Palestinian Legislator, Dr. Mustafa Barghouthi, stated that while Israel is heading to peace talks with the Palestinians, its government continues its illegal settlement activities in the occupied West Bank and in occupied East Jerusalem.Dr. Barghouthi added that Israel never even froze its settlement activities in Jerusalem and its suburbs, and is ongoing with the construction and expansion of settlements in the West Bank.
He further stated that settlers grabbed by force 130 Dunams of Palestinian farmlands that belong to residents of Qaryout village, south of the northern West Bank city of Nablus, and that they brought construction equipment to build homes.
Dr. Barghouthi also revealed that Israel is planning to build 3000 homes for Jewish settlers in the occupied West Bank and that settlers build, three days ago, a new illegal outpost on lands that belong to Al Baq’a village near the southern West Bank city of Hebron.
He considered Israel’s declaration of freezing settlement activities as a new scam that aims at deceiving the international community especially since the Israeli government approved last month the construction of 23 school rooms in eight West Bank settlements.
Over the past several months, Israel started the construction of 390 units in different West Bank settlements, and also built 223 units in addition to 167 mobile homes placed by the settlers.
Hundreds of units are currently being constructed in Beitar Ilit settlement, Yirkan settlement, Penze settlement and Shi’are Tikva.
Israel is currently building 40 units in Givat Zeev settlement, 24 in Mitzpe Yeriho, 22 in Ariel, 21 in Maaleh Adumin, 20 in Kfar Ezion, 18 in Kfar Adumim, 12 in Itamar, 11 in Eli, 9 in Oranit, 9 in Tzufim, 7 in Beitar Ilit, 6 in Elkna, 6 in Finuel, 5 in Eliezer, and 5 in Yakir.
Dr. Barghouthi said that heading to direct talks with Israel before it halts all of its settlement activities is a wrong decision under the current circumstances.