The Israeli Housing Ministry is advancing plans meant for the construction of 1500 new units in illegal Jewish settlements in the occupied West Bank and occupied East Jerusalem, in a move described as a âpunishment to the Palestinian leadership for forming a unity government that includes Hamasâ.400 of the newly approved units are planned to be built in the Ramat Shlomo illegal settlement, in occupied Jerusalem.
Israeli âHousing Ministerâ, Uri Ariel, stated that the new plans âare the fittest Zionist responseâ for what he called âforming a terrorist Palestinian governmentâ.
The approval came about a week after settlement heads held a meeting with Israeli Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, demanding him to approve hundreds of units in Jewish settlements in the West Bank and Jerusalem.
Netanyahu approved their request, and stated he supports what he called âIsraelâs right to build and expand its settlementsâ.
The approval is part of a series of measures Israel decided to take against the Palestinian Authority in an attempt to force the collapse of the new interim government.
Meanwhile, President Spokesperson Nabil Abu Rodeina strongly denounced the Israeli decision, and said the Israeli decision comes while the international community expressed support to the unity government.
The Palestinian official added that âIsrael needs to realize its illegitimate policies are exposed, and strongly denounced, and warned that the Palestinian leadership will respond to these violations on the international arena.
Abu Rodeina further stated that all of the territories occupied by Israel in 1967 are Palestinian, Arab lands, and that Israelâs settlements are not only illegitimate, but also violate International Law and the Fourth Geneva Convention.
âSettlements are illegal, illegitimate and rejected,â he said, âThere can be no peace with settlementsâ.