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France Condemns Givat HaMatos Construction

France condemns Israel’s plans to build in Givat HaMatos, calls the project "a new settlement".
By Elad Benari
First Publish: 10/18/2011, 6:15 PM

France condemned on Monday Israel’s plans for a new neighborhood in southern Jerusalem.

In a statement it published, the French government called the Israeli decision to build in Givat HaMatos “unacceptable” and described Givat HaMatos as “a new settlement.”

The statement added that France “points out again that colonization, whether in the West Bank or in East Jerusalem is illegal under the terms of international law.”

The French statement ignores the fact that GIvat HaMatos is not in east Jerusalem but rather in southern Jerusalem. East Jerusalem seems to be a UN, EU and media blanket term for areas reunited to Jerusalem in the Six Day War.

“Last Sunday, on behalf of the French government, the French ambassador asked the Israeli government l to block implementation of this project,” the statement continues.

“If the decision is kept, this would indeed be regarded as one more provocation while all the efforts of the international community are focused on giving new impetus to negotiations under the terms of the Quartet’s statement of 23rd September.”

According to the Israeli government’s decision from Sunday, the new neighborhood at Givat HaMatos is slated to be built in the southern reaches of Jerusalem near Bethlehem.

At present there is a community of Ethiopian Jews living in caravans on 170 dunams at Givat HaMatos. The new plan calls for the caravans to be removed in order that some 4,000 housing units can be built on an area of 1,060 dunams.