The Israeli Civil Administration Office in the occupied West Bank has officially approved “the advancement” of the recent decision made by the government of Benjamin Netanyahu to build thousands units for Jewish settlers in area E1, located between occupied East Jerusalem and the Ma’ale Adummim illegal settlement bloc.The project will now be published for the Israeli public for appeals before actual implementation starts.
The approved plan includes building a commercial center, educational facilities, and 2000 housing units for Jewish settlers.
Israel claimed that approving the new project came in response to the UN General Assembly vote that granted Palestine a nonmember state status.
Israel’s announcement of the new project pushed several countries around the world to criticize Tel Aviv for its plan that will only lead to further complications in the efforts to resume direct peace talks, and also stated that this project destroys the chances of achieving a two-state solution.
Israeli daily, Maariv, reported that Israel knows that the only stance that counts is the stance of the United States, therefore, Tel Aviv decided to ignore European condemnations and to only respond to US statements, adding that the E1 project is still in its planning stage, and its implementation can be stopped at any given moment.
Maariv added that senior political sources in Israel said that the Israel’s National Security Adviser, Ya’akov Amidror, stated that Israel is not interested in any tension in the relations with the United States, and that Netanyahu “is trying to contain the situation”.
The paper also said that senior Israeli officials informed the United States that Israel will not start the construction, and claimed that what happened is just an announcement and approval of the new construction project in its initial phase.
An Israeli official stated that Israel is “not interested in stopping the peace process”, adding that the strong European response condemning the new Israeli plan could push Israel to even halt its plan as Tel Aviv does not want a new diplomatic crisis with international countries, mainly its strongest ally and largest financial supporter, the United States.
The official claimed that the main issue is that Palestinian President, Mahmoud Abbas, does not want to resume peace talks with Israel despite the fact that he said that he will be willing to resume peace talks after obtaining the UN member status, and added that “Abbas, not Israel, is causing the impasse in peace talks”.
Despite international condemnations, the a subsidiary committee of the Regional Construction and Planning committee of the Israeli Civil Administration Office went ahead and discussed the new construction plan in E1, but Israeli sources claimed that this issue could take months or even years adding that “only the Israeli political leadership has the authority to determine when or if the constructions will actually start”.
There are dozens of Israeli settlements, including several settlement blocs, in the occupied West Bank, in the occupied West Bank, including in an around occupied East Jerusalem, and the number of Jewish settlers currently live there is more than half a million.
The new illegal Israeli plan includes the construction of more than 7500 apartments and hundreds of rooms in hotels Israel intends to construct in both the so-called E1 and the Givat Hamatos planned settlements in occupied East Jerusalem and on its southern border.
Meanwhile, the Palestinian President said that the Palestinian Authority will do whatever it can to block the illegal Israeli project using all available legal and diplomatic means; Israeli Ynet News reported.
Abbas said that the new Israeli plan is a Red Line and added that the Palestinian UN representative has contacted UN Secretary General, Ban Ki-moon, and the head of the UN Security Council to discuss the possibility of issuing a resolution against the recent illegal Israeli plan.
Furthermore, Chief Palestinian Negotiator and diplomatic aid to Abbas, Dr. Saeb Erekat, said that the United States should pressure Israel into voiding its new plan if it wants to avoid a Security Council decision on the issue.
By accepting the two-state solution, the Palestinian leadership recognized the state of Israel that was built on around %82 of the historic land of Palestine, while Israel continues to build and construct settlements in large areas of the remaining %18 where the Palestinian leadership is hoping to establish its state with occupied East Jerusalem as its capital.