Jewish settlements increase tensions in Israe


Electronic Media Monitoring Service 


23-09-2010 08:19 AM


ABC Canberra 666

Parl No.


Channel Name

ABC Canberra 666


23-09-2010 08:19 AM



23-09-2010 08:54 AM

Cover date

2010-09-23 08:19:20

Citation Id








Open Item 

Parent Program URL
Text online


Media Deleted


System Id


Note: Where available, the PDF/Word icon below is provided to view the complete and fully formatted document

Jewish settlements increase tensions in Israe -

View in ParlViewView other Segments

Jewish settlements increase tensions in Israel

Anne Barker reported this story on Thursday, September 23, 2010 08:20:00

TONY EASTLEY: Tensions between Jews and Palestinians have erupted again in Jerusalem just days
before new peace talks reach a critical phase.

One Palestinian was shot dead and several people were wounded in Silwan an area where Israeli
authorities want to demolish Palestinian homes.

A freeze on Jewish settlement construction expires on Sunday.

Already bulldozers are in place in settlements across the West Bank much to the anger of

Middle East correspondent Anne Barker reports.

(sound of children and mother talking)

ANNE BARKER: Tahila and Eitan Depau, like many young couples, dream of moving into their own home
with their two children.

(sound of children and mother talking)

Last year they bought a block of land and were all set to build a house.

(Tahila Depau speaking)

"We've already got the bulldozers on the site to lay the foundations," says Tahila Depau.

But the Depaus are Jewish settlers; they live at Revava, a small religious settlement right near
the Palestinian village of Hares in the occupied West Bank.

So, when Israel last year agreed to freeze construction of new settlement homes to allow peace
talks to begin the Depaus had to cancel everything.

(Tahila Depau speaking)

"We had our plans ready to go," she says. "But didn't get them in to the council in time before the
freeze, because we hadn't laid the foundations we weren't allowed to continue building."

ANNE BARKER: Ten months on the Depau family is still living in a tiny demountable, barely bigger
than a caravan. And with a third child due in February they say living conditions are desperate.

But now with the ten-month moratorium on construction finally about to expire their fingers are
crossed that the Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu will keep his promise to end the freeze
on Sunday.

(Tahila and Eitan Depau speaking)

"We've got no phone," they say. "This place is only 45 square metres. There's no room for the kids.
Things are very bad."

The Depau family are just one among hundreds, if not thousands of Jewish settlers affected by the
settlement freeze who've been forced to find alternative accommodation.

Many have lost money by having to pay months of rent on top of a mortgage.

David Ha Ivri heads an organisation that represents settlers in the Shomron region or Samaria the
northern half of the West Bank.

DAVID HA IVRI: In every one of the communities there are lists of families who are waiting to move
in if they get approval to build their homes in those communities.

ANNE BARKER: It's not just the settlers of course who are holding their breath until the freeze
expires on Sunday.

The Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas has repeatedly threatened to walk away from the talks if
any building resumes. Now though he's given the first signs that he might be prepared to compromise
after all.

"I cannot say I will leave the negotiations," he said in New York. "But it's very difficult for me
to resume talks if Prime Minister Netanyahu declares that he'll continue his activity in the West
Bank and Jerusalem."

Such a compromise though would only enrage many Palestinians already opposed to the peace process.
And past experience suggests that violence like that seen in Silwan this week will only escalate if
the peace talks continue.

This is Anne Barker in Jerusalem reporting for AM.