Israel to jump-start its settlement expansion - English

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Israeili   Budget   for   Settlements   palestine   palestinian    

Israel is to allocate $ 250 million to further expand its settlements in the occupied West Bank territories over the next two years despite international objections. The figure is contained in the 2009-2010 budget, which passed its first reading in the Knesset (parliament) last week, army radio said Sunday. The move by the Knesset comes despite calls by the international community including Tel Aviv's staunch ally--Washington-- to Israel to halt its settlement expansion. Some 125 million dollars (90 million euros) is to be used for various security expenses, with most of the rest allocated to housing construction, the radio said. The Peace Now anti-settlement watchdog has declared that the settlement spending in the two-year budget could be far higher that by "spreading over several sections of budget." "The official figures are nothing but the tip of the iceberg and the Israelis will pay not only a political price for the settlements, but also an economic one," the head of the group Yariv Oppenheimer said. Israel's two-year 159-billion-dollar budget must pass two more readings in the Knesset. Israel's settlement activities have been described as the main obstacle in the way of peace process

Added by Shahjee on 22-06-2009
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