Don Wagner Reponds

Don Wagner responds:

Palestinians with West Bank (blue) and Gaza (white) license plates are routinely prevented from traveling on the network of roads built by Israel to bypass Palestinian population centers and connect Jerusalem and Israel with the settlements. I have traveled on these roads and been turned back by Israeli military checkpoints when in cars with these types of license plates. However, Israelis have no such restrictions, provided they travel in vehicles with Israeli license plates. Palestinians with Jerusalem license plates can sometimes access the roads, but they too are routinely turned back. Given these military practices, I stand by the story as written.

Concerning the settlements, the number of settlers more than doubled (from 105,400 at the end of 1992 to 242,313 in 2001, according to Israel’s Central Bureau of Statistics).Most of this new settler population moved into existing settlements that were significantly expanded, while for propaganda purposes Israel and its friends at CAMERA claimed “there were no new settlements.” (CAMERA is a well-known source of extremist pro-Israel propaganda that is routinely challenged by Israeli and international human rights and peace organizations for its consistent misrepresentation of the facts in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.) Not only did the settler population double, so too did new settlement construction in the 108 new “settlement outposts” established between the end of 1992 and 2000, according to Peace Now, the organization of former and current Israeli military personnel monitoring the settlements.

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