Friday, December 29, 2006

Without Peace Now, Haaretz Seems Unreliable

Israeli settlers have set up 200 mobile homes in the West Bank without official approval during the past six months, an Israeli newspaper reported Friday, citing military documents. But both the army and a settlement watchdog group disputed the report.

The government of Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, which took power in May, has promised to block unauthorized settlement activity. However, such activity has increased dramatically since the summer, the report in the Haaretz newspaper said.

The paper said its report was based on statistics obtained from the Civil Administration, the army office in charge of the West Bank, but Civil Administration spokesman Shlomo Dror denied Haaretz's claim.

"There were attempts to transfer trailers, but except for one or two we managed to stop it," Dror said.

Dror Etkes, who monitors settlement activity for the Israeli group Peace Now, said he was "surprised" by the Haaretz report, and wasn't aware of any large movement of trailers during the past six months.

"This doesn't match what I know about what's been going on in the West Bank in recent months," Etkes said.

Ironic, isn't it?

Peace Now is more moderate in its claims than Haaretz.

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