Israeli officials have laid the foundation stone for a new project to construct 350 settler units in the Beit El settlement near the West Bank city of Ramallah, irrespective of the international outcry against Israel’s illegal settlement expansion activities in occupied Palestinian territories.
Yuli Edelstein, minister of health, Amir Ohana, public security minister, Yoav Galant, minister of education and Ofir Akunis, regional cooperation minister, as well as Knesset speaker Yariv Levin of Likud and other Knesset members, attended a ceremony on Tuesday to begin the construction of the new settlement units.
Speaking at the ceremony, Edelstein, who is a member of the ruling Likud Party, said the settlements and the land occupied by the Israeli entity “are more important than any person or any political situation.”
Galant, for his part, said his team had solidified settlement construction in the Beit El.
Israel has already occupied thousands of dunums of Palestinian agricultural land to construct and expand new illegal settler units in various areas in the West Bank.
More than 600,000 Israelis live in over 230 settlements built since the 1967 occupation of the West Bank and East Jerusalem.
Israel has stepped up its illegal settlement construction activities in defiance of United Nations Security Council Resolution 2334, which has pronounced settlements in the West Bank and East Jerusalem “a flagrant violation under international law.”
All Israeli settlements are illegal under international law. The UN Security Council has condemned Israel’s settlement activities in the occupied territories in several resolutions.
Palestinians want the West Bank as part of a future independent state with East Jerusalem as its capital.
UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres in January condemned the Israeli regime’s plan to construct hundreds of new settler units in the occupied West Bank, saying such structures are considered illegal under international law