外交官的國際新聞導覽及中東中亞的歷史故事 Diplomat's daily news review and history research on Middle East and Central Asia
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阿塞拜疆士兵在納戈爾諾 - 卡拉巴赫殺害平民 - 報告
2021 年 10 月 10 日 21:27
阿爾扎赫共和國警察部隊週六報導，納戈爾諾-卡拉巴赫地區馬爾塔克特的 55 歲居民 Aram Tepnants 在農業區駕駛拖拉機時被阿塞拜疆武裝部隊的一名狙擊手射殺。
俄羅斯國防部表示：“10 月 9 日，在馬塔克特地區的農業工作期間，靠近接觸線，一名來自馬達吉茲村的平民被阿塞拜疆方面的砲擊致死。” “俄羅斯特遣隊的指揮部正在雙方代表的參與下調查這起事件。”
Azerbaijani soldier kills civilian in Nagorno-Karabakh - report
An Azerbaijani soldier reportedly killed a civilian in the Nagorno-Karabakh area recaptured in a war last year.
By TZVI JOFFRE
OCTOBER 10, 2021 21:27
An Azeri soldier and police officer talk as they stand guard at the Kalbajar district, Azerbaijan, December 21, 2020
(photo credit: AZIZ KARIMOV/REUTERS)
The de facto Republic of Artsakh and Russian peacekeeping forces reported that an Azerbaijani soldier shot and killed a civilian in the Nagorno-Karabakh region on Saturday.
The police force of the Republic of Artsakh reported on Saturday that Aram Tepnants, a 55-year-old resident of Martakert in the Nagorno-Karabakh region, was shot by a sniper from the Azerbaijan Armed Forces while driving a tractor in an agricultural area.
"On October 9, during agricultural work in the Martakert region, near the line of contact, a civilian from the village of Madagiz was mortally wounded as a result of shelling from the Azerbaijani side," said the Russian Defense Ministry. "The command of the Russian contingent is investigating the incident with the involvement of representatives of both sides."
The Foreign Ministry of the republic strongly condemned the alleged shooting, saying it was aimed at "creating an atmosphere of fear among the peaceful population of the Republic of Artsakh and emigration of Armenians from the country."
Azerbaijan's Defense Ministry denied that the incident had taken place.
The Republic of Artsakh is a de facto republic internationally recognized as part of Azerbaijan. Last year, the area in which the republic sits was recaptured by Azerbaijan in the Nagorno-Karabakh war against Armenia.
The incident comes amid heightened tensions in the region between Iran, Azerbaijan and Turkey.
The tensions were sparked after Azerbaijan began targeting Iranian trucks with fines and arrests, and Iran conducted military exercises along its northern border and warned against Israeli influence in neighboring countries, including Azerbaijan.
Tensions also rose recently due to joint military exercises carried out by Azerbaijan and Turkey in the Caspian Sea, with the Iranian Foreign Ministry warning that such drills violated international conventions banning the military presence of countries other than the five states that border the sea.
Azerbaijan, Turkey and Georgia also held a joint drill in Georgia in the past week.
2021 年 10 月 10 日 20:49
2021 年 3 月 1 日，在奧地利維也納爆發冠狀病毒病 (COVID-19) 期間，在理事會會議開始之前，伊朗國旗在國際原子能機構 (IAEA) 總部前飄揚。
傳統上，Mohsen Fakhrizadeh 被稱為伊朗核武器計劃之父。畢竟，在 2020 年 11 月被暗殺之前，他擔任了數十年的負責人。
如果沒有他向這些國家出售濃縮鈾的設計和實際離心機——以及至少從 1987 年到 1996 年，甚至可能更長的時間提供寶貴的指導——他們可能永遠不會跳到現在的位置，或者他們的進展本可以採取更久，更長。
在 AQ Khan 向伊斯蘭共和國出售設計和實際離心機之前，其所有國內製造嘗試都以慘敗告終。
伊朗國防部長阿米爾·哈塔米於 2020 年 11 月 30 日在伊朗德黑蘭舉行的伊朗核科學家 Mohsen Fakhrizadeh 葬禮上發表講話。（來源：伊朗國防部/WANA/HANDOUT/VIA REUTERS）
德黑蘭在 2015 年 JCPOA 核協議中運行的大約 20,000 台 IR-1 和 IR-2 離心機完全或大部分基於巴基斯坦的 P-1 和 P-2 機器。
這在某種程度上與 2002-2003 年期間暴露的納坦茲核設施同時發生。
當國際原子能機構第一次訪問納坦茲時，它看到的離心機機隊很可能是 AQ Khan 的。
直到 2019 年，科學與國際安全研究所所長大衛奧爾布賴特告訴耶路撒冷郵報，伊斯蘭共和國喜歡拍照的先進 IR-4、IR-6 或 IR-8 離心機幾乎沒有一個真正適用於任何人。有意義的時間長度。
在華盛頓推翻伊拉克政權後，伊朗在該領域未能取得進展超過 15 年，部分原因在於它對美國的恐懼。
與朝鮮一樣，早在 2002 年，美國官員就表示，巴基斯坦交易了有關氣體離心鈾濃縮過程和可能的相關技術的敏感信息，以換取彈道導彈。
The other father of Iran’s nuke program - A.Q. Khan - analysis
Abdul Qadeer Khan, who died on Sunday and founded Pakistan’s nuclear weapons program, can be considered the father, or step-father of Iran, North Korea and Libya’s nuclear weapons programs.
