Israeli minister for military affairs Avigdor Lieberman reportedly plans to approve the construction of a new settlement in the Old City of al-Khalil (Hebron), south of the occupied West Bank.
The new settlement is to be established in an old Palestinian vegetables market in the Old City, Israeli news outlets reported on Thursday.
Located in the center of al-Khalil -- one of the largest cities in the occupied West Bank -- the Old City was divided into Palestinian and Israeli-controlled areas, known as H1 and H2, following the Ibrahimi Mosque massacre in 1994.
The approval will come a few weeks after the Israeli regime approved plans for the construction of 31 new settler units in the occupied West Bank.
Peace Now, an Israeli anti-settlement group that monitors settlement activity in the West Bank, said last month that the units will be built in al-Khalil, located 30 kilometers (19 miles) south of Jerusalem al-Quds.
“For the first time in more than 20 years, Hebron will have a new Jewish neighborhood where a military camp once stood,” Lieberman said on October 14.
The establishment of the new settlements comes in grave contravention of international law and a United Nations Security Council resolution against the Tel Aviv regime’s land grab policies in the occupied Palestinian territories.
Less than a month before US 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” al-Quds.
Israel razes Palestinian lands, uproots trees
Earlier on Thursday morning, Israeli bulldozers razed lands and uprooted olive trees in Palestinian lands adjacent to the Israeli illegal settlement of Avnei Hefetz in the northern occupied West Bank district of Tulkarem, Palestinian news agency Ma’an reported.
The Avnei Hefetz settlement was built on Palestinian-owned lands of the villages and towns of Shufa, Kafr al-Labad and Kafa.
Activist Tahsin Hamed reported that Israeli bulldozers razed Palestinian-owned lands in the Shufa village in southeastern Tulkatem, in preparation for settlement expansion.
Hamed pointed out that the village is currently wall-to-wall with the settlement and is continuously facing land-razing for the expansion of the Avnei Hefetz settlement.
Back on October 11, the Israeli forces had bulldozed two more Palestinian houses in al-Halawa neighborhood in the south of al-Khalil.
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 al-Quds.
Palestinians want the West Bank as part of a future independent Palestinian state with East Jerusalem al-Quds as its capital.
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