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Israeli Settlers Occupy Palestinian’s House

Israeli Settlers Occupy Palestinian’s House, Establish New Illegal Outpost

Armed Israeli settlers, headed by the Israeli ministers of tourism and cmmunications, occupied on Wednesday a house owned by a Palestinian family in occupied east Jerusalem and established a new illegal settlement outpost in the Hebron area.

Israeli minister, Bini Ayalon, heading a group of Israeli settlers, attacked a house owned by Palestinian citizen Rashad Maqdisyya, and occupied it after kicking the family out at gunpoint.

The house of is located in Nablus Street, next to the US Consulate.

Earlier, armed Israeli settlers established a new illegal settlement outpost in Wadi Mozayyen area near Hebron.

Israeli settlers put a number of caravans in the area near the illegal Israeli settlement of “Kiryat Arba”, witnesses said.

Settlers Say No to “Roadmap”

Meanwhile, thousands of Israeli settlers, living illegally in the West Bank, organized a rally in west Jerusalem Wednesday night to protest the Aqaba peace summit, which they described as a “humiliating ceremony in which the Israeli government celebrated its surrender to Palestinian terror.”

The so-called “Council of Israeli Settlements” in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip organized the demonstration, held in Jerusalem’s Zion Square.

Speaking Wednesday afternoon following the conclusion of the Aqaba meeting between U.S. President George Bush, Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon, Jordanian King Abdullah II and Palestinian Prime Minister Mahmoud Abbas, the “Yesha Council” Secretary-General Adi Mintz told the Israeli army Radio that the Israeli government was likely take steps that would cross “red lines.”

“When the government begins taking practical steps that will lead to a Palestinian state, this is for us a red line beyond which I think nationalist parties cannot participate,” Mintz said.

“When the government evacuates Jews from their land… I think that evacuation of this nature in the context of the creation of a Palestinian state is certainly a red line that nationalist parties - this includes many Likud members - do not accept,” he added.

About 430,000 Israeli settlers live illegally in 150 West Bank and Gaza settlements created with the approval of Israeli governments since 1967.

Settlements are deemed illegal under international law and are considered a serious obstacle to stopping more than 31 months of bloodshed.

Meanwhile, Israeli parliament members Zvi Hendel and Uri Ariel, the two representatives of Tekuma - one of the three parties that make up the extremist right-wing National Union -sent a letter to Ariel Sharon hinting that the moment the government starts implementing the “roadmap” and evacuating outposts, they will quit the ruling coalition.

Senior Likud legislator Yuval Steinitz, chairman of the Israeli parliament (Knesset) Foreign Affairs and “Defense” Committee, also said that Sharon was mistaken in agreeing to take part in the Aqaba summit.

“Even great leaders sometimes make mistakes, and this was certainly a mistake, at least tactically. Sharon was capable of saying no. I assume that for various reasons, Sharon decided to reserve the 'no' for a slightly later stage,” Steinitz told the radio.

However, many other Israelis say the problem of settlements in the occupied Palestinian territory get in the way of a deal that could unburden their country of the costly occupation of the West Bank and the Gaza Strip.

According to the Israeli Peace Now group, 117 “unauthorized” outposts have been created since 1998, 62 of them since the March 1 date.

Some of the outposts consist of no more than a few trailers or an antenna, and many are positioned on hilltops. Some are unpopulated; most have fewer than a dozen settlers.


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