Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu vowed Monday that, if reelected, he will build thousands of settler homes in occupied East Jerusalem to prevent future concessions to Palestinians.Speaking ahead of Tuesday’s general election on a whistle-stop tour of Har Homa, a contentious settlement neighborhood of annexed East Jerusalem, the PM vowed that he would never allow Palestinians to establish a capital in the city’s eastern sector.
‘I won’t let that happen. My friends and I in Likud will preserve the unity of Jerusalem,’ he said of his ruling right-wing party, according to AFP, vowing to prevent any future division of the city by building thousands of new settler homes.
‘We will continue to build in Jerusalem, we will add thousands of housing units, and in the face of all the (international) pressure, we will persist and continue to develop our eternal capital,’ he added.
During the 2013 negotiations, Israeli officials announced, and, eventually, carried out in full force, plans to build thousands of additional homes in illegal settlements across the occupied West Bank, while continuing to further seize lands, demolish homes and agricultural resources and, thus, leaving scores of Palestinian families severely disenfranchised and without so much as a roof over their heads to shelter them from inclement weather.
Gazans were already surviving on a mere 8 hours per day of electricity when the Palestinian negotiating team finally resigned in protest, in mid-November. Israel, soon after, made quite clear its position on securing peace with Palestinians when Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu, during a meeting with young Likud Party supporters, boasted:
“I was threatened in Washington: ‘not one brick’ [of settlement construction] … after five years, we built a little more than one brick…”
Asked about ‘peace talks with the Palestinians”, the PM reportedly replied, according to +972 online Israeli magazine: “about the – what?” to which his audience responded with a round of chuckling.
Critics of Israel’s aggressively right-wing regime assert that such peace negotiations are simply used as a front for continued settlement expansion and military occupation, noting that settlement activity clearly increases during negotiations, while daily acts of violence against Palestinians, by both Israeli civilians and soldiers alike, remains as of yet unchallenged by the powers that be.
Israel seized East Jerusalem in the 1967 Six-Day War and later annexed it in a move never recognized by the international community.
Israel refers to both halves of the city as its ‘united, undivided capital’ and does not see construction in the eastern sector as settlement building.
Successive Israeli leaders have vowed that Jerusalem will never again be divided — in war or peace.
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