Cranes are seen over construction sites in the West Bank settlement of Modiin Illit in the occupied Palestinian territories. (File photo)
Mon Feb 11, 2013 9:43AM GMT
Israel has announced plans to build 90 more settler units in the occupied West Bank despite widespread international criticism over the construction of settlements in Palestinian territories.
The plans, signed by Israeli Minister for Military Affairs Ehud Barak in August 2012, received final approval on Sunday by the Civil Administration’s planning committee, and the construction of the new settler units would begin within the next few days.
On Sunday, the Israeli Ministry for Military Affairs approved the construction of 346 new settler units in two settlements in the southern West Bank. Two hundred units will be built in Tekoa settlements while the rest will be constructed in Nokdim.
The two settlements are located in the Gush Etzion bloc, south of East al-Quds (Jerusalem). Late last year, the Israeli ministry approved plans for the construction of another 523 settler units in another part of Gush Etzion.
The Israeli settlements are considered illegal by the UN and most countries because those territories were captured by Israel in a 1967 war, and are thus seen as being subject to the Geneva Conventions, which forbid construction on occupied lands.
More than half a million Israelis live in more than 120 settlements built since the 1967 Israeli occupation of the West Bank and East al-Quds (Jerusalem).
Earlier, Israeli officials said they would go ahead with plans to construct 6,000 settler units on the Palestinian lands despite rebukes from the United Nations and the international community.
Many countries, including some of Tel Aviv’s allies, have condemned the latest Israeli plans to construct the illegal settler units in the occupied Palestinian territories.