Despite Palestinian , Israel has announced plans build 1,200 new settlement homes. A second round of discussions are meant to begin in Washington, D.C. on Wednesday, however, the settlement issue threatens negotiations.
In the meantime the U.S. continues to get battered by bad weather. This is has been the rainiest summer in memory and in Atlanta a record for rainfall was set in July. Missouri, Nashville, Tennessee and western Kentucky were also deluged with Nashville receiving 5" to 8" of rain in a day. The river rose 15' in 25 minutes in Hollister, Missouri as Hollister received 8" of rain in two hours. Missouri averages 3" of rain per month at this time of year. Meanwhile, the "Silver" wildfire Fire in Riverside, California threatened 500 homes. Philadelphia has had 25" of rain since mide June, 16" over its normal range. Charlotte, North Carolina is 6" above average in rain. Manitou, Colorado was swamped with flash floods. This week the temperatures in many areas will be 15 degrees below average with high temperatures in the mid to high 70s.
This is one of the coolest summers on record for many parts of the U.S.
I do not think these weather events are a coincidence. We always seem to have bad weather when we force the Israelis to give away more of the their land.
The plans were supposedly shown to the U.S. government in advance.
Israeli media, in unconfirmed reports, have suggested Sunday’s housing plans were disclosed to Washington in advance and were aimed partly at overcoming opposition within the pro-settlement cabinet to prisoner releases designed to spur negotiations halted three years ago.
Palestinians have made continued claims that Israel is not taking the peace negotiations seriously.
Without halting settlement activity, it was difficult to see a way to “bring about progress towards a peace agreement,” [Chief Palestinian Negotiator Saeb] Erekat told Kerry.
In the meantime, the U.S. maintains it does not support settlement building. Israel’s housing minister Uri Ariel made the settlement announcement on Sunday.
The Israeli cabinet later said 26 Palestinian prisoners would be released over the next few days, ahead of peace talks with Palestinian leaders.