The Israeli government has approved the construction of 2,070 new settlement units in the occupied West Bank, local media reported.
Israel’s Civil Administration said at least 696 of the units were approved for construction, while1,262 were advanced through an earlier planning stage known as a “deposit”.
According to Israeli organization Peace Now, 14,454 settlement units in the West Bank have been approved since US President Donald Trump took office, which is more than three times the amount that was approved in the year and a half before his inauguration (4,476 units).
Israel approves 2,000 new illegal settlement homes in the occupied West Bank. Plans include 92 homes near a Bedouin village which was slated for demolition by an Israeli court last week. https://t.co/AsYSfGTqoF pic.twitter.com/Z9afhJ139y
— The IMEU (@theIMEU) May 31, 2018
Peace Now condemned the Netanyahu government for taking advantage of the “carte blanche” the Trump administration has given it in order to destroy the chances for peace.
The organization said:
“It is well-known that for a two-state solution to be feasible, Israel will have to withdraw from most of the West Bank. Yet the government keeps raising the political cost of this redeployment and the evictions it will entail.”
RT Mondoweiss "Last week, Israel’s Supreme Court ruled to allow the state to demolish the Bedouin village of Khan al-Ahmar, including a medical clinic, mosque, and a school made from mud and tires built by an Italian NGO almost a decade ago. https://t.co/y6VEwu4AwS"
— Richard Hardigan (@RichardHardigan) May 31, 2018
The White House released a statement on Wednesday, suggesting that Israel will scale back on future settlement construction in order to allow a US peace plan to progress.
The EU condemned Israel’s decision to build 2,000 homes for illegal Israeli settlements in the West Bank and demolish nearby Palestinian village Khan Al-Ahmar.
It said the move would "further entrench a one-state reality of unequal rights, perpetual occupation and conflict." pic.twitter.com/9i6hAbZMoh
— AJ+ (@ajplus) May 31, 2018
A White House spokesperson told The Times of Israel:
“The president has made his position on new settlement activity clear, and we encourage all parties to continue to work towards peace, the Israeli government has made clear that going forward, its intent is to adopt a policy regarding settlement activity that takes the president’s concerns into consideration. The United States welcomes this. As the president has said repeatedly, the administration is firmly committed to pursuing a comprehensive peace between Israelis and Palestinians.”
France condemns latest Israeli decisions to build further 2000 settlement units, says settlement activity "promotes the de facto annexation of the West Bank" https://t.co/1js0gx3dkZ
— Martin Konecny (@MartinKonecny) May 31, 2018
Under international law, settlements in occupied territories are considered illegal. Earlier this month, the Palestinian Authority government decided to file a war crimes complaint against Israel with the International Criminal Court over its settlement construction on land claimed by the Palestinians for their future state.
(AJE, PC, Social Media)