Israel approved building 60 new settlement units in UNESCO-protected Hebron

PNN/ Hebron/

The Israeli Planning and Construction Committee approved building 60 new settlement units in the settlement of Neghot, south of Hebron, which will be added to the other 30 settlement units that are in the heart of the Old City of Hebron.

The head of the Hebron Hills Regional Committee, Yochai Damari, expressed his satisfaction with the decision of building the new settlement units, stressing that it is the right decision which would help maintain the Jewish presence in Hebron and its southern region.

In a statement, Damari thanked the Prime Minister and the Minister of Army for their decision, saying it is an important step under the leadership of Netanyahu, who continues to realize and strengthen the legacy of Menachem Begin, who issued a government decision in 1981 on the construction of Neghot.

“Establishing a settlement in that area is another way for giving the equal rights to the settlers of Judea and Samaria,” Damari said. “Noting that the Regional Committees with the help of government ministers have in recent years encouraged and promoted settlement and Jewish presence as it guards southern Israel. Negohot is the second settlement in Mount Hebron, which has received a master plan in the last two years,” he added.

He explained that they are “not going to stop and move on to the next debate to approve the construction of hundreds of housing units awaiting approval like anywhere else” in what he called the”Eternal state of the Jewish people.”

This decision angered Palestinians, international human rights institutions and some international bodies that have sharply criticized Israel’s continued illegal construction of settlements and undermined all efforts to advance the peace process.

The governor of Hebron, Kamel Hamed, denounced the dangerous and accelerated illegal settlement establishment measures in Hebron.

In a press statement issued by his office on Tuesday, Hamed called for the immediate termination of all racist and dangerous practices that threaten stability calling on the international community to intervene immediately to pressure the Israeli government to stop all illegal measures.

Hebron, especially the Old City and the vicinity of the Ibrahimi Mosque, is constantly under fierce attack especially, after the UNESCO announced that Hebron is an Islamic heritage city.

Head of the Colonization and Wall Resistance Commission, Walid Assaf, said that settlement construction in the heart of Hebron aims at expanding existing settlement outposts in the Old City and displacing its Palestinian residents.

Assaf told Voice of Palestine radio on Tuesday that the latest settlement plans, both in Jerusalem and in Hebron, are the most dangerous since the administration of US President Donald Trump took office and appointed advisers who support the illegal settlements and this and gave Israel the green light to proceed with its settlement projects.