Israeli authorities have approved construction of more than 20,000 new settler units in the occupied West Bank in flagrant defiance of international law and a United Nations Security Council resolution against the Tel Aviv regime’s land-grab policies in the occupied Palestinian territories.
Palestinian Ma’an News Agency, citing some Hebrew-language news outlets, reported on Sunday that the units would be built in Maale Adumim urban settlement, located some seven kilometers east of East Jerusalem al-Quds.
It added that the provocative decision made after a “comprehensive development agreement” reached between Israel’s Ministry of Construction and Housing and the Maale Adumim authorities to construct fresh units in the settlement over the coming years.
Other reports also said that with the signing of the agreement, it would be possible to commence the building of 470 housing units, while the remaining ones, which make up over 19,500 units, are subjected to approval of political parties.
“We welcome the signing of the comprehensive agreement that will lead to the development and substantial increase in the population of Maale Adumim,” said Israeli Minister of Construction and Housing Yoav Galant on Sunday.
“We must continue to strengthen control of the Jerusalem area, from Maale Adumim in the east to Givat Zeev in the west, from Atarut in the north to the Bethlehem area and Rachel’s Tomb in the direction of Efrat and Gush Etzion, which are of historical, strategic and national importance,” he stressed
Maale Adumim is the third largest settlement in terms of population, occupying a large swath of land deep inside the West Bank’s Jerusalem al-Quds district.
Israel occupied the West Bank and East Jerusalem al-Quds during the Six-Day War in 1967. It later annexed East Jerusalem al-Quds in a move not recognized by the international community.
Ever since, Tel Aviv has been setting up settlements in the occupied territories and stepping up “security” measures in Jerusalem al-Quds. The Palestinians want its eastern part as the capital of a future Palestinian state.
During the past half century, some 600,000 Israeli settlers moved into settlements in the occupied Palestinian territory of the West Bank, in violation of international law.