Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu stated that he gave the approval for the construction of 3,500 units in illegal Israeli colonies, in the E1 area between Ma’ale Adumim colony and occupied Jerusalem.

Netanyahu stated that the United States and its President D. Trump recognizes what he called “Israel’s sovereignty in the Jordan Valley of the occupied West Bank, the areas north of the Dead Sea, and in every part of the West Bank.”

Referring to the so-called “Deal of the Century,” Netanyahu stated that he has ordered the construction of 3500 units, in E1.

Netanyahu stated that he is reviving larger construction and expansion plans of the colonies in the occupied West Bank, a move that is meant to prevent any continuity of a future Palestinian state, and only aims at more annexation of Palestinian lands, and more construction of colonies, in direct violation of International Law, the Fourth Geneva Convention, and various United Nations and Security Council resolutions.

The Israeli Prime Minister also reiterated the demand that the Palestinians must recognize what he called the “unified Jerusalem,” as the capital of Israel – thereby nullifying any Palestinian claim to the city. He demanded that the Palestinians agree to what he called “disarming Hamas, stopping incitement and implementing a democratic constitution.

In response to Netanyahu’s declaration of expansion of Israeli colonies, Dr. Saeb Erekat, Chief Palestinian Negotiator, and Secretary-General of the Palestine Liberation Organization, stated that Netanyahu’s announcement of massive colony expansion is unprecedented, and is a direct result of Netanyahu’s meeting with U.S. Ambassador Friedman in which the two consulted over which Palestinian land would next be taken by force and annexed into Israel.

In addition, Netanyahu’s government declared that 1,000 new Israeli-only colonial settlement units would be constructed in the settlement of Givat Hamtos, south of Jerusalem. And Netanyahu announced a plan to construct another 5,200 colonial settlement units in East Jerusalem.

On his part, member of the Executive Committee of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO), Ahmad Majdalani, said Netanyahu’s approval of the new colonies in part of the election campaign in Israel, which is always accompanied by more bloodshed and more illegal annexation of Palestinian lands.

He added that Netanyahu is emboldened by the stances of President Trump, especially the political support the US President provides to Netanyahu, his illegal annexations and violations.

The Palestinian official also welcomed the international condemnation of the Israeli violations in the West Bank, including Jerusalem, and added that the countries that recognize the two-state solution must act accordingly, and must take decisive and punitive measures against Israel for its escalating violations.