Saed Bannoura - IMEMC
Days after U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice criticized Israel for approving the expansion of settlements on stolen Palestinian land in the West Bank, she abruptly changed her position when Israel refused to back down. Now, as Israeli authorities announce further expansion of settlements than what was originally criticized, Rice compliantly responded that 'she understands' Israel's position now, adding that Israeli officials have shown her that they are serious about their responsibilities in the so-called 'peace process'.
The Israeli government has approved the proposed Housing Ministry's budget for the year 2008, which includes 500 new units in the 'Har Homa' settlement built on Palestinian land near Bethlehem, and 240 new units in the 'Ma'ale Adumim' settlement east of Jerusalem.
Israeli forces have occupied all Palestinian land since 1967, and have transferred over 500,000 civilians to live in that land, in direct violation of the Fourth Geneva Convention, to which Israel is a signatory.
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