Israel’s security cabinet approves first West Bank settlement in 25 years

March 30, 2017 2:27 pm

This file photo
shows the Israeli settlement of Ma’ale Adumim in the occupied
near East Jerusalem al-Quds. (Photo by AP)

Israel’s security
cabinet has unanimously voted in favor of construction of the regime’s
first new settlement in the occupied Palestinian territories in 25
years, drawing strong condemnation from Palestinians.

Israeli
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s office released a statement on
Thursday night, announcing that the new settlement will be built near
the West Bank settlement of Emek Shilo and the Palestinian city of
Ramallah, The Jerusalem Post reported.
The Israeli ministers also
approved the construction of 2,000 settler homes out of the 5,700 units
announced two months ago, and endorsed the expropriation of 90 hectares
(222 acres) of Palestinian land near the Israeli settlement of Eli north
of Ramallah.

The move was swiftly condemned by
Palestinian officials, with Hanan Ashrawi, an executive committee member
of the Liberation Organization, saying the “announcement once
again proves that Israel is more committed to appeasing its illegal
settler population than to abiding by the requirements for stability and
a just peace.”

Earlier in the day, the Israeli prime
minister said the new settlement was intended to house the residents of
Amona, a wildcat outpost in the occupied West Bank that was evacuated
under a court order in February.
The latest expansionist measures,
which are in violation of last year’s UN Security Council Resolution
2334, come as the Tel Aviv regime has been holding negotiations with the
administration of US President Donald Trump on new settlement building
plans.

US
President Donald Trump (R) and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin
Netanyahu hold a joint press conference at the White House in
Washington, DC, on February 15, 2017. (Photo by AFP)Yoav
Horowitz, Netanyahu’s chief of staff, Israeli Ambassador to the US Ron
Dermer, and Jason Greenblatt, who heads the US team, have been leading
the talks on settlement guidelines over the past three weeks, according
to Israeli media reports.
Figures
released by Israel’s Central Bureau of Statistics showed last week that
2,630 settlement units were constructed in the West Bank last year,
marking a rise of 40 percent from 2015.
The figures were released
only a day after Netanyahu vowed to press ahead with building new
settler units, stressing that the Tel Aviv regime has no plan to limit
settlement construction in East Jerusalem al-Quds.
The UN
resolution passed in December calls on Israel to “immediately and
completely cease all settlement activities in the occupied Palestinian
territory, including East Jerusalem” al-Quds.

In
this image released by the UN, members of the Security Council vote on
December 23, 2016 on a resolution against Israeli settlements. (Photo by
AFP)About 600,000 Israelis live in over 230
illegal settlements built since the 1967 Israeli occupation of the
Palestinian territories of the West Bank and East Jerusalem al-Quds.
Palestinians want the West Bank as part of a future independent Palestinian state, with East Jerusalem al-Quds as its capital.
Since
the January inauguration of Trump, the Tel Aviv regime has stepped up
its construction of settler units on occupied Palestinian land in a
blatant violation of international law.

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