Israel OKs nearly 300 new settler units in West Bank

The Israeli regime has approved the construction of nearly 300 new settler units in the occupied West Bank.

On Monday, Tel Aviv gave the green light to the construction of 272 settler units.

According to reports, 250 new settler units will be built in Ofra and Karnei Shomron, in the heart of the West Bank. Fifty three of the settler units have already been built without any permit in the area.

An Israeli official said that the initial approval for new buildings was given several months ago and added that the latest announcement was just a formality.

“What we’re seeing today is the implementation of a decision from October [2013],” the official said.

Anti-settlement group Peace Now criticized Israel’s latest move, saying Tel Aviv had the option of suspending settlement plans and giving the so-called peace talks between the Israelis and the Palestinian Authority (PA) a chance, but it chose to push ahead with the expansion of settlements.

The latest announcement came shortly after US Secretary of State John Kerry wrapped up his Middle East tour on Monday following four days of intense diplomacy, which failed to make any breakthrough in the so-called peace talks.

The US secretary of state had earlier urged the Israeli officials to refrain from taking any steps that would disrupt the negotiations, such as the construction of new settlements or the demolition of Palestinian homes.

The presence and continued expansion of Israeli settlements in occupied Palestine has created a major obstacle for the efforts to establish peace in the Middle East.

More than half a million Israelis live in over 120 illegal settlements built since Israel’s occupation of the Palestinian territories of the West Bank and East al-Quds in 1967.

The United Nations and most countries regard the Israeli settlements as illegal because the territories were captured by Israel in a war in 1967 and are hence subject to the Geneva Conventions, which forbids construction on occupied lands.

By Press TV


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