Constriction is going ahead on a new Israeli settlement in the West Bank despite increasing pressure from Arab countries for Israel to return all territories captured during the 1967 war.
Constriction is going ahead on a new Israeli settlement in the West Bank despite increasing pressure from Arab countries for Israel to return all territories captured during the 1967 war. The establishment of this latest settlement comes less than three weeks after thousands of Israelis demonstrated in Tel Aviv demanding peace rather than territories.
SYNOPSIS: The new settlement is situated near the site of Newe-Zuf, about 13 miles (20 Kilometres) east of Petah-Tikva one of earliest Jewish settlements in Palestine. Construction is still in the early stage with bulldozers levelling the area and surveyors preparing the site. And Israeli construction officials estimate that the settlement will take two years to complete and will eventually house several hundred families.
Foreign opposition to the creation of new settlements in occupied Arab land has been steadily increasing. It is felt that the settlements issue was one of the main stumbling blocks which brought a halt to the recent Egyptian Israeli peace talks. And there have also been internal objections to the Begin government's reluctance to offer the Arabs real territorial concessions.
This internal dissension reached a peak earlier this month with an army reservist inspired demonstration in Tel Aviv. The demonstrators called on Prime Minister Begin to put peace before the possession of land, and the concept of a greater Israel. The size of the demonstration -- estimated by police to be between 35,000 and 45,000 people -- showed there was considerable public opposition to government policies. Seeds of discontent have also spread to the cabinet, where Defence Minister Ezer Weizman has offered his resignation of more settlements continue to spring up.