The occupied West Bank and all the illegal settlements in it “soon become part of the State of Israel”, the head of the Jewish Home Party and Minister of Education in the Israeli government, Naftali Bennett, said yesterday.According to Hebrew news site 0404, Bennett’s statements came in response to the Israeli occupation forces’ evacuation of 15 houses in the settlement of Netiv HaAvot on a hill belonging to Palestinian civilians in the town of Al-Khader, west of occupied Bethlehem.
Bennett confirmed that the government had approved the establishment of a settlement in the area, adding that a huge neighbourhood will be built on this hill.
The demolition comes almost two years after the Israeli High Court of Justice first ruled that the buildings had been constructed on private Palestinian land. The court ordered that they be demolished by 8 March 2018, but granted a three-month delay to arrange temporary housing for the evicted settlers.
All settlements in the occupied West Bank and East Jerusalem are deemed illegal under international law. Israel’s continued settlement construction in the West Bank and East Jerusalem caused the failure of the last round of peace talks between Palestinians and Israelis.