World, Middle East

Saudi Arabia slams Israel over illegal housing construction

Riyadh strongly condemns Tel Aviv over move to build 800 new settlement units in occupied West Bank

Ali Semerci   | 13.01.2021
Saudi Arabia slams Israel over illegal housing construction Israeli forces intervene in Palestinians with tear gas during a protest against Israeli settlements in Deir Jarir, Ramallah, West Bank on January 08, 2021. ( Issam Rimawi - Anadolu Agency )

ISTANBUL 

Saudi Arabia on Tuesday strongly condemned Israel's decision to build 800 new settlement units in Palestine’s occupied West Bank. 

In a written statement, the Foreign Ministry noted that Saudi Arabia strongly rejects the step, which is “a new violation of international decisions of legitimacy, a threat to peace and undermines efforts for a two-state solution.”

On Monday, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu welcomed the construction of the 800 Jewish settler homes.

"We are happy to announce today that 800 new apartments have been built in Judea and Samaria,” Netanyahu tweeted, using the Jewish words for the West Bank. “We are here to stay [so that] we continue to build the Land of Israel."

The move comes ahead of the inauguration of US President-elect Joe Biden on Jan. 20.

Notably, outgoing US President Donald Trump has supported Israeli settlement activity in the West Bank, while Biden has voiced opposition to such activity during his electoral campaign.

The West Bank, including East Jerusalem, is regarded as "occupied territory" under international law, making all Jewish settlements there illegal.

*Writing by Burak Dag

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