OCTOBER 10, 2021 20:49
The Iranian flag waves in front of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) headquarters, before the beginning of a board of governors meeting, amid the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak in Vienna, Austria, March 1, 2021.
(photo credit: REUTERS/LISI NIESNER/FILE PHOTO)
Traditionally, Mohsen Fakhrizadeh is referred to as the father of Iran’s nuclear weapons program. After all, he was its chief for decades until his assassination in November 2020.
However, in a very real sense, Abdul Qadeer Khan, who died on Sunday and founded Pakistan’s nuclear weapons program, can also be considered the father – or step-father – of Iran's, North Korea's and Libya’s nuclear weapons programs.
Without him selling these countries both designs and actual centrifuges for enriching uranium – as well as supplying invaluable guidance from at least 1987-1996, and quite possibly longer – they may never have jumped forward to where they are now, or their progress could have taken much longer.
Until AQ Khan sold the Islamic Republic both designs and actual centrifuges, all of its domestic attempts to manufacture them were dismal failures.
Iranian Defense Minister Amir Hatami, speaks during a funeral ceremony of Iranian nuclear scientist Mohsen Fakhrizadeh, in Tehran, Iran November 30, 2020. (credit: IRANIAN DEFENSE MINISTRY/WANA/HANDOUT/VIA REUTERS)
The approximately 20,000 IR-1 and IR-2 centrifuges which Tehran had operating leading into the 2015 JCPOA nuclear deal were entirely or mostly based on Pakistan’s P-1 and P-2 machines.
Similar machines were also found in Libya when that country gave up its entire nuclear weapons program to the US in 2003 in the hope of staving off an invasion.
When Khan’s proliferation ring was exposed, Iran even eventually came clean and admitted to years of paying him millions for his help in building up their nuclear program.
This happened somewhat in parallel to the Natanz nuclear facility being exposed during the 2002-2003 period.
When the International Atomic Energy Agency first secured a visit to Natanz, the centrifuge fleet it saw were likely AQ Khan’s.
Another sign of his importance is that only in the last few years did Tehran actually succeed in producing its own centrifuges beyond Khan's designs, which would work for any reliable amount of time.
As late as 2019, Institute for Science and International Security president David Albright told The Jerusalem Post that almost none of the advanced IR-4, IR-6 or IR-8 centrifuges that the Islamic Republic liked to take photos of were actually working for any meaningful length of time.
Some of Iran’s failure to advance in that arena for over 15 years stemmed from its fear of the US after Washington toppled the regime in Iraq.
But some of it might be traceable to their loss of Khan’s regular guidance once his proliferation activities were exposed and the US demanded that Pakistan disown him and curtail his activities.
LIKEWISE WITH North Korea, already in 2002, US officials said that Pakistan had traded sensitive information about the gas centrifuge uranium enrichment process and possibly related technologies in exchange for ballistic missiles.
More specifically, American intelligence uncovered sales from Islamabad to Pyongyang of high-strength aluminum tubes to build gas centrifuges.
North Korea has also had help from others, including its own exchanges with Iran, but it is unclear whether the North would have the formidable nuclear weapons arsenal it has today without his contribution.
Khan’s willingness to share nuclear technology with rogue countries like Iran, North Korea and Libya is part of what made him “special” and eventually causing him to be ostracized, at least outside of Pakistan.
