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Israel to construct 14,864 illegal settler units in occupied West Bank

This picture shows the Israeli settlement of Pisgat Ze'ev (L) behind its controversial separation barrier on the outskirts of East Jerusalem. Photo: AFP

This picture shows the Israeli settlement of Pisgat Ze'ev (L) behind its controversial separation barrier on the outskirts of East Jerusalem.  Photo: AFP

Tel Aviv, October 5 (RHC)-- Israeli officials have reportedly approved plans for the construction of 14,864 new, illegal settler units in the occupied West Bank irrespective of international outcry against the regime’s land expropriation and settlement expansion policies in the Palestinian territories. 

Mayor of the Gush Etzion Regional Council, Shlomo Ne'eman, told reporters that the construction of the new units will triple the number of settler population in the area, which lies directly south of East Jerusalem Bethlehem in the central West Bank.  He added that the project includes 1,100 settler units in Rosh Tzurim settlement, located about 20 kilometers south of Jerusalem, 600 units in Migdal Oz settlement, some 1,107 in the Gevaot settlement, and 1,200 units between Bat Ayin and Migdal Oz.  The project is estimated to cost 18.9 million shekels ($5,195,610). 

Less than a month before U.S. President Donald Trump took office, the United Nations Security Council adopted Resolution 2334, calling on Israel to “immediately and completely cease all settlement activities in the occupied Palestinian territories, including East Jerusalem.” 

About 600,000 Israelis live in over 230 illegal settlements built since the 1967 Israeli occupation of the Palestinian territories of the West Bank and East Jerusalem.  Palestinians want the West Bank as part of a future independent Palestinian state with East Jerusalem as its capital. 

The last round of Israeli-Palestinian talks collapsed in 2014.  Among the major sticking points in those negotiations was Israel’s continued settlement expansion on Palestinian territories.

Edited by Pavel Jacomino
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