Netanyahu Responds to Biden’s Victory by Announcing New Settlement near Gaza

By Palestine Chronicle Staff  

Only hours after Democratic nominee Joe Biden was projected to be the 46th President of the United States, the Israeli government approved the construction of a new settlement adjacent to the border of the besieged Gaza Strip. 

The news of the Israeli cabinet’s approval of the settlement was reported on Sunday by Israel’s Channel 12, Israeli daily newspaper Yediot Ahronoth and other sources.

Prior to the cabinet meeting, right-wing Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said that the government is now set to approve of the new settlement near Gaza. 

“This is a great news for Israel, this is great news for the communities in the Gaza border area,” Netanyahu said. 

According to Yediot Ahronoth, the new settlement, which would be called “Hanun”, will initially host about 500 Israeli Jewish families.

Citing Israeli media sources, Anadolu News Agency said that the Israeli government “will allocate one million NIS ($296,000) for the development of the infrastructure in the new settlement, which will be within the area of Israel’s Sdot Negev Regional Council.”

The Israeli Jerusalem Post daily newspaper quoted Israeli Regional Council Center chairman Shay Hajaj praising the decision to establish the new settlement: 

“The establishment of a new settlement these days, and especially in the Gaza border communities, is of immense national importance,” Hajaj tweeted. “It contains a statement of Israel’s determination to continue to build and develop settlements in all parts of the country.”

For his part, Education Minister Yoav Gallant wrote on Facebook: 

“A new settlement in the Gaza Strip [border communities]. In 2017, as housing minister, I presented to Prime Minister Netanyahu the need and plan for the establishment of a new community settlement in the Gaza Strip. After about three years of hard work, its formation in the government was approved.”

“The timing of this announcement is a message to the new American administration that Israel will not stop or slow down its colonial settlement projects anywhere in Palestine,” Palestine Chronicle Editor, Ramzy Baroud said. 

“Netanyahu made that point clear, and eventually prevailed throughout the previous administration of Barack Obama, when Joe Biden was then the Vice President. Now that Biden is set to be inaugurated, Netanyahu wants him and his administration to know in advance that halting settlement expansion is not even on Israel’s agenda,” Baroud added. 

According to international law, all Israeli Jewish settlements anywhere in the Occupied Palestinian territories are illegal. 

(The Palestine Chronicle)

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