Tuesday, December 26, 2006
Israel breaks promise to U.S. with settlement
West Bank housing for settlers ousted from Gaza approved despite pledge
"JERUSALEM - Israel has approved a new settlement in the West Bank to house former Jewish settlers from the Gaza Strip, officials said Tuesday, breaking a promise to the U.S. to halt home construction in the Palestinian territories.
Construction in the northern West Bank town of Maskiot began months ago, but the project only received final approval from the Defense Ministry last week, said Dubi Tal, head of the Jordan Valley regional council.
Saeb Erekat, an aide to Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, condemned the construction and urged the government to revoke its authorization, saying it violated the spirit of cooperation inaugurated by a meeting Saturday between Abbas and Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert."