Jewish settler leaders have accused Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of imposing a freeze on settlement construction in the occupied West Bank, Israeli media reported on Monday.
World Israel News reported leaders of the West Bank Settlement Council saying that the Israeli government has halted construction in the occupied Palestinian territories despite several announcements of building approvals during the last election cycle.
— farhad (@farhad55526050) August 24, 2020
The news site reported the head of the Settlement Council David Alhayani speaking to the Jerusalem Post: “Planning has been frozen. For half a year, the council has not met. Each week, we’re told it will meet next week.”
Alhayani added: “We’re being played as if we’re a chip on a backgammon board.”
However, according to the Israeli rights group Peace Now, Jewish settlement expansion in the occupied West Bank is not only continuous but has increased.
"We will make sure, with all that is at our disposal, that no Palestinian state will be established."
Yesha Council Chairman David Alhayani at a rally today in Jerusalem called on Netanyahu to "stand behind your commitment to apply sovereignty this week.” pic.twitter.com/zpPq9QIi1u
— i24NEWS English (@i24NEWS_EN) June 21, 2020
Under international law, Jewish settlements constructed in the Occupied Palestinian Territories constitute a violation of international law and are considered illegal.
Between 500,000 and 600,000 Israelis live in Jewish-only settlements across occupied East Jerusalem and the West Bank.
(Palestine Chronicle, MEMO, Social Media)