“What we’re seeing is the ongoing policy of de facto annexation,” Peace Now researcher Hagit Ofran said adding that “Israel is doing its utmost to annex the West Bank and to treat it as if it’s part of Israel without leaving a scope for a Palestinian state.”
“An aggressive Israeli settlement spree during the Trump era pushed deeper than ever into the occupied West Bank — territory the Palestinians seek for a state — with over 9,000 homes built and thousands more in the pipeline,” AP recalled.
According to the approved plans, the houses would be constructed across the West Bank, including in settlements located deep in the West Bank and those near East Jerusalem. The move was taken after the United States on Tuesday voiced strong opposition to Israeli settlement expansion in the West Bank.
Shahar Perets (19) and Eran Aviv (19) arrived again at the Israeli military enlistment center to declare their refusal to serve as soldiers and take part in the oppression of the Palestinians.
It is the largest number of new settler homes approved since the inauguration of the government of Prime Minister Naftali Bennett in June. Currently, he is the leader of the pro-settler Yamina party but rules with a cross-partisan coalition which includes parties objecting to the settlements’ expansion.
One of them is the Labor party, which condemned the "irresponsible" approval and warned of the possible international implications of the Bennet administration's move.
Settlements are widely seen by the Palestinians and the international community as an obstacle to peace. They are located in the West Bank, a territory Israel seized in the 1967 Middle East war and has controlled ever since. The Palestinians wish to build their future state on these lands.