Israel is planning to build at least 800 more settler units in the occupied West Bank amid an international outcry against the Tel Aviv regime’s land grab policies.
The Israeli human rights group Peace Now said Tuesday that Israel's Civil Administration secretly allocated land for 800 housing units inside the Givat Eitam settlement south of Bethlehem.
The planned settler units will reportedly be built on the land belonging to Palestinian residents of the village of al-Nahla south of Bethlehem, and northeast of the Efrat settlement.
The rights group added that the allocation comes as Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in 2013 announced that plans for more settlement construction are canceled in Givat Eitam.
Israel has tried to change the demographic makeup of al-Quds over the past decades by constructing illegal settlements, destroying historical sites and expelling the local Palestinian population.
More than half a million Israelis live in over 120 settlements built since Israel’s occupation of the Palestinian territories of the West Bank including East Jerusalem al-Quds in 1967.
Much of the international community, including Israel’s close allies such as the United States and the European Union, considers the settlements illegal because the territories were captured by Israel in a war in 1967 and are thus subject to the Geneva Conventions, which forbid construction on occupied lands.
Palestinians are seeking to create an independent state on the territories of the West Bank, East al-Quds, and the besieged Gaza Strip and are demanding that Israel withdraw from the occupied Palestinian territories.