Until Khan, the vast majority of nuclear scientists viewed nuclear weapons as too dangerous to share with any but the world’s largest and most stable powers.
In the few defections that happened on these issues, they were usually between the USSR and top Western powers, but not to lower-grade “developing” countries.
Within Pakistan, depending on the momentary political winds, he has been viewed either as a hero who brought the country nuclear weapons and permanent safety from invasion or as an albatross who was best kept under house arrest and out of sight.
Regardless of what various Pakistani leaders said publicly, it seems clear in retrospect that many, if not most of them, were on board with or turned a blind eye to his proliferation exploits.
In their eyes, spreading nuclear information made money for Pakistan, enhanced the country’s reputation and undermined the ability of the world’s leading powers to enforce their views on security and power issues on countries like Pakistan, which were still finding their feet.
From Israel’s perspective, AQ Khan passes into history already having done irrevocable damage by helping the Islamic Republic jump forward in its nuclear ambitions and prowess.
He may be gone, but Israeli security and world stability may pay for his actions for decades to come.
汗是 2004 年全球核擴散醜聞的中心，該醜聞涉及向朝鮮、伊朗和利比亞出售核機密。
2021 年 10 月 10 日 10:12
2009 年 8 月 28 日，巴基斯坦核科學家阿卜杜勒·卡迪爾·汗在他位於伊斯蘭堡的家中與記者交談。
汗承認自己是核擴散團伙的一員，他死於癌症，享年 85 歲。
巴基斯坦國營的美聯社說，汗於 8 月 26 日在檢測出COVID-19呈陽性後被送往汗研究實驗室醫院，後來被轉移到拉瓦爾品第的一家軍事醫院。
他是 2004 年全球核擴散醜聞的中心人物，該醜聞涉及向朝鮮、伊朗和利比亞出售核機密。在國家電視台認罪後，汗被當時的總統佩爾韋茲·穆沙拉夫赦免，但他在伊斯蘭堡富麗堂皇的家中被軟禁多年。
2006 年 9 月 9 日，巴基斯坦核科學家阿卜杜勒·卡迪爾汗的支持者在卡拉奇親吻他的照片。（圖片來源：ZAHID HUSSEIN/REUTERS）
與 AQ Khan 沒有親屬關係的總理汗表示，按照他的意願，這位科學家將被安葬在伊斯蘭堡的費薩爾清真寺。
Pakistan's 'father of nuclear program' dies of cancer
Khan was at the center of a global nuclear proliferation scandal in 2004 that involved sales of nuclear secrets to North Korea, Iran and Libya.
By JERUSALEM POST STAFF, REUTERS
OCTOBER 10, 2021 10:12
Pakistan nuclear scientist Abdul Qadeer Khan speaks to journalists from his house in Islamabad August 28, 2009.
(photo credit: MIAN KHURSHEED/REUTERS)
Abdul Qadeer Khan, a Pakistani nuclear physicist and engineer who is known to have spearheaded the country's nuclear program has died on Sunday, Pakistani media reported.
Khan, who acknowledged being part of a nuclear proliferation ring, died of cancer, aged 85.
Khan was admitted to Khan Research Laboratories Hospital on Aug. 26 after testing positive for COVID-19 and was later moved to a military hospital in Rawalpindi, said the state-run Associated Press of Pakistan.
"He was loved by our nation bec(ause) of his critical contribution in making us a nuclear weapon state," Pakistan's Prime Minister Imran Khan on Twitter. "For the people of Pakistan, he was a national icon."
He was at the center of a global nuclear proliferation scandal in 2004 that involved sales of nuclear secrets to North Korea, Iran and Libya. After a confession on national television, Khan was pardoned by then-president Pervez Musharraf but he remained under house arrest for years in his palatial Islamabad home.
In his confession, Khan said he acted alone without the knowledge of the state officials. However, he later said he had been scapegoated.
A supporter of disgraced Pakistani nuclear scientist Abdul Qadeer Khan kisses his picture in Karachi September 9, 2006. (credit: ZAHID HUSSEIN/REUTERS)
"He helped us develop nation-saving nuclear deterrence, and a grateful nation will never forget his services in this regard," Pakistani President Arif Alvi said in a tweet.
Prime Minister Khan, who is not related to AQ Khan, said the scientist would be buried at Islamabad's Faisal mosque, according to his wishes.
