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Israel to build 20,000 new settler units in occupied Quds

This file photo taken on January 25, 2017 shows a partial view of the Israeli settlement of Ariel near the occupied West Bank city of Nablus. (By AFP)

The Israeli authorities have approved plans to construct 20,000 new settler units in the occupied Jerusalem al-Quds, once again defying international calls for the regime to stop its settlement activities in Palestinian lands.

Jerusalem al-Quds municipality announced Wednesday that it had agreed to building more than 20,000 new settler units along with industrial areas and hotels in the occupied Palestinian city, Israeli media said.

Under the plan, around 12,600 new living units and an additional 8,000 units will be built as part of “urban renewal initiative” in existing structures.

The project is expected to cost some 1.4 billion Israeli shekels (roughly $379 million).

Emboldened by the all-out support of US President Donald Trump, the Tel Aviv regime has been stepping up even further its settlement construction activities in the occupied territories in defiance of the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) Resolution 2334.

The resolution states that “it will not recognize any changes to the 4 June 1967 lines, including with regard to Jerusalem al-Quds, other than those agreed by the parties through negotiations.”

It calls on Israel to “immediately and completely cease all settlement activities in the occupied Palestinian territories, including East Jerusalem” al-Quds.

The picture taken on July 24, 2018 shows a view of ongoing construction work at the Israeli settlement Ramat Shlomo in the eastern sector of Jerusalem al-Quds. (By AFP)

Israel occupied the West Bank and East Jerusalem al-Quds during the Six Day War in 1967. It later annexed East Jerusalem al-Quds in a move not recognized by the international community.

About 600,000 Israelis live in over 230 settlements built illegally since the 1967 occupation of the Palestinian lands.

Palestinians want the West Bank as part of a future independent Palestinian state, with East Jerusalem al-Quds as its capital.

Palestinians have been holding regular anti-US protests since December 6, when Trump declared that Washington recognized Jerusalem al-Quds as the “capital” of Israel and was moving the American embassy from Tel Aviv to the holy city. Many say Trump's move has effectively killed any chances of further negotiations.

The dramatic shift in Washington’s Jerusalem al-Quds policy drew fierce criticism from the international community, including Washington's Western allies, and triggered protests against the US and Israel worldwide.

The United Nations General Assembly later voted by a resounding majority to reject Trump's Jerusalem al-Quds move.

Israel lays claim to the whole of Jerusalem al-Quds, but the international community views the ancient city’s eastern sector as occupied land and the Palestinians consider it their future capital.

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