Haaretz WikiLeaks exclusive / Israel's Peace Now updates U.S. on West Bank construction
Leaked U.S. diplomatic cable shows both U.S. administration and Defense Ministry use the Israeli left-wing NGO to continuously track illegal West Bank settlement construction.
Israeli left-wing non-government organization Peace Now has urged the U.S. to pressure Israel into evacuating West Bank outposts, according to an American diplomatic cable released by WikiLeaks, adding that the group regularly updated both Washington and the Defense Ministry on ongoing settlement construction.
See the full story in Friday's Haaretz Newspaper.
A 2006 U.S. diplomatic cable quoted Peace Now head Yariv Oppenheimer as telling U.S. embassy officials that Israel may "evacuate a few outposts to show the U.S. that it is doing something, but in exchange it is trying to co-opt the settlers by retroactively approving some outposts and giving them a freer hand in building in the West Bank."
Referring to the Israeli government's failure to execute demolition orders for several illegal outposts, an unnamed Peace Now official is quoted as saying in 2009 that he or she was "hopeful that [U.S.] pressure on [Israel] will result in implementation of these new orders."
The documents also reveal that the Defense Ministry used Peace Now's services to track West Bank settlement construction, with Eitan Broshi, an aide to Defense Minister Ehud Barak, quoted in 2008 as being "eager" to meet Peace Now representatives to discuss the issue.
A Peace Now representative reportedly told U.S. embassy officials that Broshi "did not appear to be aware of the recent construction in some settlements and questioned the legality of construction in some others."
Further details concerning Peace Now's reported links to the U.S. administration, as revealed in the Israeli WikiLeaks file, will be provided in Haaretz's Friday Week's End section.