RAMALLAH, Palestine (AA): Israeli authorities on Tuesday night approved the construction of 3,000 new illegal settlement units in the Israeli-occupied West Bank.
In a statement, Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman’s office said the new construction plan “comes as part of a return to the normal life in Judea and Samaria [West Bank].”
According to the statement, more than 2,000 settlement units are ready for immediate construction.
“The rest are in various stages of development,” it added.
Last week, Israeli authorities approved construction of 3,066 Jewish homes in East Jerusalem and West Bank.
The Expansions were approved in the following illegal colonies
1. Alfie Menashe, central West Bank, 700 units.
2. Beit Arye, northern West Bank, 650 units.
3. Beitar Illit, west of Bethlehem, 650 units.
4. Oranit, Qalqilia – northern West Bank, 200 units.
5. Nokdim, south of Bethlehem, 150 units.
6. Givat Zeev, northwest of Jerusalem, 150 units.
7. Karnie Shomron, near Qalqilia in northern West Bank, 100 units.
8. Shilo, north of Ramallah, 100 units.
9. Metzudot Yehuda, northeast of Bethlehem, 100 units.
10. Kfar Eldad in Gush Etzion bloc, south of Bethlehem, 80 units.
11. Shavei Shomron, west of Nablus, 70 units.
12. Nofim, near Salfit, 50 units.
13. Efrat, south of Bethlehem, 30 units.
Roughly 500,000 Israelis now live in more than 100 Jewish-only settlements built since Israel occupied the Palestinian West Bank and east Jerusalem in 1967.
The Palestinians want these areas — along with the Gaza Strip — for the establishment of a future Palestinian state.
International law views the West Bank and East Jerusalem as “occupied territories” and considers all Jewish settlement-building activity on the land as illegal.
Meanwhile, at least 16 Israeli policemen were injured in clashes with hardline Israeli settlers after an illegal settler outpost was dismantled in the Israel-occupied West Bank on Wednesday, according to police.
Young settlers, many of whom had come from settlements elsewhere in the West Bank to protest the eviction, poured oil onto roads leading to the Amona outpost and blocked them with stones, metal spikes and burning tires. Greenberg said the Amona outpost symbolized the strength of Israel’s settler movement, which, he said, had been galvanized by the presidency of Donald Trump in the U.S., who has so far refrained from criticizing Israel’s settlement-building activities.
“Donald Trump assuming power in the U.S. was a great surprise,” he said.
Muhabir Aness Suheil Barghoti
Additional report from Imemc.org
[Archive Photo: Illegal settlements in Beitar Ilit/ Creative Commons]