RAMALLAH, May 30, 2018 (WAFA) – Israeli authorities Wednesday approved the construction of 2070 new housing units in illegal settlements in the occupied West Bank, according to the Israeli anti-settlement group, Peace Now.
Israeli ‘Defense’ Minister Avigdor Lieberman said last Thursday that the Civil Administration in the West Bank is expected to next week support the immediate construction of 2,500 new homes, but this number includes many that had already been approved and even some that have been built, said the Israeli daily Haartez.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu reportedly praised Lieberman‘s announcement, stating that, “"We are continuing the development momentum of settlements in Judea and Samaria and approving thousands of new housing units,"
"I especially congratulate Ma‘aleh Adumim which will build hundreds of units after a long time in which we advanced its construction plans. This is another step to developing the settlements and we will approve new units in the near future," added Netanyahu.
According to Peace Now, in the year and a half since President Trump took office some 14,454 units in the West Bank has been approved, which is more than three times the amount that was approved in the year and half before his inauguration (4,476 units).
The Netanyahu government is clearly continuing to take advantage of the carte blanche the Trump Administration has given it in order to destroy the chances for peace, Peace Now said.
The group added: “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.”
“By adding housing to settlements, the government shows total disregard for the two-state solution,” it said.
The group maintained that the timing of this settlement approval announcement also speaks volumes to the twisted priorities of the current Israeli government.
According to Haaretz, Israel is planning to build 92 new settlement homes near the Khan al-Ahmar Bedouin village slated for demolition.