Israeli development ban on West Bank lifted

Israel’s ten month building ban on the West Bank, a piece of land coveted by Israelis and Palestinians, expired at midnight on Sept. 22.

Although the moratorium’s ending did spark some enthusiasm, events such as the Jewish settlers who “released balloons and broke ground for a new nursery school before the moratorium expired” has left a bitter taste in people’s mouths.

Israeli settlements along the West Bank are illegal according to international law, but Israel, which has over 500,000 citizens living in West Bank settlements, disagrees with the ruling. With the end of this construction ban, problems have risen regarding peace agreements between Palestine and Israel.

“But now discussions are under way that are focusing again on curbing Jewish settlements on land that would go to the Palestinians for a future state,” the New York Times said.

“Settlements, however, are being negotiated as part of a larger set of issues that involve borders, territory and, ultimately, security, so their future is not being discussed in isolation.”

The moratorium has helped keep conflicts to a minimum. President Barack Obama believes it has “made a difference on the ground and improved the atmosphere of the talks.”

Many agree with President Obama’s stance and are pushing for the ban to be reinstated.

Still, those living in the Israeli settlements along the West Bank are eager to develop the land.

Mahmoud Abbas, president of Palestine, and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, are scheduled to meet in Paris next month to discuss the issues at hand and deliberate over the future relationship between Israel and Palestine.

Sources: BBC News and New York Times 

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