Israeli, Palestinian press weigh settlement announcement
- 3 December 2012
- From the section Middle East
One thing both Israeli and Palestinian papers agree on is that Israel's global reputation may be harmed by its decision to build thousands of new housing units in the West Bank area known as E1.
But the Israeli press is divided on the issue. Some left-wing broadsheets argue that the move will be counterproductive to peace and annoy the US government. Other pro-government papers praise Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu for what they see as protecting Israeli interests despite outside criticism. One commentator says the only problem is in announcing the plan rather than carrying out the building quickly and quietly.
Palestinian papers see the building as "aggression" by Israel. One writer wonders if the International Criminal Court will take any action against it now that the Palestinians have raised their status internationally.
Yehuda Ben Meir in left-of-centre, independent broadsheet Haaretz
Continued construction in the small and isolated West Bank settlements beyond the settlement blocs is an unnecessary provocation which portrays the prime minister as someone who doesn't speak the truth and undermines Israel's credibility.
Yehuda Shohat in centrist, mass circulation Yediot Ahronot
The decision to nationalise the Palestinians' tax funds and build thousands of housing units in Judea and Samaria [is] a decision which more than harms the Palestinians; [it] spits in the face of the Americans just after they provided Israel with impressive backing during operation Pillar of Cloud.
Uri Elitzur in centrist Maariv
[Palestinian Authority leader Mahmoud Abbas] is attacking the Zionist idea and the Zionist idea must return fire with all its sources of fire.
Dan Margalit in free, pro-Netanyahu Israel Hayom
You want to build another 3,000 housing units? Like the film The Good, The Bad and The Ugly - shoot, do not talk. For the government announcement arouses most of the world against it and prevents the pouring of the cement.
Haim Shine in free, pro-Netanyahu Israel Hayom
The decision of the Israeli government to build thousands of flats in Jerusalem and its environs is a par excellence proof that there is in Jerusalem a leadership with a sober vision that has internalised that behind all the hot-headed words in New York, Ramallah and Gaza a mighty struggle is raging for Jerusalem - eternal capital of the Jewish people.
Editorial in English-language Jerusalem Post
Building in E1 [between Jerusalem and the West Bank settlement of Maaleh Adumim] would not necessarily undermine the contiguity of a future Palestinian state. An access road could easily allow Palestinian traffic from the south and north to pass east of Maaleh Adumim and continue northward or southward. While the timing of our government's announcement might result in negative diplomatic repercussions, building in Jerusalem and E1 protects integral Israeli interests.
PLO Central Council member Nabil Amru in privately-owned, pro-Fatah Al-Quds
The Palestinian people have given their blessing to the UN bid and the world supported the establishment of a Palestinian state. All we need to see is the implementation of the great [diplomatic] jihad in the next few days. The first test will be the reaction to the ongoing and expanding settlement activity campaign and what the International Criminal Court will do about that flagrant aggression.
Samih Shubayb in privately-owned, Ramallah-based pro-Fatah Al-Ayyam
We should not exaggerate with our achievement, and we should realize that the occupation is still standing, that the aggression is ongoing and that many hindrances are waiting for us.
Hisham Munawar in Hamas-run, Gaza-based Filastin
The option of military or peaceful popular resistance remains on the table for a large part of the Palestinians who saw the Palestinian step [of going to the UN] as 'a temporary Palestinian victory'.