The Israeli defense minister Naftali Bennett announced on Wednesday the approval of seven nature reserves and the expansion of 12 others in Area C of the occupied West Bank.
Bennett’s announced in a statement:
“Today we provide a big boost for the Land of Israel and continue to develop the Jewish communities in Area C, with actions, not with words”.
— Palestine Chronicle (@PalestineChron) January 10, 2020
Bennett identified the seven new locations in his statement as Soreq Cave, Al-Shomoo’a Cave, Wadi Al-Muqallek, Wadi Malha, Bitronot, Wadi Al-Far’a and the north of Jordan Valley.
The decision is the first of its kind since the signing of the Oslo accords between the Jewish state and the Palestinian Authority (PA).
The move comes after Bennett declared on January 8 that he had established a task force to develop plans for the Israeli-controlled Area C of the occupied West Bank.
Israel continues to violate international law having approved a plan to expand 12 and create 7 new “nature reserves” in area C in the occupied West Bank. The international community must take action to stop the Israeli colonisation of #Palestine
— Mission of the State of Palestine in Ireland (@IrePalestine) January 16, 2020
The PA quickly condemned the declaration and accused Bennett of “erecting a new colonial umbrella to fight the Palestinian presence in those areas.”
Since his appointment by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in November, Bennett has instructed a series of far-right moves undermining Palestinian rights, including the authorization of a new Jewish neighborhood in the flashpoint city of Hebron (Al-Khalil), the signature of an order to prevent families of Palestinian convicted on terrorism charges from receiving salaries and payments from the PA, among other decision.
(Palestine Chronicle, PC, Social Media)