West Bank: Israel approves 3,000 new settler homes

Feb 01, 2017, 7:22 AM EST
Jewish settlements in occupied West Bank.
(Source: SarahTz/flickr)

Apparently bolstered by a supportive U.S. administration, Israel approved the construction of 3,000 new homes in the occupied West Bank, an announcement that prompted immediate criticism from Palestinian officials. The approval came as Israeli forces launched an evacuation operation, evicting several hundred Jewish settlers from an illegal outpost built on private Palestinian land.

Palestine Liberation Organization (P.L.O.) Executive Committee member Hanan Ashrawi condemned Israel’s “frenzied escalation of an illegal enterprise,” adding that the step indicates a final end to the proposal of the two-state solution for resolving Israel-Palestinian conflict, writes the BBC.

The action in Amona comes after years of “foot-dragging and political controversy,” notes The Guardian. Benjamin Netanyahu has found it tough to seek a balance with the far-right pro-settler party Jewish Home and hardliners who opposed its demolition, both camps being a party of the leader’s narrow coalition.