Israeli settlers are defying moves to impose a partial freeze on new building.
Israel made the gesture under pressure from key ally, the United States, to halt all settlement activity. But settler unrest, during efforts to enforce the moratorium, illustrates the tensions involved. These tensions add to ongoing clashes between Israeli settlers and Palestinians. On the diplomatic front, a row has erupted between Israel and the EU amid reports the bloc is pushing plans for East Jerusalem to be the capital of a future Palestinian state. EU Commission Spokesman Lutz Guller said: “A way forward should be found to allow Jerusalem to become the future shared capital of the two states. I think that has been a position that has been re-affirmed often enough.” Israel’s 10 month moratorium on new buildings does not include East Jerusalem. The international community has criticised Israel’s policies in Jerusalem including the eviction of Palestinians from homes whose ownership they can’t prove and the demolition of housing built without Israeli permits.