Israel’s primary criticism of the Palestinian side is that they are not engaging in “good faith negotiations,” they are not “partners for peace.” As I’ve noted several times in the past few weeks, that critique rings hypocritical given Israel’s negotiating positions. After all, Secretary of State John Kerry admitted it was Israel’s failure to comply with its promised steps in the talks and then called off negotiations long before Fatah and Hamas announced reconciliation.
Israel’s depiction of itself as the only party willing to make sacrifices for peace is further eroded by these two findings from the Israeli activist group Peace Now and the PLO.
Israel approved plans for nearly 14,000 new settler homes during the nine months of peace talks with the Palestinians, an Israeli settlement watchdog said Tuesday as the negotiation period formally ended.
…“This is an unprecedented number representing an average of 50 housing units per day or 1,540 per month,” it said.
Israel demolished over 500 Palestinian structures throughout the US-brokered peace negotiations, the PLO said in a statement Tuesday.
Citing figures from the UN’s Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, the PLO said Israel demolished a total of 508 Palestinian structures, 312 of which were homes, from July 30, 2013 to April 29, 2014.
“As a result, 878 persons were forcibly displaced,” the statement said.
So, during Israel’s supposedly good faith efforts in peace talks, more than 500 Palestinian homes and buildings were demolished by Israeli Defense Forces and almost 14,000 new settlement units were approved. How can anyone argue Israel was negotiating in good faith?