Palestinian Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah, on Tuesday, issued a statement condemning Israel’s plan to support the illegal Kiryat Arba settlement, and Jewish settlers in Hebron, with an additional 50 million News Israeli Shekels (approximately 12,922,569 USD.)

“The continued expansion of illegal settlements and the substantial sums poured into their development shows that Israel’s purported support of a two-state solution is not credible,” Hamdallah said.

“Its only purpose is is to divert the international community from Israel’s true intention: making the creation of a Palestinian state impossible, and maintaining the brutal occupation of the Palestinians indefinitely.”

The announcement of the 50-million NIS plan, PNN further reports, comes shortly after the Israeli government approved the construction of 800 new housing units for settlers in East Jerusalem and Ma’aleh Adumim; a decision harshly criticized by both the European Union and the United Nations. The recently published report by the Middle East Quartet has also stated that the continuing expansion of settlements is one of the major obstacles to peace.

“Once again, the Israeli government’s support for the illegal settlements and their extremist inhabitants makes it clear who the aggressor is,” said Jamal Dajani, Director of Strategic Communication and Media at the Prime Minister’s Office.

“Israel tries to portray itself as a victim, when the real victims are the Palestinians. They are the ones who are having their land stolen, their future taken and who are being killed by violent settlers and trigger-happy soldiers,” he concluded.

As recently as March of 2015, shortly before his re-election, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said that he would not allow a Palestinian state, if re-elected, effectively reneging on his 2009 endorsement of a two-state solution.

During the 2013 Israeli-Palestinian peace talks led by US Secretary of State John Kerry, Israeli officials announced and, eventually, carried out in full force, plans to build thousands of additional homes in illegal settlements across the occupied West Bank, while continuing to further seize lands, demolish homes and agricultural resources and, thus, leaving scores of Palestinian families severely disenfranchised and without so much as a roof over their heads to shelter them from inclement weather.

Gazans were already surviving on a mere 8 hours per day of electricity when the Palestinian negotiating team finally resigned in protest, in mid-November. Israel, soon after, made quite clear its position on securing peace with Palestinians when Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu, during a meeting with young Likud Party supporters, boasted:

“I was threatened in Washington: ‘not one brick’ [of settlement construction] … after five years, we built a little more than one brick…”

Asked about ‘peace talks with the Palestinians”, the PM reportedly replied, according to +972 online Israeli magazine: “about the – what?” to which his audience responded with a round of chuckling.

Netanyahu also vowed, in recent days, that he would never allow the Palestinian people to have East Jerusalem as their future capital and pledged to build “thousands” of settler units across the city.

Also of interest: 07/11/16 Ramallah Lands Razed for Settlement Expansion

 07/07/16 Ramadan 2016: Harassment, Collective Punishment and Settlement Expansions in the Occupied West Bank