The “Construction and Planning Committee” of the Jerusalem Municipality decided Tuesday to build 700 units for Israeli settlers in the Gilo illegal settlement, in occupied East Jerusalem. Member of the Jerusalem City Council, Elisha Peleg, stated that the municipality recently approved a plan to construct hundreds of new residential units in Jewish settlements in the area.

Peleg added that “the Construction and Planning Committee approved a plan to build 900 units in Gilo settlement”. There are more than 40.000 Israeli settlers living in Gilo.

Gilo was built on privately-owned Palestinian lands occupied by Israel in 1967, and was annexed to the Jerusalem district.

Peleg added that “there is no difference between Gilo and any other part of Jerusalem”, and that Israel “has the right to build anywhere it wants”.

The new construction plan still requires the approval of the Israeli Ministry of Interior and will likely be implemented within a year or two, the Times Live reported.

All settlements in the occupied territories, including in occupied East Jerusalem, are built in direct violation of the International Law and the Fourth Geneva Convention as “an occupying power cannot move all or part of its population into areas it occupies”.

Israel’s ongoing construction and expansion of settlements in the West Bank and East Jerusalem was one of the main issues that pushed the Palestinian Authority to withdraw from peace talks with Israel.

Israel’s refusal to hold talks core issues, such as borders, the refugees and the future of Jerusalem, in addition to the ongoing invasions into Palestinian communities in the West Bank, the demolishing of homes and settler takeover of Palestinian homes in Jerusalem, pushed the Palestinian Authority to halt peace talks with Israel.

There are more than 500.000 Jewish settlers living in the occupied West Bank and in occupied East Jerusalem.