Israel’s Interior Minister has called on the government to start building 5000 new settlement units in the occupied West Bank. Eli Yishai says that this will be 1000 units for every settler of the five who were killed in the illegal settlement of Itamar. Palestinians have been accused of the killings.
Yishai said that the building programme needs to be stepped up in the light of what he called “incitement against Israelis”. He did not say whether or not he thinks the illegal settlements and settlers are themselves “incitement” against the Palestinians on whose land the settlements are built. “The Palestinians do not want peace,” he claimed. “We stick our heads in the sand like ostriches, while the Palestinian Authority incites to murder.”
During the Israeli cabinet meeting held on March13, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu questioned the Palestinian Authority’s will to end the conflict with Israel and achieve peace. He said that the “acts of incitement” in the areas ruled by the Palestinian Authority are inconsistent with the PA’s declaration that it wants to achieve peace. Commentators have pointed out that such double-speak is common from Netanyahu and other Israeli leaders, who ignore the obvious fact that Israel’s illegal military occupation of Palestine is the prime cause of the problems besetting the area.