A Palestinian specialist in settlement affairs has claimed that America's use of its veto in the UN Security Council last month has led to a rise in the rate of settlement construction in the occupied Palestinian territories. It has, said Abdul Hadi Hantash, increased by more than 60%.
"The US veto gave a green light to the Israelis to push ahead with their illegal settlement policy and to escalate the attacks by Jewish settlers against Palestinians and their property," he added.
According to Mr. Hantash, America's use of the veto in a Security Council vote on Israel for the first time under President Obama has become "the basic support for Israel to impose new settlement facts on the grounds". He pointed out that the settlers do not bear sole responsibility for the escalation; the government of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu must be blamed as well, because of its systematic coordination between the settlers and the occupation forces to raise the pace of settlement activities.
The Central Bureau of Statistic in Tel Aviv issued official data stating that since the partial settlement freeze came to an end nearly five months ago, the pace of settlement construction in the West Bank increased four times compared to the period of the supposed halt in such activity.