Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu backs settlement expansion in occupied West Bank

September 10, 2016 7:30 am

Israeli Prime Minister (AFP)

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has repeated his support for the Tel Aviv regime’s expropriation of Palestinian territories and expansion of illegal settlements across the occupied .
“I am sure that many of you have heard the claim that the Jewish communities in Judea and Samaria [in the] West Bank are obstacles to peace,” Netanyahu declared in a video posted on his Facebook page on Friday.
He claimed that the settlements built across the occupied West Bank do not constitute “obstacles” to an eventual peace agreement with the Palestinians, and that he has “always been perplexed” about the related criticisms.
The Israeli prime minister went on to allege that the Palestinian leadership sought a Palestinian state on the condition that it was “a state without Jews.”
Palestinian officials have yet to comment on the Israeli prime minister’s claims.
Palestinians want the West Bank as part of their future independent state, with East Jerusalem al-Quds as its capital.

A picture taken in the West Bank city of al-Khalil, also known as Hebron, on July 6, 2016, shows a Palestinian man standing in front of buildings in the illegal Kiryat Arba settlement on the outskirts of the Palestinian city. (AFP)

The presence and continued expansion of illegal Israeli settlements in occupied , however, have created a major obstacle to the establishment of such a state.
More than half a million Israelis live in over 230 settlements built since the 1967 Israeli occupation of the Palestinian territories of the West Bank and East Jerusalem al-Quds.
Much of the international community regards the Israeli settlements as illegal because the territories they are built on were captured by Israel in a war in 1967 and are hence subject to the Geneva Conventions, which forbid construction on occupied lands.
Nevertheless, the Israeli regime continues to build more settlements and expand the existing ones.
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