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Peace Now criticises Netanyahu’s decision to build new settlement units

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s approval of the construction of hundreds of housing units in the West Bank and East Jerusalem reflects submission to settlers’ blackmail, Israeli movement Peace Now said.

The group, which follows settler activity in the Palestinian Territories, said in a press statement that by announcing that he approved the construction of 300 new housing units in the Beit El settlement, near Ramallah, and new plans for housing units in East Jerusalem, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is once again giving in to settlers’ blackmail at the expense of Israeli citizens.
It added that what is happening today proves that Netanyahu works against the interests of the majority of Israelis who realise that exercising hegemony over millions of Palestinians and allocating large funds to settlements threatens Israel’s future.

According to the Israeli public radio, the new units in Jerusalem will be built in the settlements of Pisget Ze’ev and Ramot in the north of Jerusalem and Gilo and Harhoma in the south of the city.

The decision comes after an Israeli High Court decision to demolish two buildings established by settlers on confiscated Palestinian land in Beit El.

The Israeli newspaper Haaretz reported that the buildings will be demolished today in line with the court’s ruling.

The Israeli government appealed the ruling after clashes occurred between settlers and Israeli police and army forces.

The ruling came after a petition by the land owners through Yesh Din, an Israeli non-profit rights organisation.

Israeli police spokeswoman Luba Samri said nine settlers were arrested for attacking police personnel and border guards during clashes between settlers and police forces following the court ruling.

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