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Israel approves building 20,000 settlement units in West Bank

View of a Jewish settlement on 4 October 2018 [Mostafa Alkharouf/Anadolu Agency]
View of a Jewish settlement on 4 October 2018 [Mostafa Alkharouf/Anadolu Agency]

Israel on Thursday approved the construction of 470 new settlement units in the illegal Israeli Jewish settlement of Ma’ale Adumim and is to approve 20,000 more units, Israel Hayom revealed.

The illegal settlement is located in the occupied Palestinian West Bank, close to the occupied holy city of Jerusalem.

According to the Israeli newspaper, “the comprehensive agreement, signed by the Construction and Housing Ministry Yoav Gallant and the Ma’ale Adumim municipality, permits construction to begin on 470 units that have already been given government approval.”

It also noted that an additional 20,000 units are to be built in the same settlement.

The total budget for this settlement project is 2.8 billion shekel ($756 million). The settlement’s municipality is to finance the construction of public institutions and the government has allocated 190 million shekels ($51 million) to the municipality for renovations.

Read: Israel tax funded group gives loans to build illegal settlements

The measure is planned to increase the number of Israeli Jewish settlers in the occupied West Bank. The agreement, Minister of Construction Yoav Galant said, would “lead to significant development and growth in the population of Ma’ale Adumim.”

Galant said that the agreement also included “public and educational institutions, synagogues, schools, parks, community centres and sports arenas.”

He added: “We must continue to establish [our] hold on the Jerusalem area, from Ma’ale Adumin in the east to Givat Zeev in the west, from Atarot in the north to the area of Bethlehem and Rachel’s Tomb to Efrat and Gush Etzion.”

He mentioned names of settlements in the occupied West Bank, claiming that these places were of “historic, strategic and of national importance” for Jews.

The right-wing Israeli minister stressed that the occupied West Bank is not a “negotiable asset” from a security perspective, the Israeli newspaper said, pointing out that these settlements would help protect Israel “from both known and unknown threats from the east”.

Read: Israel rules settlement construction can continue

He stressed: “We must continue to maintain full control over the West Bank and the Jordan Valley and bolster the settlements in these regions.”

Settlements are considered illegal by the international community and a violation of international law.

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