About fifty Israelis spent Thursday night (7 June) in windblown tents on a craggy hilltop after setting up an official new Jewish settlement on the occupied West Bank of the river Jordan.
About fifty Israelis spent Thursday night (7 June) in windblown tents on a craggy hilltop after setting up an official new Jewish settlement on the occupied West Bank of the river Jordan. The establishment of the settlement has brought opposition from both Tel Aviv and Washington.
SYNOPSIS: The desolate site is located on the outskirts of Nablus, the West Bank's most populous town. It was taken with lightning speech after the Arab landowners were handed requisition orders. Bulldozers and other heavy equipment were soon brought in, some by helicopter, and started to tear at the rocky terrain. Within hours the beginnings of a road were carved through part of the hill-side.
The Arab landowners say they will petition the Israeli Supreme Court to set aside the requisition orders. Their spokesman says the owners will not accept any money for the land.
The settlers belong to the Gush Emunim group. Their action has been endorsed by the Israeli cabinet. But Israel's Deputy Prime Minister, Yigael Yadin, Foreign Minister, Moshe Dayan and Defence Minister, Ezer Weizman, led opposition to the settlement. The cabinet finally approved Alon Morei, as the settlement has been called, by a margin of three votes. The United States greeted the decision angrily, saying it only provided a new obstacle to final peace in the Middle East. Leader of Gush Emunim, Hannon Porot, explained why he wanted to set up Alon Morei.
But the West Bank debate seems set to continue. Israel's Interior Minister, Yosef Burg, says Egypt and Israel agree to disagree on that point.