愛沙尼亞宣布，以色列航空航天工業公司和 ST Engineering 的合資企業 Proteus Advanced Systems 贏得了向該國提供防禦系統的招標。
2021 年 10 月 10 日 07:45
藍矛 (5G SSM)
愛沙尼亞國防投資中心（ECDI）宣布，以色列航空航天工業公司和 ST Engineering Land Systems 的合資企業 Proteus Advanced Systems 中標，為愛沙尼亞國防軍提供先進的反艦導彈系統。
Blue Spear 系統允許從陸基平台以高亞音速飛行。該項目是愛沙尼亞國防歷史上最複雜的項目，可以在所有天氣條件下、白天和黑夜的所有時間運行，並提供打擊海上目標的能力。
Heron 無人機上的 WASP 系統（來源：IAI）
愛沙尼亞國防部長 Kalle Laanet 說：“這種武器系統大大改善了我們的海岸防禦，並發出了我們正在為地區和集體防禦努力做出貢獻的明確信息。這是有史以來最複雜和高科技的武器系統之一，也是愛沙尼亞國防軍的一次巨大飛躍。我很高興愛沙尼亞擁有能夠參與此類高科技項目的國防工業。”
IAI 是航空航天創新領域的世界領先者，為商業和國防目的提供最先進的空中、海軍、陸地和太空技術。ST Engineering 是一家全球性工程集團，在歐洲、中東、美國和亞洲的航空航天和海軍防禦領域利用技術和創新。
IAI to equip Estonian Defense Forces with 'Blue Spear' land-to-sea missile system
Estonia announced that Proteus Advanced Systems, a joint venture of Israel Aerospace Industries and ST Engineering, won the tender to provide defense systems to the nation.
OCTOBER 10, 2021 07:45
Blue Spear (5G SSM)
(photo credit: ISRAEL AEROSPACE INDUSTRIES)
The Estonian Center for Defense Investment (ECDI) announced that Proteus Advanced Systems, a joint venture of Israel Aerospace Industries and ST Engineering Land Systems, won the tender to provide the Estonian Defense Forces with advanced anti-ship missile systems.
The Blue Spear system allows for launching from land-based platforms with flight at high subsonic speed. This project is the most complex in Estonia's defense history, and can operate through all weather conditions, all hours of day and night, and provides the ability to strike targets out of sight at sea.
WASP system on Heron UAV (credit: IAI)
Estonia's Defense Minister, Kalle Laanet, said “This weapon system substantially improves our coastal defense and sends a clear message that we are contributing to the regional and collective defense effort. This is one of the most complex and high-tech weapon systems of all time and a huge leap forward for the Estonian Defense Forces. I am very glad that Estonia has a defense industry capable of participating in such high-tech projects.”
IAI is a world leader in aerospace innovation, delivering state-of-the-art technology in air, navy, land and space, for commercial and defense purposes. ST Engineering is a global engineering group that utilizes technology and innovation in the fields of aerospace and naval defense, in Europe, the Middle East, US and Asia.
伊朗聲稱120公斤。加入 20% 的濃縮鈾。如果屬實，這些數字可被視為伊朗鈾濃縮工作的一大進步。
2021 年 10 月 10 日 20:35
伊朗原子能組織負責人穆罕默德·埃斯拉米和國際原子能機構（原子能機構）總幹事拉斐爾·格羅西於 2021 年 9 月 12 日在伊朗德黑蘭出席新聞發布會。
伊朗已經濃縮了 120 多公斤。據國家通訊社 IRNA 報導，其原子能組織負責人穆罕默德·埃斯拉米 (Mohammad Eslami) 週六晚間表示，該公司使用了 20% 的濃縮鈾。
“我們已經超過了 120 公斤，”IRNA 引述他的話說。“我們擁有的不僅僅是這個數字。”
“我們的人民很清楚，他們（西方國家）本打算給我們提供 20% 的濃縮燃料，用於德黑蘭反應堆，但他們沒有這樣做，”埃斯拉米說。“如果我們的同事不這樣做，我們自然會遇到德黑蘭反應堆缺乏燃料的問題。”
上個月，國際原子能機構稱伊朗有 84.3 公斤。鈾濃縮到 20%。
在 2021 年 3 月 15 日獲得的這張照片中，可以在伊朗革命衛隊海軍部隊的新“導彈基地”的地下看到伊朗導彈，該地點位於伊朗的一個未公開地點。（圖片來源：IRGC/WANA/HANDOUT VIA REUTERS）
根據美國國家安全猶太研究所的數據，155 公斤。20% 的濃縮鈾就足以最終放大成用於製造核彈的武器化鈾。
根據 JINSA 最近的一份報告，“伊朗正在積極減少其 20% 濃縮鈾庫存的增長，這代表了實現裂變材料努力的十分之九。自 1 月開始，伊朗累計濃縮約 152 公斤。鈾以 19 公斤/月的速度增加到 20%。”
此外，JINSA 表示，這些統計數據顯示，“伊朗聲稱在 6 月份生產了 108 公斤。前三周平均每月 40 公斤的速度被誇大了。”
在周六晚上伊朗宣布之前，JINSA 曾表示，假設伊朗繼續以目前的速度生產和轉移 20% 的鈾，到 2022 年 6 月或 7 月，它將獲得足夠的鈾來製造核武器。
關於伊斯蘭共和國生產核武器的速度的複雜計算涉及它已濃縮到三個不同水平的鈾的混合搭配：5%、20% 和 60%，其中 90% 是武器化水平。
Iran claims to have 80% of uranium needed to build nuclear bomb
Iran claims 120 kg. jump in 20% enriched uranium. If true, the numbers could be considered a major jump forward in Iran's uranium enrichment efforts.
