Sunday, September 27, 2020

Israel announces the construction of new settlements units in East Jerusalem

By F.T Hupsel - June 11, 2019
Section: [Main News]
Tags: [Settlement Expansion]

The Israeli government has announced plans to construct 805 new settlement units in occupied East Jerusalem on 29 May.

Palestinian Prime Minister, Mohammad Shtayyeh, condemned the Israeli decision, stating that this construction falls within the framework of their long term plan of annexing the occupied territories of East Jerusalem and the West Bank.

According to the Israeli NGO Peace Now, which monitors settlement building in the occupied Palestinian territories, the new 805 units will be the largest construction plan beyond the Green Line since 2014.

The announcement coincided with the meeting held between Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Jared Kushner, US President Donald Trump’s senior advisor.

Kushner’s tour aimed to promote the so-called “Deal of the Century”, which the details have yet to be made public but has already been dismissed by the Palestinian Authority President, Mahmoud Abbas.

Israeli media argued that the new units are part of a plan adopted during the last two years and are intended to add new units to the already existing neighbourhoods, instead of expanding in the geographical area.

In a statement released 1 June, the EU declared that "strongly opposes Israel's settlement policy, including in East Jerusalem, which is illegal under international law and an obstacle to peace."

Maja Kocijancic, EU's spokeswoman for foreign affairs, added: '’The policy of settlement construction and expansion in East Jerusalem continues to undermine the possibility of a viable two-state solution, which is the only realistic way to achieve a just and lasting peace.’

France and Britain have also made independent statements recognising the continued expansion of settlements as a major barrier for the return of viable peace negotiations.

In his interview, Prime Minister Shtayyeh also pointed out that it is not enough for the international community to issue statements condemning Israeli violations, concrete actions need to be taken.

Israel has illegally occupied East Jerusalem since 1967, after the Six Day War. In 1980, Israel annexed the city claiming it as the self-proclaimed Jewish state’s “eternal and undivided” capital.

Palestinians for decades have fought for the West Bank as part of a future independent Palestinian state, with East Jerusalem as its capital.

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