On Tuesday, Israel announced plans to build 650 new settler units in the occupied central West Bank, according to Israel Hayom news agency.
Settlement watchdog group Peace Now denounced the actions of the Israeli Government, saying “it is well-known that for a two-state solution to be feasible Israel will have to withdraw from most of the West Bank, yet the government keeps raising the political cost of this redeployment and the evictions it will entail. By adding housing to settlements, the government shows total disregard for the two-state solution.”
According to stats curated by Palestine, there are more than 700,000 Jewish settlers now living in 196 Israeli government-approved settlements and at least another 200 non-approved settler outposts across the occupied West Bank.
The Palestinian Ministry of Foreign Affairs has denounced the construction of the new housing units that will be built in Jewish-only Beit El settlement, where another 296 units have already been pre-approved. The new settlement units will increase the population of Israeli settlers by 65%.
A court-ordered eviction pressured Israeli forces to remove the occupants of more than a dozen Jewish settler homes from private Palestinian-owned land, in mid-June.
Since the occupation of the West Bank in 1967, between 500,000 and 600,000 Israelis have moved into settlements in occupied Palestinian territory. An estimated 196 government-sanctioned settlements across Palestine are considered illegal under international law.