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REPORT: Israeli settlement building threatens Islamic and Christian landmarks

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The government of Benjamin Netanyahu intensified settlement building despite increasing international criticism of Israeli settlements in Jerusalem and the West Bank. Israel said the new settlement plan came as a sanction following a UN vote granting Palestine the status of “observer state.”      
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The new plan threatens to introduce substantial changes to Palestinian sanctities with the judaization of al-Aqsa Mosque as a main goal. Israel plans to erect new buildings adjacent to the mosque, expand the al-Birak area by 2,600 meters and build a new region under al-Birak Square or “The Wailing Wall” according to Israelis, which is adjacent to the mosque’s western wall. Israel deems these plans mandatory to achieve the Jewish State’s national goals.      

The Palestinian Authority referred the case to the U.N. Security Council and urged it to take a decision condemning Israel and ordering it to cancel its plans.        

These settlement plans spurred reactions inside Israel and some parties considered them as a major step to accelerate the isolation of Israel.         

Israel’s Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman stressed that Israel takes its decisions based on its national goals and not as punishment or provocations against other states.

“Absolutely everyone in Israel understands that we will continue building settlements,” he said.

In turn, Israeli Finance Minister Yuval Steinitz reassured Israelis by telling them that international protests will not hinder the economic ties between Israel, the United States and Europe despite political disputes.

The European Union had threatened the Israeli government to impose economic sanctions and accelerate the enactment of a law binding European countries to put special posters on the products of Israeli settlements.


For the full LBCI report, watch the video above
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