Many observers attribute the recent uptick in violence to a July arson attack in the West Bank by suspected Jewish settlers that killed an 18-month-old Palestinian child and his parents.
Israel’s Ministry of Housing is working on plans for more than 55,500 units in West Bank settlements, according to a new Peace Now report.
Settlement construction in both of these locations would, in effect, sever a future Palestinian state from East Jerusalem, and make a negotiated two-state solution impossible.
“For these reasons, whenever an Israeli leader tries to promote the plans in E1, the worldwide community strongly condemns them”, Peace Now wrote.
The US, UN and European Union oppose all Israeli settlement building but have particular concerns about plans for E1.
The Peace Now group says it has obtained official documents through Israel’s freedom of information laws that show the housing ministry secretly hired architects plan homes in the E1 area of the West Bank, despite the project’s cancellation in 2013 under worldwide pressure.
A research centre affiliated to the PLO has revealed that the Israeli occupation authorities destroyed 478 Palestinian buildings and other facilities during 2015.
Israeli authorities Tuesday issued a military order to take over 500 dunums of Palestinian land located to the south of Nablus, according to local sources. The latest round of US-brokered peace talks collapsed in April 2014.
Today, some 380,000 Israelis live in 135 West Bank settlements, with another 200,000 in east Jerusalem.
It later annexed east Jerusalem in a move never recognised by the global community.
Meanwhile, a Palestinian wounded at the Gaza border in clashes with the Israeli army last week died early Monday from his injuries, the Gaza health ministry said. At least 129 Palestinians have died in the same period, of whom 89 Israel says were attacking or attempting to attack Israelis.
The Defense Ministry permits the return of bodies of terrorists killed at the scene by Israeli security forces on the condition that the funerals do not become mass gatherings, for fear that they will descend into violence.
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