Tuesday, December 27, 2005

Let's You and Him Fight

Israeli brashness puts American money and lives at risk.

EFRAT, West Bank (Reuters) - Jewish settlers set up 13 makeshift outposts in the occupied
West Bank on Tuesday in a show of strength ahead of Israeli elections that could swing on the growing debate over the territory.

Prime Minister Ariel Sharon has vowed to keep major West Bank settlements but has said that some isolated communities may one day have to be dismantled as a way of ending decades of conflict with the Palestinians.

Jewish ultranationalists, furious at Sharon for pulling troops and settlers from the
Gaza Strip this year, stake a biblical claim to the land
Israel captured in the 1967 war. Palestinians want all of the West Bank and Gaza for a state.

On a hilltop south of Jerusalem, young settlers in knitted skullcaps hammered up wooden frames for buildings.

"The land of Israel belongs to the people of Israel and we are not going to give it up," said Yehuda Matar, 17, from the Efrat settlement, its red roofs visible in the distance.

An Israeli military source said the army was treating the action as a protest of tent encampments and that the settlers had said they would eventually leave, but would be evacuated if they did not.

Anyone want to place some bets as to whether they will leave?



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