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UK says new housing units in West Bank ‘unacceptable’

Alistair Burt, Britain's Minister for the Middle East [File photo]
Alistair Burt, Britain's Minister for the Middle East [File photo]

The Israeli government’s announcement to “advance over 2,800 housing units” in West Bank settlements is “unacceptable and disappointing,” a senior British minister said Thursday, says Anadolu Agency.

Minister for the Middle East Alistair Burt said:

Such actions are illegal under international law and call into question Israel’s commitment to any future peace agreement with the Palestinians.

The Israeli authorities have approved construction of hundreds of new Jewish-only settlement units in occupied East Jerusalem, according to local sources.

In a Thursday statement, Peace Now, a Tel Aviv-based NGO, said the Israeli authorities had approved construction of 2,191 new settlement units in East Jerusalem’s Givat Zeev settlement.

READ: France urges Israel to reconsider settler home approvals in West Bank

“We strongly urge Israel to cease such actions,” Burt added.

“Since the beginning of 2018, the government has approved construction of thousands of new Jewish-only settlement units,” said the statement from Peace Now.

According to Palestinian figures, roughly 640,000 Jewish settlers now live on 196 settlements (built with the Israeli government’s approval) and more than 200 settler outposts (built without its approval) across the occupied West Bank and East Jerusalem.

International law regards both the West Bank and East Jerusalem as “occupied territories” and considers all Jewish settlement-building activity there as illegal.

More Israeli settlements in Palestine - Cartoon [Sabaaneh/MiddleEastMonitor]

More Israeli settlements in Palestine – Cartoon [Sabaaneh/MiddleEastMonitor]

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