Israeli settlement building surges under Bennett’s government: Watchdog
Settlement construction rises by 62% in occupied West Bank, Peace Now says
Israeli settlement building in the occupied West Bank jumped under the government of Prime Minister Naftali Bennett, according to an Israeli watchdog on Saturday.
“We can see a 62% jump in construction starts in settlements with the entry of the new government, despite its promise that it would keep a status quo in everything regarding the occupation,” Peace Now, an anti-settlement group, said in a statement.
It said six new illegal outposts were built under the Bennett’s government in Hebron, Jericho, Bethlehem and the Jordan Valley.
“This government also furthered a number of strategically lethal plans that especially harm the chance for Palestinian development and continuity, the two-state solution, and reaching a political agreement,” it added.
On Monday, Bennett and his coalition partner, Foreign Minister Yair Lapid, announced an agreement to dissolve the Knesset (Israel’s Parliament) and go for early elections. It will be Israel’s fifth election in three-and-a-half years.
Israeli and Palestinian estimates indicate there are about 650,000 settlers living in 164 settlements and 116 outposts in the occupied West Bank.
Under international law, all Jewish settlements in the occupied territories are considered illegal.
* Writing by Bassel BarakatAnadolu Agency website contains only a portion of the news stories offered to subscribers in the AA News Broadcasting System (HAS), and in summarized form. Please contact us for subscription options.