A senior official with the Israeli Defense Department confirmed to Israeli reporters that extensive settlement construction is being carried out in at least 11 Israeli settlements.These settlements are constructed on Palestinian land in the West Bank, and were challenged earlier this year by the US administration of Barack Obama, who encouraged Israel to adhere to international law and signed agreements and cease the expansion of settlements further onto Palestinian land. More recently, after pressure from the Israeli government, Obama backed down on this stand, and in recent weeks, Israeli settlers have massively increased their expansion.

According to Israeli daily Ha’aretz, the senior defense source told their reporters, ‘You can sense it on the ground, with the infrastructure work that is being done, but also in more minor things. They are acting without any legal authorization and are ignoring the state. The approach at this time is that whoever can, goes ahead and builds.’

The source confirmed what Palestinian eyewitnesses have been reporting for weeks: that Israeli settlements all over the West Bank are taking this opportunity to expand existing structures, construct new buildings and seize more land — much of it without authorization by the Israeli authorities.

In addition, the source stated that the Israeli authorities have done little to stop the illegal expansions that are rapidly increasing, both in size and scope.