The battle over settlements


Riz Khan show

Air on Thursday 28th May 2009

Source: Al-Jazeera English

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Mahmoud Abbas, the Palestinian president, is set for his first official meeting with his US counterpart on Thursday.

One of the key issues on the agenda – Israeli settlement construction in the occupied West Bank.

Under the so-called “road map for peace”, Israel had pledged to stop settlement expansion but continued construction and establishment of new outposts.

Binyamin Netanyahu, Israel’s prime minister, says he will stop new construction but wants to leave room for what he calls “natural growth” of existing settlements.

So far, it seems the Obama administration is holding firm, calling for a halt to all construction. But will Israel listen?

On Thursday’s Riz Khan we look at the battle over settlements and ask whether or not a construction halt will be enough to save the government of President Abbas?

Joining our conversation from Washington, DC are Dr. Shibley Telhami, the Anwar Sadat professor for Peace and Development at the University of Maryland and best-selling author of “The Stakes: America and the Middle East”; and Professor Mark Levine, author of “Impossible Peace: Israel/Palestine Since 1989”.


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