Netanyahu’s Cabinet Approves Construction of 6,000 New Homes for Jewish Settlers in West Bank, 700 Permits for Palestinian Homes; Palestinian Leadership Denounces Announcement, Calls it ‘Colonial Mentality’

  • Israel announced its plan to construct 6,000 new homes in the occupied West Bank for Jewish settlers and approved 700 permits for new houses for Palestinians ahead of President Trump’s senior adviser and son-in-law Jared Kushner visit to the area.
  • Israeli officials announced on Wednesday that conservative Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s cabinet approved the permits “as a bid to rein in pirate construction.”
  • Palestinian leaders have described the approval for new Jewish residences as “colonial mentality” and have dismissed the announcement.
  • The Foreign Ministry in Ramallah said the approval was “evidence of the dark colonial mentality of the rules in Israel and which ignores all United Nations resolutions, international law and the signed agreements.”
  • As part of the U.S. Middle East envoy, Kushner will explain his “own Israeli-Palestinian peace plan,” but there have been few details about the plan.
  • However, Palestinian leaders have “rejected U.S. diplomacy, saying the Trump administration is biased toward Israel.”
  • Netanyahu, “who is drumming up ultra-nationalist Jewish support ahead of a Sept. 17 election, has hinted that Israel could annex its West Bank settlements – in defiance of world powers that view the enclaves as illegal.”
  • Currently, the majority of settlements “are concentrated in Area C of the West Bank, which under the 1993 Oslo interim peace accords is fully controlled by Israel.”
  • Israel says that about 450,000 settlers and between 250,000 and 290,000 Palestinians live in Area C and about 3 million total Palestinians live in the West Bank.
  • The Palestinians, on the other hand, have been trying to end “the Israeli occupation of territory seized in the 1967 Middle East and set up their own state in the West Bank, Gaza and East Jerusalem.”
  • The U.S. ambassador to Israel, David Friedman, said: “We spend lots of time speaking with the Israelis about improving conditions in the West Bank and Gaza.”
  • Friedman said: “We want the Palestinians to have autonomy. We want the Palestinians to govern themselves.”
  • Friedman added: “Israel has not presented to us any plan to retain or annex any portion of the West Bank and we have no view on it at all right now.”

Reference Links

  • BBC: Israel backs West Bank homes for settlers and Palestinians READ
  • Voice of America: Israel Approves Palestinian Construction in West Bank READ
  • i24: Israel approves 715 Palestinian and 6,000 Jewish homes in West Bank’s Area C READ
  • Reuters: Israel announces new homes for settlers, Palestinians in West Bank ahead of Kushner visit READ

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