Tuesday, October 16, 2007

U.S. micromanaged Israeli evacuation


If I was a cartoonist, I would draw Olmert as a ventriloquist's dummy sitting on Condi’s lap.

Oversaw uprooting of small Jewish communities
Posted: October 16, 2007
5:12 p.m. Eastern
By Aaron Klein
© 2007 WorldNetDaily.com

JERUSALEM – The evacuation the past few days of five makeshift Jewish communities in the West Bank was micromanaged behind the scenes by the U.S. government, WND has learned.

Israeli police, backed by the Israel Defense Forces, clashed in recent days with Jewish activists and West Bank Jewish residents while destroying the five small outposts the government deemed illegal, because construction was not coordinated with proper housing authorities. The outposts, erected alongside existing legal West Bank Jewish communities, were first built Sept. 30, during the Jewish Succot holiday.

Israel strictly enforces regulations against Jewish building in the West Bank while hundreds of thousands of illegal Palestinian outposts have been constructed the past few years. That includes massive apartment complexes and refugee camps on hundreds of acres of land in Jerusalem owned by the Jewish National Fund, a Jewish nonprofit that uses donor funds to purchase property for Jewish settlement.

Four of the five new makeshift West Bank Jewish communities were evacuated by Israeli forces last week. Meanwhile, police are still struggling to uproot the final outpost, named Shvut Ami, Hebrew for "Return of My People." Activists and police authorities clashed yesterday at the community, located near the Jewish town of Kedumim.

Israel National News reported the Israeli police brutalized several Jewish activists while attempting to evacuate the small community.

Orit Struk, a spokesman for Israel's Yesha Civil Rights Organization, said two teens were brutally beaten during an interrogation inside a police station. The teens had been arrested for resisting orders to leave the Shvut Ami community.

Palestinian and Israeli diplomatic sources speaking to WND today said the evacuation of the five West Bank communities was heavily micromanaged by officers of the U.S. consulate in Jerusalem.

One Palestinian official said that at one point last week, Palestinian Authority officials were calling into the U.S. consulate several times per hour to report on the Israeli evacuation.

"We don't credit [Prime Minister Ehud] Olmert for destroying these illegal outposts. This was done under the strict orders of the U.S. government," said a Palestinian official involved in Israeli-Palestinian negotiations.

The reported U.S. management comes as Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice is in the region to prepare for an Israeli-Palestinian summit next month in which Israel is expected to outline a future Palestinian state in most of the West Bank and sections of Jerusalem.

Rice yesterday stated at a press conference outside the compound of Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas that the U.S. was deeply invested in an agreement between Israel and the Palestinians.

"The United States sees the establishment of a Palestinian state and a two-state solution as absolutely essential for the future, not just of Palestinians and Israelis but also for the Middle East and indeed to American interests," Rice said.

"That's really a message that I think only I can deliver," she added.

Yesterday, WND quoted Palestinian officials stating Rice told them she would pressure Israel against initiating any Jewish construction in eastern sections of Jerusalem.

A senior Palestinian negotiator stated Rice singled out Jerusalem areas as becoming part of a future Palestinian state and told his negotiating team she would publicly blame Israel for the failure of next month's U.S.-sponsored summit in Maryland if the Jewish state didn't agree to evacuate eastern Jerusalem neighborhoods.

Rice's comment were followed by an Olmert speech in which the Israeli prime minister hinted he would withdraw from parts of Jerusalem by asking whether it was "necessary" to retain certain Arab communities.

"Was it necessary to also add the Shuafat refugee camp, Sawakra, Walaje and other villages and define them as part of Jerusalem? On that, I must confess, I am not convinced," stated Olmert, speaking at a special Knesset session to mark the sixth anniversary of the assassination of former government minister Rehavam Ze'evi, who drew up the 1967 map.

Vice Premier Haim Ramon, a member of Olmert's ruling Kadima party, last week reportedly mapped out a future partition of Jerusalem under a deal with the Palestinians.

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