Israeli occupation authorities plan to build 2,200 new illegal settlement units in the occupied West Bank.
The Israeli newspaper Yediot Ahronoth revealed that ‘Israel’ is set to approve the construction of 2,200 illegal settlement units in the occupied West Bank next week.
The move is the biggest for Israel’s new Prime Minister Naftali Bennett’s government since taking power on June 13.
900 of those settlements are already in the final planning stages and ready for construction, Israeli War Minister Benny Gantz said on Wednesday.
Axios reported that the decision was to get the announcement out of the way before the meeting of US President Joe Biden and Naftali Bennett.
“The Biden administration knows we are going to build. We know they don’t like it, and both sides don’t want to reach a confrontation around this issue,” an Israel official told Axios.
There are nearly 700,000 Israeli settlers living in 256 illegal settlements and outposts scattered across the occupied West Bank, including East Jerusalem. Israeli settlements are illegal under international law.
The Palestinian Foreign Ministry on Thursday slammed Israel’s decision to build illegal settlements, saying this is “a flagrant aggression on the Palestinian people” and “a hard blow to the international and US efforts to revive the peace process.”
According to the Israeli anti-settlement watchdog Peace Now, in 2020 alone, ‘Israel’ approved plans for 12,159 new illegal settlement units, while approving plans for only 253 housing units for Palestinians.