Hundreds of units built in settlements

Oct. 6, 2010 at 8:27 AM
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JERUSALEM, Oct. 6 (UPI) -- Ten days after the 10-month building freeze in West Bank settlements, some 350 housing units are under construction, a Haaretz report said Wednesday.

An investigation conducted by the Israeli newspaper said housing units are being constructed throughout the West Bank in Talmon, Kedumim, Ariel, Karmei Tzur, Adam, Kiryat Arba, Oranit, Sha'arei Tikva, Yakir, Elazar, Kochav Hashachar, Barkan, Kfar Adumim ,Tekoa and Dolev.

Danny Dayan, head of the Council of Jewish Communities in Judea and Samaria told the newspaper that after 10 "wasted" months the situation is returning to normal.

"When you throttle someone's neck for two months, he does not start breathing four times as heavy, he starts breathing normally. That is what is happening right now in the settlements," he said.

The situation has seriously affected progress in the current round of peace talks between Israel and the Palestinians. Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas has demanded a complete halt to all construction in the settlements as a condition to moving the talks forward.

Israel's Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu reportedly is mulling over a U.S. compromise that calls for extending the building freeze an additional three months in order to get the talks back on track. Netanyahu has yet to announce any change in the government's policy concerning building in the settlements since the freeze expired September 26.

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