Activist countries

15 European countries denounce Israeli plans to build more than 4,000 new units for settlers in the West Bank

Fifteen European countries have expressed concern over the Israeli regime’s plans to build nearly 4,500 new illegal settler units in the occupied West Bank.

The move constitutes a flagrant violation of international law and stands in the way of a just and lasting solution to the decades-long Palestinian-Israeli conflict, the foreign ministries of France, Belgium, Denmark, Finland said. , Germany, Greece, Ireland and Italy. , Luxembourg, Malta, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Spain and Sweden.

“The new housing would be an additional obstacle to the [so-called] two-state solution. Israeli settlements are in clear violation of international law and stand in the way of a just, lasting and comprehensive peace” to the crisis, they said in a joint statement Friday.

This plan, together with the demolitions and evictions affecting Palestinian populations east of al-Quds and in Area C, directly threaten the viability of a future Palestinian state, the statement said.

They urged the Israeli authorities not to carry out any planned demolitions or evictions, especially in the Masafer Yatta area.

Peace Now, an Israeli anti-settlement organization, said on Thursday that the top planning committee of Israel’s so-called Civil Administration had given final approval to a total of 4,427 units, including 2,791 housing units and initial approval for 1,636 other units.

“This is bad news for Israel and it deepens the occupation, making it more difficult to achieve [the so-called] future peace,” said Hagit Ofran of Peace Now, referring to the prospect of a so-called two-state solution which has so far been hampered due to Israel’s expansionist policies, among other atrocities against the Palestinians.

“The approval of these construction plans in the settlements is a slap in the face, not only for the prospect of [the so-called] peace, but also to the possibility of future Palestinian economic development”.

Ofran also said it was “disappointing” that the current Israeli administration follows former Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s similar hostile policies against Palestinians.

Israeli settlers forcibly seize Palestinian-owned building in al-Khalil

Meanwhile, dozens of Israeli settlers took over a Palestinian building in the southern West Bank town of al-Khalil, located 30 kilometers (19 miles) south of al-Quds, on Friday , while they were flanked by Israeli soldiers.

Issa Amro, director of the activist group Youth Against Settlements, tweeted video from the scene showing extremist settlers carrying their belongings, including mattresses and suitcases, as they stormed the three-story building.

The official Palestinian Wafa news agency reported that the building belonged to local Palestinian resident Walid al-Ja’abri, and was being renovated when Israeli settlers stormed in.

Local sources also said that Israeli soldiers surrounded the building to prevent Palestinian residents from approaching the settlers.

Between 600,000 and 750,000 Israelis occupy more than 250 illegal settlements built since the 1967 occupation of Palestinian territories in the West Bank and eastern al-Quds.

The Palestinians want the West Bank to be part of a future independent Palestinian state, with al-Quds East as its capital.

The last round of Israeli-Palestinian talks collapsed in 2014, with the continued expansion of Israeli settlements emerging as a key sticking point.

All Israeli settlements are considered illegal under international law because they are built on occupied land.

The UN Security Council has time and again condemned the occupying regime’s diabolical settler-colonialist scheme in its countless resolutions.