Middle East

Israel eyes synagogues to consolidate West Bank settlements: PLO

Around 650,000 settlers live in 164 settlements and 116 outposts in occupied West Bank

Awad Rajoub   | 25.09.2021
Israel eyes synagogues to consolidate West Bank settlements: PLO

RAMALLAH, Palestine

The Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) warned Saturday of Israeli plans to consolidate its settlements in the occupied West Bank by building synagogues.

"In its continuous endeavor to consolidate settlements and strengthen its presence in the West Bank, including occupied Jerusalem, the occupation government and settlement councils intend to establish synagogues for Jews in many settlements and outposts," the PLO’s National Center for the Defense of Land said in a report.

The report warned that the construction of synagogues “will be part of the (Israeli) government's priorities plan."

It also said that Israeli authorities plan to allocate $6.25 million to 30 settlements and outposts on the ground of a shortage in the number of synagogues.

The PLO described the move as dangerous and will give “sanctity and a false religious dimension” to the policy of settlement building.

The PLO fears that the move will promote and strengthen settlements and restrict the Palestinian presence in the occupied West Bank.

Israeli and Palestinian estimates indicate that there are about 650,000 settlers in West Bank settlements, including occupied Jerusalem, living in 164 settlements and 116 outposts.

Under international law, all Jewish settlements in occupied territories are considered illegal.

*Writing by Ibrahim Mukhtar

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