On Wednesday evening, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, of the Likud Party, announced that he was working on appointing a team tasked with creating a new colony in the occupied West Bank, to fulfill what he called ‚Äúa promise‚ÄĚ to the illegal colonists of Amona outpost.
Netanyahu stated that the soldiers and officers who are removing Amona outpost, were acting under direct orders following a High Court decision deeming it illegal, because it was built on private Palestinian lands.
His promise to the illegal colonists was made nearly a month and a half ago, after the High Court decision.
Netanyahu stated that he was working on appointing a special team tasked with creating a new ‚Äúlegal settlement, to house the settlers.‚ÄĚ
His announcement was made one day after Israeli Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman of the extreme right-wing ‚ÄúIsrael Our Home Party (Yisrael Beiteinu), announced the approval of 3000 new units in Israeli colonies, most of the not even in ‚ÄúSettlement Blocs,” in the occupied West Bank.
It also comes one week after he announced the construction of 2500 new units in various colonies in the West Bank.
Several countries around the world, mainly France, and the European Union, have criticized the new plans, and dubbed them as obstacles to the efforts for ‚Äúresuming peace talks between Israel and the Palestinians.‚ÄĚ
The United Nations said it was ‚Äúconcerned‚ÄĚ about the new construction plans, and said that ‚Äúunilateral moves jeopardize the efforts to resume direct peace talks.‚ÄĚ
It also called on Israel and the Palestinian Authority to ‚Äúreturn to negotiations’ table to resolve all issues based on all related Security Council resolutions and International Law.‚ÄĚ
Furthermore, Tobias Ellwood, British Minister for the Middle East, Tobias Ellwood, condemned the Israeli Government‚Äôs announcement to build 3,000 settlement units in the West Bank
‚ÄúThe announcement of further settlement units in the West Bank is part of a growing trend which we condemn. We have consistently been clear that settlements are illegal under international law, and not conducive to peace. This spike in settlement activity undermines trust and makes a two state solution ‚Äď with an Israel that is safe from terrorism and a Palestinian state that is viable and sovereign – much harder to achieve.‚ÄĚ
The announcements for new constructions and expansions in the West Bank came after a phone conversation between Netanyahu and U.S. President Donald Trump, who vowed unlimited support to Tel Aviv.
All of Israel‚Äôs colonies in the occupied West Bank, including in and around occupied East Jerusalem, are illegal under International Law, various United Nations and Security Council resolutions, and the Fourth Geneva Convention to which Israel is a signatory and a constant violator.