The Israeli army destroyed four Palestinian homes and dismantled several tents near a large Jewish settlement in the West Bank east of Jerusalem overnight, the army said Sunday.
They said the homes were erected "illegally" on land settlers want to expand Maale Adumim, the biggest settlement in the occupied West Bank, with a population of around 20,000 a few kilometers outside the city limits.
Israeli authorities last week destroyed another batch of houses built in the same area after a freeze of several months on such action ordered by Prime Minister Ehud Barak's government, army radio said.
Barak has said he wants to annex Maale Adumim to Israeli territory in a final peace accord in return for transferring Arab villages near Jerusalem to the Palestinian Authority. The Palestinians rejected the plan on Monday.
The future of the some 150 Jewish settlements in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip is one of the thorniest issues to be tackled in the so-called final status negotiations, set to resume next Sunday in the Israeli resort of Eilat – OCCUPIED JERUSALEM (AFP)
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