OCTOBER 10, 2021 20:35
Head of Iran's Atomic Energy Organization Mohammad Eslami and International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Director General Rafael Grossi attend a news conference, in Tehran, Iran, September 12, 2021.
(photo credit: WANA (WEST ASIA NEWS AGENCY) VIA REUTERS)
Iran has enriched more than 120 kg. of 20% enriched uranium, the head of its atomic energy organization, Mohammad Eslami, said Saturday evening, state news agency IRNA reported.
“We have passed 120 kilograms,” IRNA quoted him as saying. “We have more than that figure.”
“Our people know well that they [Western powers] were meant to give us the enriched fuel at 20% to use in the Tehran reactor, but they haven’t done so,” Eslami said. “If our colleagues do not do it, we would naturally have problems with the lack of fuel for the Tehran reactor.”
If true, the numbers could be considered a major jump forward in uranium enrichment, potentially eventually toward a nuclear weapon if Tehran made the choice to try and break the nuclear threshold.
Last month, the International Atomic Energy Agency said Iran had 84.3 kg. of uranium enriched to 20%.
Iranian missiles are seen at an underground of the new ''missile cite'' of Iran's Revolutionary Guards naval unit at an undisclosed location in Iran, in this picture obtained on March 15, 2021. (credit: IRGC/WANA/HANDOUT VIA REUTERS)
According to the Jewish Institute for National Security of America, 155 kg. of 20% enriched uranium would be enough to eventually be scaled up to weaponized uranium for a nuclear bomb.
That would mean 120 kg. would be almost 80% of the way there.
According to a recent JINSA report, “Iran is actively reducing the growth of its stockpile of 20% enriched uranium, which represents nine-tenths of the effort to achieve fissile material. Since starting in January, Iran cumulatively has enriched an estimated 152 kg. uranium to 20% at a rate of 19 kg./month.”
In addition, JINSA said these statistics show “Iran’s claim, in June, to have produced 108 kg. at an average rate of 40 kg./month over the preceding three weeks was provocatively overstated.”
Putting all the pieces together, JINSA said: “To limit its stockpile, Iran has been converting some of it to uranium metal, which, while worrisome because this process is one of the steps to a nuclear weapon, means this material can no longer be used to enrich fissile material.”
Before Saturday night’s Iranian announcement, JINSA had said assuming Iran continues producing and diverting 20% uranium at its current rate, it would achieve sufficient uranium for a nuclear weapon by June or July 2022.
Last month, the Institute for Science and International Security estimated that Iran could produce enough enriched uranium for a single nuclear warhead within approximately one month.
The complex calculations on how fast the Islamic Republic can produce a nuclear weapon involve a mix and match of uranium it has enriched to three different levels: 5%, 20% and 60%, with 90% being the weaponization level.
In recent weeks, Tehran has given mixed messages about whether it would return to nuclear talks with the US and world powers and rejoin the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action’s nuclear-deal limits in exchange for Washington lifting sanctions or whether it is stalling for some other purpose.
In the meantime, since mid-September, the IAEA has heavily criticized Iran for blocking its access and disabling some of its nuclear monitoring equipment.
Iran has blamed the standoff over monitoring on an explosion at its Karaj nuclear facility in June, which the ayatollahs attributed to the Mossad.
