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Palestinian president, FM condemn Israel’s settlement expansion in occupied territories

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)
Israeli police confiscate a Palestinian flag from a protester during a demonstration by Palestinian and foreign activists against Israeli occupation and settlement activity in the occupied Palestinian territories on July 30, 2021. (Photo by AFP)

The Palestinian presidency has strongly denounced Israel’s new plan of building at least 2,200 settler units and expanding settlement activities in Jerusalem al-Quds and elsewhere across the occupied Palestinian territories.

The presidency in a statement on Thursday said that the Israeli construction activities are a clear and substantive violation of the Oslo Accords and in defiance of United Nations Security Council Resolution 2334, which has pronounced settlements in the West Bank and East al-Quds “a flagrant violation under international law.”

The statement also called upon the international community to put an end to the Tel Aviv regime's "land grab, evictions and settlement expansion policies" in the occupied territories.

The settlements, especially in East al-Quds, are "a red line and its holy sites have not been for sale, concession or bargaining," it added. 

Israeli infringement of internationally-recognized rights of Palestinian people will not be compromised or accepted, it said.

According to the statement, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas in a recent phone call with US President Joe Biden expressed its "strong rejection and condemnation" of the new settler units.

The Palestinian presidency informed the Biden administration that “Israeli expansionist agenda is stoking tensions and creating instability in the region."

The presidency reiterated that "true peace and security are linked to the extent of commitment to all international agreements and resolutions."

Palestine’s foreign ministry decries Israel's expansionist agenda

Separately, the Palestinian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Expatriates decried the Israeli regime's approval for thousands of settler units.

"The Israeli regime intended to pillage more Palestinian land, further the fragmentation of the geographical contiguity of the West Bank, segregate Palestinian land into small cantons, and consolidate the Israeli settlers," the ministry said

It also denounced the Israeli settlements built on privately-owned Palestinian land in Area C, which constitutes 61 percent of the occupied West Bank.

Israel plans to build to 2,000 new settler homes: security source

The Palestinian officials' reactions came after media reports quoting sources said earlier Thursday that Israel is to approve more than 2,000 new units for settlers in the occupied West Bank.

A security source told AFP the permits for Jewish settlements would come alongside approvals for hundreds of Palestinian homes in the large swathe of the West Bank known as Area C, where Israel exercises military and planning control. 

"There is an expectation to approve about 1,000 housing units for Palestinians in Area C next week and 2,000 housing units in the Jewish communities," the source told AFP on condition of anonymity. 

This comes as the Israeli regime continues its policies of persecution, racism, land stealing and ethnic cleansing against Palestinians.

Throughout the years, Israel has frequently demolished Palestinian homes, claiming that the structures have been built without permits, which are nearly impossible to obtain.

The Tel Aviv regime even orders the Palestinian owners to tear down their own homes or pay the demolition costs to the municipality.

The United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) says Israeli authorities either demolish or seize Palestinian property in the West Bank and East al-Quds, a trend which has led to the displacement of a large number of Palestinians in recent months.

According to the OCHA's recent report, Israel has demolished more than 420 Palestinian-owned structures in the West Bank so far this year.

All Israeli settlements are illegal under international law as they are built on occupied land. The UN Security Council has condemned Israel’s settlement activities in the occupied territories in several resolutions.

About 700,000 Israelis live in over 230 settlements built since the 1967 Israeli occupation of the Palestinian territories of the West Bank and East al-Quds. 

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

Hamas in June urged the Arab and Islamic world to play their part in safeguarding the identity of al-Quds and al-Aqsa Mosque and standing decisively against the normalization of ties with the Israeli regime, which “emboldened it to defile the Aqsa Mosque and kill Gaza children.”

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