Americans For Peace Now
December 8, 2008 - 1:00am

A new report by the Israeli Peace Now movement warns that settlers are taking advantage of a “perfect storm” of political conditions to create “new facts on the ground” in Jerusalem “that could later make it difficult if not impossible to resolve the Israeli Palestinian conflict peacefully.”

The report calls on Israel, with the encouragement of the international community, to act now to prevent settlers from establishing facts on the ground in Jerusalem, noting that when Israel fails to stop settler initiatives in Jerusalem, it “is rarely able to muster the political will to ‘undo’ settler facts on the ground.”

The report covers a series of troubling developments from the last month, including the demolition of eight Palestinian homes in tense areas of East Jerusalem and the eviction of one Palestinian family from its home in order to facilitate a settler project in the neighborhood.

Peace Now’s report adds that settler actions “represent a direct and immediate threat to security and stability inside Jerusalem, threatening to set fire to the city. The settlers’ reckless actions, and the failure of the Israeli government to respond, could spark violent reactions and retaliations that could spread far beyond the specific areas of the city targeted by the settlers.”

Three incidents in the city over the past week may be an indication of rising tensions. On Sunday, an Arab employed by the Jerusalem municipality was stabbed by a gang of Jewish youth. On Friday, clashes broke out between Arab youth and police officers at Via Dolorosa. On Tuesday, an Arab resident of the city was stabbed near the religious Jewish neighborhood of Me’a She’arim. Police arrested two suspects in Tuesday’s incident, which they say was politically motivated.


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