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Extremist minister: Building new settlements in Palestinian territories is ‘Israel’s mission and doctrine’

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)
A view of an illegal Israeli settlement (File photo)

An extremist Israeli regime minister from Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's far-right cabinet wants to see more Jewish settlements constructed across the occupied territories.

Israel's hardline Security Minister Itamar Ben-Gvir said on Tuesday said building new settlements is “Israel’s mission and doctrine.”

"The land of Israel belongs to the people of Israel," he said in a video message that followed a statement of concern from Washington and its European allies, France, Germany, Italy and Britain over the decision on legalizing outposts, Reuters reported.

On Sunday, the Israeli regime's far-right cabinet "legalized" nine settler outposts in the occupied West Bank in sheer defiance of the outcry from the international community and Palestinians who want an end to the regime's settlement projects.

Netanyahu's extremist cabinet retroactively authorized the outposts that had been already set up by Israeli settlers over the past years without the regime's approval.

Ben-Gvir said he wanted to go even further than the decision announced on Sunday, saying nine settlements are not enough and the regime wants much more.

"This is our mission. This our doctrine," Ben-Gvir said. "Nine settlements is nice but it's still not enough. We want much more.”

The minister said Europeans and Americans should “stop worrying.”

Foreign ministers from Britain, France, Germany, Italy and the United States have said they are “deeply troubled” by Israel’s settlement expansion plan.

"We strongly oppose unilateral actions which will only serve to exacerbate tensions between Israelis and Palestinians and undermine efforts to achieve a negotiated two-state solution," they said in a statement.

Hussein al-Sheikh, a senior Palestinian official, welcomed the joint statement. "We demand that words be turned to deeds," he said in a statement on Twitter.

The Israeli regime has already authorized new settlement outposts and pledged to construct new settler units in the West Bank.

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken has called for an end to the settlement expansion.

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

The international community views the settlements -- hundreds of which have been built across the West Bank since Tel Aviv's occupation of the territory in 1967 -- as illegal under international law and the Geneva Conventions due to their construction on the occupied territories.

The UN Security Council has condemned Israel’s settlement activities in the occupied territories in several resolutions.



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