Hundreds protest new PA city

May 21, 2010 14:10

Binyamin march: Gov't shouldn't prep for Palestinian state.

1 minute read.

A Palestinian surveyor works at the site where the

rawabi low quality 311. (photo credit: AP)

Hundreds participated in a march on Friday to protest the ongoing construction of a new Palestinian city – Rawabi, by the Palestinian Authority, on land slated by the government for nearby settlements, north-east of Ramallah.

The protesters, mostly settlers from the Binyamin region, stressed that their protest was directed at government policy.

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"This is not a local problem, this is about the tacit agreement and acquiescence of the Israeli government to the laying of foundations for a Palestinian state," the demonstration organizers from the Binyamin Citizens' Committee said.

On Thursday in the wake of continued proximity talks between US Middle East envoy George Mitchell and Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, The Jerusalem Post reported that paving an access road to Rawabi was among the confidence-building gestures towards the Palestinian Authority being weighed.

Local settlers have voiced concern about plans for the road leading to the city, which could involve turning some of Area C over to the PA.

The Binyamin Citizens' Committee and others have been trying to raise awareness on the Palestinian Authority construction for some months.

They have said they do not feel that they can prevent its construction, as it is already under way. But they want to make sure that territorial contiguity is not created between Rawabi and nearby Ramallah.

This construction comes during the ongoing West Bank construction freeze by the government in response to Palestinian and US pressure.

Herb Keinon and Tovah Lazaroff contributed to this report

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