The Israeli ministerial cabinet is planning to meet in the coming few days to approve the construction of more than 5,000 new colonialist units in the occupied West Bank, and an additional 500 units during the period in which Israeli far-right Finance Minister, colonialist settler Bezalel Smotrich continues his job as a minister in the Israeli government, headed by Benjamin Netanyahu.

A week earlier, the Israeli Ministerial Cabinet approved the expansion of colonies in the occupied West Bank, and today, Wednesday, an additional decision was made, according to which the “Higher Planning Council” will convene today and tomorrow to approve more than 5,300 colonialist units throughout the occupied territory.

The Council is also planning to approve the marketing of more than 500 additional colonialist units in the West Bank.

Furthermore, Israel plans to approve the construction of 186 units in Elon Moreh colony, more than 240 units in Kiryat Arba’, and 435 units in Neria (Talmon Tzafon ultra national colony).

Since the extremist Minister Smotrich took office in the Israeli Defense Ministry, a total of 21,700 settlement units have been approved for construction in the West Bank, in addition to 2,600 units that were approved for marketing.

That is, a total of more than 24,000 units have been approved in just a year and a half, compared to the years between 2001 and 2003, in which less than 20,000 settlement units were approved.

During the meeting of the so-called “Higher Planning Council,” several plans will be approved aiming at “retroactively legalizing illegal outposts” installed by fanatic colonizers on Palestinian lands without Israeli government approval.

Commenting on the plans, Smotrich said the decisions are part of Israel’s construction and development of colonies to prevent what he called the “threat of a Palestinian state,” and added, “Last week we submitted to the cabinet plans for the construction of five colonies in strategic areas, including the settlement of Avitar.”

He also stated that Israel intends to approve thousands of colonialist units after the confiscation of tens of thousands of Dunams of Palestinian lands, as part of a larger process “aimed at thwarting the attempts to establish a Palestinian state.”

In the statement a week earlier, EU leaders, said they reject and condemn the decisions and policies of the Israeli government to continue expanding illegal colonies in the West Bank and called on Israel to reverse these decisions.

All of Israel’s colonies in the occupied West Bank, including those in and around occupied East Jerusalem, are illegal under International Law, the Fourth Geneva Convention in addition to various United Nations and Security Council resolutions. They also constitute war crimes under International Law.

Article 49 of the Fourth Geneva Convention states: “The Occupying Power shall not deport or transfer parts of its own civilian population into the territory it occupies.” It also prohibits the “individual or mass forcible transfers, as well as deportations of protected persons from occupied territory”.