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Friday February 28, 2020

Israel grants the green light to build about 1,800 settlement units in the West Bank


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On Thursday, the Israeli authorities gave the green light to the project to build about 1,800 new settlement units in the occupied West Bank, less than a week before the crucial legislative elections for Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. On the other hand, the anti-settlement non-governmental organization Peace Now considered that the Israeli move comes “in the context of the battle against the right-wing voice of the settlers.”

On Thursday, the Israeli authorities agreed to build about 1,800 new homes Settlements in the occupied West BankLess than a week before the date for the crucial legislative elections for Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s political future.

The Israeli Ministry of Defense said, “The Higher Planning Committee of the Civil Administration in Judea and Samaria (the name of the West Bank, according to the Israeli government) agreed to build about 1,800 housing units.”

In the same regard, the anti-settlement NGO Peace Now commented that “in the context of the battle against the right-wing voice of the settlers, Bennett and Netanyahu are pushing Israel towards investing in thousands of unnecessary and damaging housing in the settlements.”

In fact, the Israeli authorities have given the green light to build 1,776 units, including 620 in the Ayli settlement, and 534 in Shilo / Shvut Rachel, according to the ministry.

“A battle over the settlers’ right-wing voice”

For his part, said Defense Minister Naftali Bennett, who is head of the “right” list in the upcoming elections on Monday, “We have agreed today to several housing units in the settlements and we will continue to do so in the future.”

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“We are not waiting, we are doing. We will not give a single centimeter of the Land of Israel to the Arabs, but for that, we must build (housing),” said Bennett, a member of Netanyahu’s transitional government, which in turn works to attract right-wing voters and pro-settlers.

In turn, the head of the Yesha settlement council, David Al Hayani, declared that “this decision enhances the Israeli presence in Judea and Samaria and we are happy with that (…) Monday we will go to vote and wait for the elected government to continue to develop settlements as is currently the case.”

Settlement pace accelerated

Within one week, the Israeli authorities pledged, or announced, to build more than 10,000 homes in the occupied West Bank and East Jerusalem settlements. More than 600,000 people currently live in it.

On Tuesday, Netanyahu pledged to build 3,500 settlers’ homes in Area E1, referring to the land on the outskirts of Jerusalem in the occupied West Bank and where Bedouin clans live.

And if the Hebrew state established settlements in this area between Maale Adumim and Jerusalem, the West Bank would be divided into two parts, which would prevent the establishment of a Palestinian state connected with each other, according to the Palestinians and NGOs.

Five days ago, the Israeli Prime Minister pledged to build thousands of new homes in settlement neighborhoods in East Jerusalem, which the Palestinians and Western embassies were quick to condemn.

/ AFP

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