‘Special Status Areas’ you might ask?
Whatever the Kadima coalition throws around, underplaying Jerusalem & Final Status issue talks in order to placate Shas in the Israeli Parliament, it’s hard to disregard the facts. In direct contravention to Olmert’s bold statements when President Bush visited – The Prime Minister has totally frozen all settlement areas under his direct order.
Olmert seems intent on just ramming right through, in an all Annapolis type rage disregarding the upcoming Winograd report, on the heels of tiny matters such as the disastrous Gaza policy. Which in the last 24 hours has blown up directly in Kadima’s face in the worst way, and has left the Labor Coalition head, our Defense Minister Barak looking like a fool.
PM completely freezes new construction in W. Bank settlements (Haaretz)
[...] Olmert has categorically denied approval for all new construction tenders, including in the so-called consensus settlement blocs, which Israel intends to keep in any future peace accord with the Palestinians. The freeze also applies to the construction of public institutions, including schools and kindergartens. Olmert recently sent an official letter to relevant cabinet ministers instructing them to refrain from authorizing any construction in the West Bank without his and Defense Minister Ehud Barak’s prior approval.
Several days ago, the prime minister met with Ma’aleh Adumim Mayor Benny Kashriel, who asked Olmert to approve several construction plans -including in the controversial E1 corridor linking Ma’aleh Adumim to Jerusalem. Olmert refused, saying the issue was sensitive in terms of relations with the United States and the Palestinian Authority.
Mayors and council chairmen in other consensussettlements have also reported a total freeze on construction in recent weeks, including Efrat in the Etzion bloc south of Jerusalem, as well as Ariel in the northern West Bank. Olmert has in the past defined those settlements as part of the consensus blocs, but is currently refusing to approve the construction of new housing units – including within the settlements’ current urban boundaries. The prime minister has denied authorizations for the construction of schools and kindergartens in these settlements as well.
According to information made public several days ago, Barak had ordered settlement construction frozen beyond the parameters set forward by Olmert. Among other things, the defense minister said his approval is even needed for the private purchase of a home that has already been built. [...]
Instead of battling Hamas, Hezbollah, Iran, & the terror groups.. Our PM, FM, & Defense Minister are all gearing up to do battle with Israeli citizens! Olmert’s bold statements didn’t hold two weeks. Barak’s bold moves cutting off fuel to Hamas in Gaza didn’t hold two days, 48hrs!
Seems they are much tougher when slapping around Israel’s populace with these tremendous concessions to all an altogether unpopular peace process, now devolving into total chaos in the recently conceded Gaza Strip.