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Friday, Dec 19th

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UN chief: Continued settlement construction contrary to int'l law

Two days after Defense Minister Ehud Barak approved the construction of 455 news housing units in the West Bank, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon on Wednesday said Israel's plans to continue building in settlements were "contrary to international law."

"Such actions and all settlement activity are contrary to international law and the Road Map," AFP quoted a statement released by Ban's bureau as saying.

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Israeli Government Ads Warn Against Marrying Non-Jews

The Israeli government has launched a television and Internet advertising campaign urging Israelis to inform on Jewish friends and relatives abroad who may be in danger of marrying non-Jews.

The advertisements, employing what the Israeli media described as "scare tactics," are designed to stop assimilation through intermarriage among young Diaspora Jews by encouraging their move to Israel.

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Orthodox Jewish town planned where Arab construction banned

For years now, residents of the village of Dar al-Hanun in the Wadi Ara region have been trying to obtain legal status for their community. So far, planning committees have always refused, because the village is located in an area whose landscape is so rare and precious that it is slated for conservation.

Tomorrow, however, the National Planning and Building Committee is to discuss a Housing Ministry proposal to expand the jurisdiction of another community located not far from Dar al-Hanun, and which abuts this very same area - the town of Harish. The plan calls for building a large Haredi (ultra-Orthodox) city for approximately 150,000 residents.

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Israel approving new West Bank construction

Israel defied U.S. pressure to halt construction in its West Bank settlements Sunday, with key leaders speaking out in support of the contentious enclaves and preparing to sign orders to allow building of hundreds of new housing units there.

Israel defied U.S. pressure to halt construction in its West Bank settlements Sunday, with key leaders speaking out in support of the contentious enclaves and preparing to sign orders to allow building of hundreds of new housing units there.

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Carter: Israel wants bi-national state

We found a growing sense of concern and despair among those who observe, as we did, that settlement expansion is continuing apace, rapidly encroaching into Palestinian villages, hilltops, grazing lands, farming areas and olive groves. There are more than 200 of these settlements in the West Bank.

An even more disturbing expansion is taking place in Palestinian East Jerusalem. Three months ago I visited a family who had lived for four generations in their small, recently condemned home.

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Hidden in Olmert Indictment Are Charges That He Swindled U.S. Jews

The indictment against former Israeli prime minister Ehud Olmert has riveted Israelis with its allegations that the ex-prime minister took envelopes of cash from supporters for his personal use. But another aspect of the August 30 indictment, one directly relevant to American Jews, has been all but lost amid the fallout:

The Israeli leader, prosecutors charge, bilked 17 prominent North American Jewish charities and pro-Israel advocacy groups for his own benefit.

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Israel to Approve Flurry of West Bank Building

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu will approve the construction of hundreds of new housing units in Israeli settlements in the West Bank in the coming days as a prelude to a building freeze of six to nine months aimed at restarting peace talks with the Palestinians, senior Israeli officials said on Friday.

The plan is an attempt to ease pressure on Mr. Netanyahu from within his own Likud Party, which wants settlements to continue unimpeded, and from Washington, the Palestinian Authority and the rest of the Arab world, which want a total halt to such construction.

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