administrations in the West Bank and Gaza. Both Washington and Brussels as well as other western states have shown support for the Palestinian line-up, but Israel says it will boycott what it denounces as a “government of terror”. Of the 1,454 tenders, 400 homes are to be built in Israeli-annexed east Jerusalem and the rest in the occupied West Bank in what Housing Minister Uri Ariel described as “a fitting Zionist response to the establishment of the Palestinian government of terror”.

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