Israel approves 153 illegal settler homes in occupied territories

January 26, 2017 8:50 pm

The picture taken from the Palestinian West Bank village of Azmut shows the illegal Israeli settlement of Elon Moreh on January 13, 2017. (By AFP)

Emboldened by the new US administration’s support, the Israeli regime has given the go-ahead to the construction of 153 new settler units in the occupied Palestinian territories in flagrant disregard of international opposition.
Jerusalem al-Quds Deputy Mayor Meir Turgeman said a city planning committee had endorsed the construction of the new structures in the East Jerusalem al-Quds settlement of Gilo, adding that the initiative was among those held up due to pressure from the ex-US government.
Turgeman further announced plans for building some 11,000 settler units in East Jerusalem al-Quds, saying that he will deliver permits for the project “in the coming months.”
After the January 20 inauguration of US President Donald Trump, a pro-Israel figure, Tel Aviv launched a major settlement expansion drive.
On Sunday, Israel approved construction permits for 566 new structures in the East Jerusalem settlements of Pisgat Ze’ev, Ramat Shlomo and Ramot.
Two days later, the Israeli ministry of military affairs also announced plans for erecting 2,500 settler units in the occupied West Bank.
The developments sparked widespread condemnations from and the international community.
‘Settlement expansion will have dangerous consequences”
Speaking to reporters on Wednesday, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas warned that Israel’s settlement expansion projects would have “major and dangerous consequences.”
Abbas further noted that discussions were underway with Arab leaders to prevent Tel Aviv’s illegal construction activities in the occupied lands.
He also described a recent UN Security Council anti-settlement resolution as the most important decision with regard to the Israeli settlement activities in 35 years.
“We made important calls and succeeded in holding a session of the UN Security Council and obtain an international decision condemning settlement activity in spite of all the pressures,” the Palestinian president said.
In December 2016, the UN Security Council adopted Resolution 2334 that denounced the Israeli settlements as a “flagrant violation of international law.”
Hundreds of Israelis live in over 230 illegal settlements built since the 1967 Israeli occupation of the Palestinian territories.
The presence and continued expansion of Israeli settlements has created a major obstacle for the efforts to establish peace in the .
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