Israel Approves Nearly 300 Settlement Units

Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak has approved the construction of 294 new illegal Jewish settler units in the occupied Palestinian land.

The units are to go up in the Beitar Ilit settlement in the occupied West Bank, AFP reported on Sunday.

The Israeli regime occupied the West Bank alongside the other Palestinian territory of East al-Quds (Jerusalem) in 1967 and later annexed both. The international community has refused to recognize neither the capture nor the annexation.

The United Nations and the European Union call the settlements illegal as they are constructed on the occupied territories.

The UN also considers the settlement expansion to be illegal under the international law.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has refused to lift a partial freeze on the settlement activities last September, thus occasioning a halt in the United States-based direct talks with the Palestinian Authority (PA).

Anti-settlement NGO Peace Now said Israeli settlers have started building about 2,000 settler units since the moratorium was lifted.

Israel has, meanwhile, turned down a call by the US to negotiate with the Palestinians and withdraw behind the borders of territories it seized in 1967.

Netanyahu has told US President Barack Obama that Tel Aviv would carry out the pullout to help make way for the establishment of an independent Palestinian state.

The premier has also said the PA must choose between a deal with Tel Aviv or unity with the Palestinian resistance movement of Hamas.

Hamas and Fatah have recently reached a deal, agreeing to hold elections and form a unity government.

(Press TV)

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