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Hamas: Israel settlement expansion, demolition of structures open war against Palestinians

File photo shows illegal Israeli-build settler units upon Palestinian territory.

The Palestinian Islamic Resistance Movement, Hamas, has decried the Israeli regime’s ongoing policy of expanding its illegal settlements on Palestinian territories and destruction of Palestinian structures, saying such moves amount to an open war against the Palestinian people.

The Gaza Strip-based movement made the remarks in a statement on Saturday, the Palestinian Information Center reported.

“The escalating Israeli crimes such as settlement expansion, home demolition, and displacement of Palestinians will not change the Arab identity of the Palestinian lands and will not grant Israel legitimacy,” the movement said, adding that Palestinians will continue their resistance until restoration of their national rights.

The statement came after it was revealed on Friday that Israeli authorities have approved plans for the construction of hundreds of new settler units in the occupied West Bank, irrespective of the international outcry against the Tel Aviv regime’s illegal settlement expansion activities and land grab policies in occupied Palestine.

Palestine’s official WAFA news agency, citing a statement released by the Applied Research Institute (ARIJ), reported on Thursday that the regime’s officials have given the green light for plans to build 381 units in the new settlement, which will be erected on Palestinian-owned lands in Deir Istiya town, located 15 kilometers (9.3 miles) southwest of Nablus.

The report added that the new settlement would cover an area of 259 dunams (259,000 square meters).

Arij noted that the new settlement will lie between the settlements of Revava and Kiryat Netafim, warning that Israeli authorities are bent on creating a settlement complex in the area.

In another reaction to the Israeli plan, spokesman of the Hamas movement Hazem Qassem said the world stands idly by while the Israeli crimes against Palestinians violate international laws and conventions, stressing that human rights institutions must assume their responsibility and stop the Israeli crimes.

“Such crimes will boost the Palestinian resistance’s strength and unity to defend the Palestinian lands and holy sites until they achieve their full liberation and self-determination,” Hamas spokesman added.

The Israeli regime has stepped up its illegal settlement construction activities in defiance of United Nations Security Council Resolution 2334, which pronounces settlements in the occupied West Bank and East al-Quds “a flagrant violation under international law.”

More than 600,000 Israelis live in over 230 settlements built since the 1967 Israeli occupation of the West Bank and East al-Quds.

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

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