Israel is set to approve plans for the construction of thousands of new illegal settler units in the occupied West Bank, despite global outcry over the regime’s relentless land grab and settlement expansion activities in the Palestinian territories.
The so-called Israeli Civil Administration, a military body, in a statement on Friday, said the Higher Planning Committee would meet next Thursday to give green light to the building of 3,988 new settler units.
The regime’s interior minister Ayelet Shaked, a staunch advocate of the settler-colonialism project, also took to Twitter to announce that a planning committee would convene next week to approve 4,000 homes, calling it a “basic, required and obvious thing”.
מברכת על כינוס המת"ע בשבוע הקרוב לקראת בנייה של כ-4000 יחידות דיור, כולל היישוב מצפה דני שחשוב לי במיוחד, אותו אני מלווה שנים רבות. הבנייה באיו"ש היא דבר בסיסי, מתבקש ומובן מאליו.— איילת שקד Ayelet Shaked (@Ayelet__Shaked) May 6, 2022
According to the plans, a total of 32 units will be constructed at Nokdim settlement south of Bethlehem, 16 units in Ma'ale Adumim settlement, which lies seven kilometers (4.3 miles) east of al-Quds, 286 units in Kedumim settlement in northern West Bank, 90 units in Dolev settlement which is located 27 km (17 miles) northwest of al-Quds, 170 units in Immanuel settlement, 110 units in Mevo Horon settlement, 192 units in Sha'arei Tikva settlement, 500 units in Elkana settlement and 56 units in Nagohot settlement.
Another 2,536 units would come up in other illegal settlements across the occupied West Bank.
Israeli regime officials hope to advance the illegal settlement project before an expected visit by US President Joe Biden to the occupied territories at the end of June.
During Biden’s visit, the Tel Aviv regime plans to host a meeting of the leaders of the United Arab Emirates, Morocco, and Bahrain, who normalized their ties with Israel under US-brokered deals known as the Abraham Accords, in addition to Egypt and Jordan.
The US envoy to Israel, Thomas Naides, said he and other Biden administration officials have made it clear to Israeli officials several times in the last two weeks that the administration is opposed to the construction of new settlements and asked Israeli authorities not to move ahead with it.
An unnamed senior Israeli official was quoted by the Hebrew-language Walla web portal saying that the officials in Biden's administration were “sensitive about construction in the settlements”.
“President Biden was personally offended by the issue, and his close advisors are very opposed to settlements expansion and told us not to do so,” he said.
Another senior Israeli official said the regime authorities had told Biden administration officials that if no new construction was approved in the settlements, the incumbent cabinet could collapse due to the fragile state of the coalition.
Between 600,000 and 750,000 Israelis occupy over 250 illegal settlements built since the 1967 occupation of the Palestinian territories of the West Bank and East al-Quds.
Palestinians want the West Bank as part of a future independent Palestinian state, with East al-Quds as its capital.
The last round of Israeli-Palestinian talks collapsed in 2014, with Israel’s continued settlement expansion emerging as a key sticking point.
All Israeli settlements are deemed illegal under international law as they are built on the occupied land.
The UN Security Council has time and again condemned the occupying regime’s diabolic settler-colonialism project in its umpteen resolutions.