2021 年 10 月 9 日 20:33
美國國務院發言人內德·普萊斯於 2021 年 8 月 16 日在美國華盛頓的國務院舉行關於阿富汗的新聞發布會。
在《耶路撒冷郵報》姊妹刊物瓦拉 (Walla) 發表報告後，他發表講話稱，拜登政府正在悄悄呼籲以色列限制定居點活動。
美國總統喬·拜登和總理納夫塔利·貝內特 8 月在白宮會面時握手。（信用：喬納森·恩斯特/路透社）
總理納夫塔利·貝內特已承諾不凍結定居點建設，包括推進此類建設計劃。然而，實際上，猶地亞和撒馬利亞高級規劃委員會上次召開會議是在 1 月，就在美國總統喬·拜登宣誓就職之前。從那時起，它就沒有開會以顯著推進建築計劃。由於罷工，推動 2,223 座定居者住房計劃的會議被取消，並且沒有重新安排。
Yesha 委員會負責人 David Elhayani 和 Samaria 地區委員會負責人 Yossi Dagan 都向 Bennett 發出警告，稱凍結定居點將導致政府垮台。
US: 'Our position against unilateral Israeli settlement activity is clear'
Bennett has pledged not to freeze settlement construction, including the advancement of plans for such buildings.
OCTOBER 9, 2021 20:33
US State Department spokesman Ned Price holds a press briefing on Afghanistan at the State Department in Washington, U.S., August 16, 2021.
(photo credit: REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque/POOL)
The Biden administration has clearly opposed unilateral settlement activity, State Department spokesman Ned Price told reporters in Washington, in response to a query about US pressure on Prime Minister Naftali Bennett to halt such action.
“Look, we don’t always – in fact we never read out our private diplomatic conversations, the back and forth we have, whether that’s with our Israeli partners or any partner around the world,” Price said.
“But suffice it to say we have made our position very clear, and when it comes to unilateral action like settlement activity, we have also made that very clear,” he said.
“And in fact, I just reiterated where the United States stands on settlement activity. There should be no question about that,” Price said on Thursday.
He spoke in the aftermath of a report by The Jerusalem Post’s sister publication Walla, that the Biden administration was quietly calling on Israel to restrain settlement activity.
Price, however, has been fairly blunt about the Biden administration’s opposition to it, including at the Washington briefing on Thursday.
“We believe it is critical for all parties to refrain from those unilateral steps that exacerbate tensions and, again, undercut efforts to achieve a negotiated two-state solution,” he said. “That includes, as I was saying before in a different context, annexation of territory, settlement activity, demolitions and evictions” and “incitement to violence.”
Price also spoke of US opposition to Palestinian Authority monthly stipends to jailed terrorists and family members of slain ones. In addition, he condemned violence by settlers and Jewish extremists against Palestinians.
US PRESIDENT Joe Biden and Prime Minister Naftali Bennett shake hands during a meeting at the White House in August. (credit: JONATHAN ERNST / REUTERS)
The State Department spokesman spoke as Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Israel and Palestinian Affairs Hady Amr wrapped up his three-day visit to the area, where During his visit he held talks with Israelis and Palestinians. The US embassy in Jerusalem released a summary of his visit, including a list of topics that were raised during the talks, such as humanitarian issues, the two-state solution and PA stipends for terrorists. There was no mention about settlement activity.
Prime Minister Naftali Bennett has pledged not to freeze settlement construction, including the advancement of plans for such building. In practice, however, the Higher Planning Council for Judea and Samaria last convened in January, just before US President Joe Biden was sworn into office. Since then it has not met to significantly advance building plans. A meeting to push forward plans for 2,223 settler homes was canceled due to a strike and has not been rescheduled.
Yesha Council head David Elhayani and Samaria Regional Council head Yossi Dagan both issued warnings to Bennett that a settlement freeze would bring down the government.
“The ball is in Bennett’s court, not in Biden’s – if construction is frozen, the government will not exist,” said Dagan, who belongs to the Likud Party, which is in the opposition.
Elhayani, however, is a member of the New Hope Party which is part of the coalition. His message, however, was similar to Dagan’s.
“President Biden knows that harming construction in settlements in Judea, Samaria and the Jordan Valley means the fall of the current government. We will not tolerate this gross American intervention,” Elhayani said.
We expect Prime Minister Naftali Bennett to reject this demand outright,” he said.