Israel approves 300 new West Bank settlement homes after Amona demolition order
AFP Photo/Menahem Kahana
The Israeli governmentis set to approve construction of nearly 300 new housing units near the West Bank settlement of Shilo, situated between Nabulus and Ramallah, in an apparent compensation for a Supreme Court ruling ordering the eviction and demolition of the wildcat Jewish settlement of Amona.
An initial 98 units were approved by Israel's Civil Administration’s Planning Authority on Wednesday, with another 200 units set to be okayed by the authority in a second stage of construction, a report by Israel's Channel 2 news said.
After repeated delays, the Supreme Court ordered the eviction about 40 families from Amona and the demolition of their homes by December 25 this year after a successful petition by Palestinians that the outpost was illegally built on privately owned lands.
Settlement watchgod Peace Now slammed the decision, saying it is especially unfitting at a time when Israel and the world have come together to celebrate the peace-building efforts of the late Israeli Prime Minister Shimon Peres.
"At a time when world leaders met to commemorate Shimon Peres and the way he advocated for peace, the Israeli government has created a new obstacle to a two-state solution," a Peace Now spokeswoman said.
Peres, 93, died on Wednesday and was buried on Friday at a Jerusalem ceremony attended by many world leaders including President Barack Obama of the United States, which has tried to broker new Israeli-Palestinian peace talks.
The United States and European Union have warned that the expansion of Israeli settlements in the West bank is counterproductive towards the possibility of a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, and many analysts say it contributes to the frustration of Palestinian youths who have carried out knife, gun and car-ramming attacks in recent months.
Before Peres was celebrated as one of the architects of the Oslo Accords, which envisioned an independent Palestinian state, he had been an early proponent of settlement expansion in the West Bank.
More than 370,000 Israeli settlers now live across the West Bank, compared to around 2.6 million Palestinians.
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Just an excuse to attack Jews and reject peace Michael. There were zero, zilch, settlements pre-67 so continue to delude yourself that this conflict is about land.
great news. building new homes on jewish soil for homeless jews. what a refreshing idea.
Great news for homeless jews.
Under Article 8(2)(b)(viii) of the 1998 ICC Statute, “[t]he transfer, directly or indirectly, by the Occupying Power of parts of its own civilian population into the territory it occupies” constitutes a war crime in international armed conflicts. The West Bank is occupied. Approving construction for housing of Israeli citizens is indirectly!