Hardline Israeli settlers start building West Bank outpost



ALON SHVUT- Hardline Jewish settlers on Wednesday started rebuilding an outpost in the occupied West Bank in an act of defiance against Israel's partial moratorium on settlement construction.
About 50 settlers, among them children, started building a brick house on a hill close to the Alon Shvut settlement near the Palestinian city of Bethlehem.



(AFP/Jack Guez)
(AFP/Jack Guez)
"This is our response to the construction freeze decided by the government," hardline settler leader Yehudit Katzover told AFP.
"If authorities stop us, we will come back as many times as possible to restart construction," she said, pointing out that on several occasions police had previously demolished outposts built on the hilltop.
The international community considers all settlement in the West Bank illegal.
Under US pressure, the Israeli government last month announced a 10-month moratorium on new building permits in settlements.
The settlement issue is one of the thorniest in Middle East peace efforts and the Palestinians have said they would not resume negotiations, which came to a halt almost one year ago, unless there is a total settlement freeze.
A growing number of Israelis are opposed to a settlement freeze, according to poll results broadcast on Wednesday by Channel 10 television, a private Israeli station.
It said 46 percent answered that they were opposed, 31 percent were for and 23 percent gave no opinion, in a survey of 500 Israelis that had a margin of error of 4.5 percent.
A similar poll in September, before the moratorium, found 44.7 percent in favour and 38 percent opposed.
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Thursday, December 17th 2009
AFP
           


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