Hawzah News Agency (Occupied Palestine) - Israeli media said plans were revived for the construction of some 1,600 settler units in the Givat Hamatos of East Jerusalem al-Quds on Sunday night.
The neighborhood, where the new units are to be built, is located on the other side of the pre-1967 borders, or the so-called Green Line, meaning that the location is part of the territory that Palestinians want as a future independent state.
Israel has for long been building settlements in such territory in an attempt to dim chances for the establishment of any future Palestinian state. The administration of former US president Barack Obama had been at odds with Tel Aviv over such construction.
The United Nations Security Council (UNSC) last year approved a resolution that calls on Israel to immediately and completely cease all settlement activities on occupied Palestinian territory, including the West Bank, where East Jerusalem al-Quds is located.
The passing of that resolution was made possible by the US’s uncharacteristic decision to abstain and not veto the document. All the other 14 members of the UNSC voted for the resolution.
The new US administration, of President Donald Trump, has denounced the passing of that resolution and has hinted several times that it supports Jerusalem al-Quds as the “capital” of Israel.
In February this year, however, Trump mildly toned down his support for the settlements.
“I’d like to see you hold back on settlements for a little bit,” Trump told a visiting Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu back then.
But Israel has ignored that call. In April, the regime approved a first settlement in the occupied West Bank in 20 years. That settlement is now being built deep into Palestinian territory, near the city of Ramallah.
The units being constructed in Givat Hamatos could cut East Jerusalem off from neighboring Bethlehem. The reviving of the construction plans there are certain to draw reactions from Palestinian officials.
Europe, too, is strongly opposed to Israel’s construction of settlements in Palestinian territory, seeing it as an attempt at sabotaging the so-called two-state solution.
Over 230 settlements have been built since the 1967 Israeli occupation of the Palestinian territories of the West Bank.
Palestinians want the territory that they held before the 1967 war as part of a would-be Palestinian state.