The continuing saga of Israeli’s subversion of the peace process by constructing new housing settlements on the West Bank porceeds without any serious effort to halt this effort to hamper achievement of peace with Palestinians. The ultra-Orthodox settlement of Modi’in Illit in the West Bank will most probably be granted city status even though council members were guilty of authorizing illegal construction. The committee’s decision contradicts expert opinions that severely criticized Modi’in Illit’s council for its involvement in approving construciton of Matityahu East, a new neighborhood that borders the Palestinian town of Bil’in. Construction of Matityahu East was supposedly halted two years ago due to a petition filed by Peace Now, but it apparently proceeded.
Moshe Moskowitz of the Civil Administration, the highest authority for planning and construction in the West Bank, wrote the Modi’in council comptroller that the council authorized the project even though it was beyond its jurisdiction. Construction of Matityhu East was not authorized in the master plan for the West Bank, but now it exists and most probably will become a city.
It is incidents such as these which frustrate peace efforts and make Palestinians wary of trusting Israel’s intention to abide by agreements.