Israel has announced plans to build more residences for Jewish settlers in the occupied West Bank, drawing immediate condemnation from Palestinians, peace activists and neighbouring Jordan.
The Ministry of Construction and Housing in right-wing, Prime Minister, Naftali Bennett’s government said, “Tenders had been published for 1,355 homes in the West Bank, which was seized by Israel during the 1967 Six-Day War.
“Those new homes add to the more than 2,000 residences that defence sources said in August would be authorised for West Bank settlers.
Housing Minister Zeev Elkin, a member of the right-wing New Hope party, said in a statement that, “Strengthening Jewish presence in the West Bank was essential to the Zionist vision.
Palestinian Prime Minister Mohammed Shtayyeh, speaking at a weekly cabinet meeting, called on other nations especially the United States to confront Israel over the aggression that settlement construction poses for the Palestinian people.
The Palestinian Authority (PA), will be keenly watching for a response from US President Joe Biden’s administration, which has said it opposes unilateral Israeli settlement construction as an obstacle to a two-state solution to the conflict.
About 475,000 Israeli Jews live in settlements in the West Bank, which are considered illegal under international law, on land Palestinians claim as part of their future state.
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Israel to build 1,300 new West Bank settler homes