The Israeli government has approved the construction of a new Israeli
settlement on Palestinian land in the West Bank to house Israeli
settlers who moved out of settlements in the Gaza Strip last year.
250,000 Israeli settlers currently live in 140 settlements built on illegally seized Palestinian land in the West Bank, with most of them having moved there in the last ten years. The 5,000 Israeli settlers who were evacuated in a highly-publicized evacuation from three settlements in the Gaza Strip in August 2005 were mainly moved to settlements in the West Bank.
But some of the Israeli families who moved from Gaza have been living inside Israel, and a number of them have pressured the Israeli government to allow for the construction of a new settlement in the Jordan Valley, in the eastern part of the West Bank. The settlement has already been constructed, and today received approval from the Israeli government — despite a promise that the Israeli government made to the U.S. to halt construction of new settlements in the West Bank.
Palestinians living in the Jordan Valley have faced increasing pressure during the settlement's construction over the last several months, including home demolitions, denial of permits, restrictions of travel, destruction of farmlands, and Israeli invasions into their villages and towns.