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Photo by: Courtesy Peace Now
Peace Now: Settlers take over flats in e. J'lem
By JPOST.COM STAFF
03/12/2012
Rights organization condemns as "dangerous provocation," threat to two-state solution.
 
Peace Now director Hagit Ofran said the alleged take-over by settlers of three apartments in a Palestinian-owned building in Jebl Mukaber, an east Jerusalem neighborhood, is a "dangerous provocation."

In a statement released Monday, Peace Now said the move is "not only a dangerous provocation which is threatening the stability in the fragile situation of Jerusalem, but also a threat to the possibility to get to a two-state solution and a compromise in Jerusalem."

According to Israel Radio, settlers overnight Sunday entered the five storey building in Jebl Mukaber and placed guards at the entrance. Israel Radio reported they showed police a document indicating the property was acquired by an Israeli company.

Israel Radio quoted the company as saying because of the sensitivity of the matter, they will not comment on the transaction.

Peace Now added the timing of the take-over is "not coincidental," as the government is planning to give the green light to building permits in all settlements, sending the message to settlers to hurry and establish facts on the ground.

The take-over follows a report by Peace Now released over the weekend, stating Israel this year published the largest number of housing tenders – 3,046 – in the last decade over the pre-1967 lines.

It calculated the number of housing tenders issued in east Jerusalem and the West Bank to place in perspective Israel’s announcement that it would publish an additional 3,000 such tenders, a move which it said, could bring the number of pending new units over the pre-1967 lines to 6,046 this year.

Tovah Lazaroff contributed to this report.
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