|Israel implementing settlement freeze until 2010|
|Written by Chris Perver|
|Tuesday, 18 August 2009 06:25|
|Unnamed sources in the Israeli government have stated that Israel has implemented a de facto 'settlement freeze' in Judea, Samaria and east Jerusalem, following recent pressure from the United States and the international community. Although construction continues on existing developments, new housing tenders have not been issued in these areas since Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu took power earlier in the year. Israeli government spokesman Mark Regev has refused to comment on the reports, which suggest that Israel has quietly agreed to halt planning permission for new buildings in these areas for a limited time period, so as to provide stimulus for efforts being made by the Obama administration to revive the Annapolis peace process. According to the reports, Israel is now adopting a 'wait and see' approach on the issue of settlement expansion, in the vain hope of strengthening its sovereignty in east Jerusalem and in the existing settlements. The issue of new tenders within the territories are to be halted until the beginning of 2010, when the Palestinian Authority goes to the elections. |
Quote: "The housing minister, who believes Israel should work towards easing tensions with the US, has withstood pressure from his rightist colleagues in the cabinet, who are protesting the fact that no new tenders have been issued for building projects outside Jerusalem and in the settlement blocs. Atias told the ministers that this gesture would pave the way for the US and the international community to recognize Israel's sovereignty over Jerusalem and the large settlement blocs. He said the Obama administration should be given ample time to urge the Arab states to make gestures of their own regarding the normalization of ties with Jerusalem as part of the efforts to reignite the peace process. According to the Shas minister, continued construction in Jerusalem and the settlement blocs that will remain in Israel's possession in a peace deal will be made possible only in the framework of a US-backed permanent agreement.
In reality, this unofficial settlement freeze is likely to further undermine Israel's sovereignty in east Jerusalem. Rather than being credited with toeing the American line, Israel's compliance will be perceived in Europe as direct evidence that the Jewish state has no right to be in east Jerusalem at all, and will simply constitute a stage towards a full withdrawal from the territories. Perhaps that's why the Israeli government has been reluctant to make this policy change public. The US president has also been pressing the Arab states to agree to some normalization in relations with Israel as an incentive for Israel to kick-start the Middle East peace process. But so far Egypt and Saudi Arabia have been reluctant to agree to that, saying that full recognition will only come following a full withdrawal from all territory captured during the Six Day War and a 'just solution' for the Arab refugees. Obama has been discussing the possibility of recompensing the refugees, who were encouraged to flee their homes by the invading Arab states in 1948. The Egyptian President has called on the Obama administration to present its 'peace plan' for the Middle East as soon as possible, and not wait for Israel to toe the line on the settlement issue.
As you can see, the day is fast approaching when a peace agreement will be imposed on the Jewish state. And the Bible states that Judea and east Jerusalem will fall under the jurisdiction of Israel's enemies (Zechariah 12:2, 14:2, Revelation 11:2). The US administration and the Palestinian Authority have given themselves just two years to implement this plan. We don't know whether this US plan will come to fruition or not, but the Bible seems to indicate that a plan will be enforced by the European Union (Daniel 9:27), and clearly the patience of the international community is now wearing thin. One of these days the Lord will come and take all those who have trusted in Him for salvation, to be with Him where He is. And the earth will go through a time of great turmoil. That prospect is drawing closer by the day. Are you ready for the Lord's return? Have you trusted in Him for salvation? Don't leave it until it's too late. Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and you shall be saved (Acts 16:31).