UnNews:Lebanon confirms settlement plans

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Lebanon confirms settlement plans

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27 December 2007


Haifa, Israel. Image courtesy of Lebanese construction ministry satellite.

BEIRUT, Lebanon -- Lebanons' Construction Ministry plans to build 740 new homes in settlements in Haifa, Israel, a minister said, despite the interim governments previous commitments to the controversial 'piles of rubble' architectural style so favoured by the Israel Defense Forces, sections of the Lebanese government and other actors in the Middle East theatre on Sandy Boulevard.

Yona Yahav, major of Haifa, said "To be fair, Lebanon has never actually promised to not build in Haifa and I suppose they do have a duty to house their citizens".

Lebanon is budgeting to build 500 new homes in Ramat Golda and 240 in Ramat Begin. Haifa was designated as Jewish territory in the 1947 UN Partition Plan but it's Arab population has rocketed to 9% in recent years. (Ed: Please amend wording).

Saeb Erekat, a Palestinian negotiator condemned the plans. There is no exact equivalent of the Arabic phrase he used but the closest is thought to be "Oh, come on guys!!".


The south end of Gaza

edit 'Integral part'

News that the Lebanese construction ministry was budgeting for 740 new settlement homes was reported by the settlement watchdog, Peace Now. Peace Now added "There is a healthy settlement housing market in Israel at the moment with little competition so it does make sense in purely economic terms for other parties to try to get a foothold as early as possible. Growth forecasts look pretty peachy."

The Lebanese interim government has argued that the building of new homes in Haifa is "not covered by the roadmap to peace or any 2 state solution between Israel and the Palestinians so no one can really complain about it can they. We hope that these settlements will become an integral part of Lebanon".

A Hamas spokeswoman responding to questions from the press at the MGM Grand, Gaza ("The Entertainment Capital of the World") commented "Damn it! I wish we'd thought of that". The spokeswoman, affectionately known as 'Mandy' to the press corp ended her briefing with her usual catchphrase "And remember, what happens in Gaza stays in Gaza".

Hassan Nasrallah, the Secretary General of the Lebanese nationalist party Hezbollah described the plans as "refreshing and intriguing with a hint of pine freshness".

edit Sources

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