The Israeli Housing Ministry is advancing plans meant for the construction of 1500 new units in illegal Jewish settlements in the occupied West Bank and occupied East Jerusalem, in a move described as a “punishment to the Palestinian leadership for forming a unity government that includes Hamas”.400 of the newly approved units are planned to be built in the Ramat Shlomo illegal settlement, in occupied Jerusalem.

Israeli “Housing Minister”, Uri Ariel, stated that the new plans “are the fittest Zionist response” for what he called “forming a terrorist Palestinian government”.

The approval came about a week after settlement heads held a meeting with Israeli Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, demanding him to approve hundreds of units in Jewish settlements in the West Bank and Jerusalem.

Netanyahu approved their request, and stated he supports what he called “Israel’s right to build and expand its settlements”.

The approval is part of a series of measures Israel decided to take against the Palestinian Authority in an attempt to force the collapse of the new interim government.

Meanwhile, President Spokesperson Nabil Abu Rodeina strongly denounced the Israeli decision, and said the Israeli decision comes while the international community expressed support to the unity government.

The Palestinian official added that “Israel needs to realize its illegitimate policies are exposed, and strongly denounced, and warned that the Palestinian leadership will respond to these violations on the international arena.

Abu Rodeina further stated that all of the territories occupied by Israel in 1967 are Palestinian, Arab lands, and that Israel’s settlements are not only illegitimate, but also violate International Law and the Fourth Geneva Convention.

“Settlements are illegal, illegitimate and rejected,” he said, “There can be no peace with settlements”.