Israel’s decision to approve new East Jerusalem houses effectively prevents any peace negotiations from taking place, the Palestinian Authority said on Tuesday, following an Interior Ministry statement released earlier authorizing 1,600 new housing units.
This arrives on the heels of Barak’s decision to approve 112 new Jewish homes (referred to as “apartment units” in one of the reports) in the West Bank, which came exactly one day after the PA finally agreed to “indirect” talks on the eve of V.P. Joe Biden’s visit, in which he made pains to assure a nervous Israeli public of his credentials as some kind of born-again Zionist.
Barak also declared that, for now, Iran does not pose “an existential threat” to Israel; during the vaunted Herzliya conference last month, he made some waves when he spoke of Israel’s possible future as “an apartheid state” if no peace can be made with the Palestinians.
Rumors of war by the end of spring are flying around. Yoel Marcus does not want to keep the military option—aerial attack—off the table; meanwhile, Iran has test-fired a new missile from a destroyer. Step by step both nations seem to be walking toward the abyss, but hopefully that is not the case.
UPDATES (Mar. 11): According to Ir Amim, plans are underway to create as many as 50,000 new units in E J’lem; at TAU, Biden declared current state of affairs “not sustainable,” which should be obvious to all reasonable people.