For Italy, France, Germany, the United Kingdom and Spain, this “is also a counterproductive move in light of the positive developments of the normalization agreements reached between Israel, the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain. We therefore call for an immediate halt to the construction of the settlements, as well as the evictions and demolitions of Palestinian structures in East Jerusalem and the West Bank ”.
The Israeli government approved another 2,700 housing units in settlements in the Palestinian Occupied Territories the day before yesterday, after deciding to legalize another 2,166 units that had already been built illegally, and thus received a retroactive green light.
Most of these homes are located in outlying areas of the West Bank, in territories that would probably not end up with Israel in a possible land swap in a peace agreement. Yesterday, the Israeli parliament ratified the “Abrahamic Agreements”, the normalization of relations between Israel and the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain.
The new green light for these quasi-residential units was welcomed with joy by the settlers who said they were “happy that the efforts have borne fruit: building in this area cannot be used as a bargaining chip in other issues or peace agreements”, wrote the Yesha Council which represents the more than 450,000 inhabitants of the settlements in the territories, surrounded by 2.7 million Palestinians.
“We ask for the complete green light for construction in Judea and Samaria (West Bank) in line with the development needs we have here”, added Yisrael Gantz, head of the Binyamin Regional Council, arguing that “building in Judea, Samaria and Binyamin must to be like everywhere in the country and not hindered by diplomatic restraints “.
According to the NGO “Peace Now”, over 12,000 housing units in the West Bank were approved in 2020, marking a record since the NGO began to take this into account in 2012. “While the legal annexation can be suspended , that in fact is clearly continuing “,