Israeli officials have approved plans for the construction of hundreds of new housing units in occupied Jerusalem in defiance of international outcry against the iSRAEL land expropriation and settlement expansion policies in the occupied Palestinian territories.
Israeli media outlets reported on Monday that the so-called Jerusalem Local Planning and Construction Committee has given the green light for two plans to build 641 units along the Hebron Road.
The first plan will reportedly be located close to Talpiot neighborhood in southeastern Jerusalem, while the second is situated in Shaarei Zion neighborhood.
The Israeli non-governmental organization Peace Now, which monitors settlement activity in the West Bank, said in a statement on August 6 that Israeli authorities had issued approvals for 2,304 housing units.
The approval of settlement plans is part of a disastrous … policy designed to prevent the possibility of peace and a two-state solution, and to annex part or all of the West Bank,” the statement read.
On July 31, Israeli officials approved the construction of 6,000 new settler units in the West Bank’s Area C, where the Israeli army has full control over the management of resources, planning and construction, and strictly limits Palestinian construction or development to less than one percent of the area.
Area C accounts for more than 60 percent of the occupied West Bank, and would form a significant part of a future Palestine state under the so-called two-state solution.
More than 600,000 Israelis live in over 230 settlements built since the 1967 Israeli occupation of the Palestinian territories of the West Bank and East Jerusalem al-Quds.
The UN Security Council has condemned Israel’s settlement activities in the occupied territories in several resolutions.
Less than a month before US President Donald Trump took office, the United Nations Security Council in December 2016 adopted Resolution 2334, calling on Israel to “immediately and completely cease all settlement activities in the occupied Palestinian territories, including East Jerusalem” s.
Palestinians want the West Bank as part of a future independent Palestinian state with East Jerusalem al-Quds as its capital.
The last round of Israeli-Palestinian talks collapsed in 2014. Among the major sticking points in those negotiations was Israel’s continued settlement expansion on Palestinian territories.