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Israeli housing minister vows accelerated construction in key West Bank settlement

Former commander of the Israeli army's Southern Command, Maj. Gen. Yoav Galant
Former commander of the Israeli army's Southern Command, Maj. Gen. Yoav Galant

Israel’s Housing Minister has promised that the government will soon accelerate construction in Ma’ale Adumim, a key settlement located east of Jerusalem in the occupied West Bank.

Speaking during a visit to the settlement yesterday, cabinet member Yoav Galant claimed that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu had effectively enforced a “freeze” on construction in Ma’ale Adumim over the last seven years, as a “diplomatic decision”.

In fact, construction has continued in the settlement. On 29 August, the United Nations Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process listed 735 units in Ma’ale Adumim as among those advanced by the Israeli government just since 1 July this year.

According to the Jerusalem Post, Galant told Ma’ale Adumim residents that plans were in place for a construction bonanza in the settlement, for when building on that scale is allowed. Galant said he hoped that plans for such construction could move forward already by the end of the year.

The minister asserted that Ma’ale Adumim “is part of Israel and will remain part of Israel.”

All Israeli settlements established in the Occupied Palestinian Territories since 1967, including Ma’ale Adumim, are considered illegal under international law.

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