Fri Jan 30, 2015 8:59AM
The file photo shows a view of the Israeli settlement of Elkana in the occupied West Bank.
The file photo shows a view of the Israeli settlement of Elkana in the occupied West Bank.

The Israeli regime has approved plans for the construction of some 430 new illegal settler homes on occupied Palestinian territories in the West Bank, reports say.

Daniel Seidemann, head of the Terrestrial Jerusalem group, which monitors Israeli settlement activity on occupied Palestinian land in east Al-Quds (Jerusalem), made the announcement on Friday.

The units are expected to be built in four existing settlements across the West Bank. They include 112 in Adam, 156 in Elkana, 78 in Alfei, and 84 in Kiryat Arba.

Seidemann linked the planned settlements to the upcoming election in Israel, saying Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s Likud Party was seeking to receive settler votes.

More than half a million Israelis live in over 120 illegal settlements built since Israel’s occupation of the Palestinian territories of the West Bank and East al-Quds.

The UN and most countries regard the Israeli settlements as illegal because the territories were captured by Israel in the 1967 war and are hence subject to the Geneva Conventions, which forbids construction on the occupied lands.

War crime

Following the announcement, Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) official Wassel Abu Yusef denounced the move by Tel Aviv, saying the expansion of settlements amounted to a “war crime.”

"What the Israelis announced is part of a wider war... against the Palestinian people," Abu Yusef said.

He warned that the Israeli settlement issue would be taken to the International Criminal Court (ICC).

United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon recently said that Palestinians would formally join the ICC on April 1, where it plans to complain against Israeli crimes.

The ICC has the legal authority to prosecute individuals for war crimes, an issue that Israelis have been repeatedly accused of over the massacre of Palestinians.

SZH/KA