CWRC: Israel approved the construction of 6,719 settlement units during 2020

PNN/ Ramallah/

An official Palestinian report said today (Sunday) that Israel has approved the construction of 6,719 settlement units in the Palestinian territories during the year 2020.

Palestinian Colonization and Wall Resistance Commission (CWRC) of the Palestine Liberation Organization said in its annual report that the Israeli authorities deposited for approval plans containing 8,060 other settlement units during the same year.

The Commission referred to Israel’s move to support the proposed law providing tax exemptions and facilities to settlements established in the Palestinian territories through amendments to the tax law.

Since the occupation of the West Bank and Gaza Strip in 1967, the total areas of Palestinian lands that have been declared by the Israeli authorities as “state lands,” amounted to about 1,700 square kilometers, accounting for 30% of the total lands of the West Bank, according to the commission.

She added that these lands have been allocated parts of it for the establishment of settlements, or placed at the disposal of settlers, or left as a reserve for the increasing needs of the Israeli settlement project.

She stated that the past year witnessed “a frantic race among decision-makers in Israel to propose draft laws, or to ratify laws calling for the annexation of part or all of the West Bank lands to Israel, or at least the legalization of Israeli facilities on it.”

The Wall and Settlement Resistance Commission monitored the demolition of 869 Palestinian buildings and facilities during the year 2020 in the West Bank, a 65% increase in demolitions compared to 2019.

It indicated that 817 Israeli notifications were issued, including demolitions, construction halts, and an additional opportunity to object to demolition orders, and 60% of those notifications were concentrated in the Hebron, Jerusalem and Bethlehem governorates.

For his part, Palestinian Minister of Justice Muhammad Al-Shalaldeh stressed that the escalation of settlement activities and settler attacks in the Palestinian territories constitute “serious violations of international law that amount to war crimes.”

Shalaldeh said, in statements to reporters in Ramallah, that all forms of Israeli settlement expansion “are in violation of international legitimacy decisions against settlement, which requires the development of international mechanisms for accountability and accountability.”

He added that “Israel is obligated under international law and the Fourth Geneva Convention to guarantee protection for Palestinian civilians and to prevent forced displacement that takes place through the continued expansion of settlements.”

Shalalda called on the UN Human Rights Council to send an official commission of inquiry to investigate Israel’s “violations” of international law in the Palestinian territories and to make recommendations on accountability measures.

The Israeli settlement is one of the most prominent files of disagreement between the Palestinians and Israel, and one of the main reasons for stopping peace negotiations between them since 2014.

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