UNITED STATES (OBSERVATORY NEWS) — Less than a week before the Israeli legislative elections that will determine his political fate, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu pledged Tuesday to build 3,500 new housing units in the occupied West Bank, where a group of Bedouins live.
“We are building Jerusalem and building its suburbs,” Netanyahu said at a conference in Jerusalem. “I was given immediate instructions to deposit permits to build 3,500 housing units in the A-One + zone.” In the occupied West Bank.
The Palestinians and NGOs consider that if Israel builds in this area between the settlement of Maale Adumim and Jerusalem, the West Bank will be divided into two parts, which will prevent the possibility of establishing a Palestinian state whose lands are connected.
The presidential spokesman, Nabil Abu Rudeina, condemned Netanyahu’s decision to approve the construction of 3,500 new settlement units in the “E1” area, saying that it comes in “the context of Israeli policy that works to push things towards the abyss.”
For her part, said Angela Godfrey Goldstein, who participates in running the “Solidarity with the Arab Jahalin” organization, which defends the Bedouin families residing in the “E1” sector, that “if the project materializes, it will end the idea of a viable Palestinian state.”
“It is another example that reveals the degree of despair of Bibi (the title of Netanyahu) in gaining votes with the approaching elections,” she said, expressing concern about the possibility of moving multiple families because of this real estate project.
On Thursday, Netanyahu announced that he wanted to add 2,200 new housing units to the “Har Homa” settlement that was built on Abu Ghneim mountain.
He also announced the approval of building a new neighborhood that includes four thousand homes in the Israeli “Givat Hamatos” area (plane hill) that was shot down during the war on the sixth of June 1967 at the Beit Safafa area in occupied East Jerusalem.
New old project
On Tuesday, the head of the Settlement Council welcomed the Netanyahu project to build in “One” and said, “This is great news. The project was frozen several times in 1994 and during the Sharon era in 2004 and in 2013, considering that building in this area is strategic to expand the construction of the Ma’aleh Adumim settlement and link the settlements together.” .
This project was canceled under pressure from the American administration and the international community.
“This decision is the result of the biased and dangerous American policy in favor of the occupation, which led to a situation that violates international law and transgresses the red lines, and is contrary to the resolution issued by the United Nations Security Council No. 2334, which considers all settlement illegal, and was taken unanimously.”
He stressed that Netanyahu’s decision is a challenge to the statement issued by the UN Security Council and unanimously, considering that settlement affects the two-state solution, and negotiations based on international legitimacy resolutions to resolve final status issues.
The settlement construction project linking East Jerusalem with the settlement of Ma’aleh Adumim raises intense controversy because it divides the West Bank in two and isolates Jerusalem, complicating the establishment of a continuous Palestinian state in the future.
Israel thus wants to secure a geographical “communication” between Ma’aleh Adumim, where more than forty thousand settlers and settlement neighborhoods reside in East Jerusalem occupied since 1967.
Israel announced its intention to build thousands of settlement housing units in the region “E1” in the beginning of January 2013, prior to the Israeli elections at the time.
During his 2013 campaign, Netanyahu was forced, under international pressure, to cancel building orders in the “I ONE” area.
And he was planning to build 8300 housing units in this area near Jerusalem.
And to thwart the settlement project “E1” in 2013, about two hundred Palestinian activists set up a village, which is about 20 large tents, which they named “Bab Al-Shams”, after a novel with this title by the Lebanese writer Elias Khoury, which talks about the Palestinian catastrophe, asylum and resistance.
But the tents were dismantled by a decision of the Supreme Court.
The international community considers the settlements illegal, whether they are built with or without the government’s approval. Settlement is the first obstacle to the peace process.
More than 630,000 settlers reside in the occupied West Bank and East Jerusalem among about three million Palestinians.
This article is written and prepared by our foreign editors writing for OBSERVATORY NEWS from different countries around the world – material edited and published by OBSERVATORY staff in our newsroom.
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