Israel plans most settlement homes since 1992: minister

Lance Nichols
June 13, 2017

Settlements are considered illegal under global law and are seen as a major obstacle to peace and the so-called two state solution - the creation of an independent Palestinian state alongside Israel.

Against UN Resolutions and peace efforts, Israel has approved the construction of the largest illegal settlement in the West Bank in 25 years. Out of these, 3,066 have been given final approval and will soon be built.

Stern's bill emulates the Taylor Force Act, a 2016 United States legislative bill sponsored by Republican Senator Lindsey Graham (South Carolina), which proposes to halt American economic aid to the PA until the latter changes its legislation regarding the transfer of funds to Palestinian security prisoners and family members, and families of terrorists who died committing attacks.

Defence Minister Avigdor Lieberman made the comments as Israel's government faced mounting pressure from leaders of the settlement movement, who wield heavy influence in Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's right-wing coalition.

"The numbers for the first half of 2017 are the highest since 1992", Lieberman said, as cited by local media and news agencies.

The figures were similar to those published by settlement watchdog Peace Now last week.

This is the most controversial step by Israel as the construction of settlements in the region is considered illegal under global law.

Over 60 attendees, including staff from at least 36 congressional offices, joined human rights advocates on Capitol Hill on Thursday, for a briefing to mark 50 years since the Israeli military occupied the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, and the Gaza Strip. Last month, Trump visited Israel and the Palestinian territories, meeting both Netanyahu and Abbas as he seeks what he has called the "ultimate deal".

Global law views the West Bank and East Jerusalem as occupied territories and considers all Jewish settlement-building activity on the land illegal.

On Tuesday, the premier told settlers he would keep building across the West Bank.

Other reports by TheDigitalNewspaper

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