Monday, September 06, 2010

Israeli Settlement Construction Booms Despite Ban

Speigel Online International, Sep 3, 2010

By Juliane von Mittelstaedt in Jerusalem

Construction work is also going on in Kfar Adumim. The settlement is significantly larger than the norm — 2,700 people live here in the hills between Jerusalem and Jericho. Among them are two members of the Knesset, the two hardliners Aryeh Eldad and Uri Ariel. 30 houses are to be built here and 50 Palestinian workers are employed on the site. One man, who is busy laying bathroom tiles, says they started work a month before the building freeze came into force. In the beginning, they had 300 men working at full speed to lay as many foundations as possible in the short time.

Etkes sees the circumventing of the building freeze here as a “classic example of the cooperation between the settlers and the government”: Some of the foundations were hastily laid before the building freeze came into force, some afterwards — but nobody bothers to police it. “The building freeze was discussed for half a year, that was enough time for all parties to prepare.”

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