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Israel begins expanding settlement in Jenin

Saturday, October 16th, 2010 | Ma’an News Agency

JENIN (Ma’an) — Israel began large-scale digging works on Saturday in preparation for the expansion of an illegal settlement in the northern West Bank district of Jenin.

Residents of the Ya’bad village, on which the Shaqed settlement is built, said bulldozers entered on Saturday and began razing village land to make way for several new housing units.

The expansion follows the expiration of a partial settlement moratorium in the West Bank last month, which the US and EU urged Israel to prolong in a bid to save flailing peace talks from collapse over settlement activity.

The Ya’bad village is surrounded by several Israeli settlements including Shaqed, Rehan, Hinnanit, Mevo Dotan and Hermesh.

On Friday, the US said it was disappointed by Israel’s announcement that several new homes in two illegal East Jerusalem settlements had been approved, describing the move as “contrary” to efforts to resume direct negotiations.