The Israeli regime has approved the construction of a new illegal settlement near the border with the besieged Gaza Strip, pressing ahead with its illegal settlement expansion activities across the Palestinian territories despite international outcry.
“In cooperation with the Minister of Construction and Housing, Yitzhak Goldknopf, we decided today during a cabinet session to build a new settlement close to the Gaza Strip,” Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu tweeted on Sunday.
Netanyahu claimed that “the establishment of the new [illegal] settlement is another proof of the strength of Israel.”
The Israeli public broadcaster Kan later reported that Israeli minister of military affairs Yoav Gallant had welcomed the idea of constructing new settler units in close proximity to the besieged Palestinian enclave.
“Construction of the new settlement is a practical realization of the Zionist vision. Ongoing settlement construction activities in the Negev region relay the message that Israel is resolute to press ahead with its plans in the face of the existing threats,” Gallant said.
The development comes days after Israeli officials gave the green light for plans to build nearly 1,200 units as well as other structures for commercial and public purposes on confiscated Palestinian lands in the neighborhoods of al-Thuri, Jabel al-Mukaber and Sur Baher, as well as in the illegal settlements of Kiryat HaYovel, Arnona and Katamonim.
Emboldened by former US president Donald Trump’s all-out support, Israel has stepped up its illegal settlement construction activities in defiance of United Nations Security Council Resolution 2334, which pronounced settlements in the West Bank and East al-Quds “a flagrant violation under international law.”
Much of the international community regards the Israeli settler units in the occupied lands as illegal.
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.
Palestinians want the West Bank as part of a future independent state with East al-Quds as its capital.
The last round of Israeli-Palestinian talks collapsed in 2014. Among the major sticking points in those negotiations was Israel’s continued illegal settlement expansion.
Many Palestinians believe the Israeli plans to annex one-third of the already occupied West Bank, including parts of the strategic Jordan Valley, is only a formality and that a de facto Israeli occupation of their land has been underway for many years.
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