In a provocative move, an Israeli planning commission announced
December 10 that it had approved the construction of a housing
development for Jews in Ras el- Amud, a Palestinian neighborhood in
This is a clear invitation to conflict, friction,
and violence, and it is entirely irresponsible, declared Hanan
Ashrawi, the Palestinian minister of higher education and a
representative of Jerusalem in the Palestinian legislative council.
The regime of President Benjamin Netanyahu has stepped up the expansion of Israeli settlements in the West Bank as well, where the Palestine Authority has limited control. In mid-November, Israeli defense minister Yitzhak Mordechai approved the construction of 1,100 new housing units for Israeli settlers in Immanuel, eight miles southwest of the Palestinian city of Nablus.
Talks have deadlocked over the withdrawal of Israeli troops from
Hebron, West Bank. Under the accords between Tel Aviv and the
Palestine Liberation Organization, Israeli forces were supposed to
have pulled out of that city last March. Now Netanyahu is insisting
that the Israeli Army have the
right to re-enter Palestinian-
controlled areas of Hebron at will.
Reflecting the resistance mounting in that region, 300 Palestinian
students occupied Hebron University December 9, saying they would not
leave until it was reopened. The Israeli government shut the school
down in March as part of a crackdown against Palestian
We're not terrorists, said Issa Jaradat,
didn't kill Yitzhak Rabin, Yigal Amir [an Israeli rightist] did, but
they didn't shut down Bar-Illan University, where Amir
attended. Students held strong while Israeli armed soldiers surrounded
the campus. After over seven hours, Tel Aviv agreed to reopen a
Polytechnical College, while entering talks with the students on
reopening Hebron University.