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Unmasking the Freeze

The 26 September 2010 brings a formal end to the ten-month Israeli moratorium on settlement construction in the West Bank. Israeli government officials have stated that once the moratorium comes to an end, construction in the West Bank is expected to resume at its previous rate. However, in light of its terms and its application in practice, the moratorium itself amounts to nothing more than a hollow political gesture in the form of an alleged “freeze,” whilst Israel’s illegal settlement activity continues almost unabated. This opinion paper discusses Israel’s practices and policies of settlement construction in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, and examines the legal implications of Israel’s policies and the nature of the ensuing obligations of the international community.

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