The first batch of building permits have been granted to Palestinian residents by the Palestinian Ministry of Local Government today in the northern Jordan Valley region of the occupied West Bank, reported Wafa news agency.
This step is seen as defying Israeli control of the occupied Jordan Valley and its plan to annex it, which was suspended allegedly as part of the normalisation agreement with the UAE, brokered by Washington, claims Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has denied.
Palestinian Minister of Local Government, Majdi Al-Saleh, said, "We are facing the Israeli occupation's plans with all the elements guaranteed to us by international laws and our right to this land, which we no longer recognise its classifications."
"We in the Ministry are building the foundations for the sovereign State of Palestine on its territory in accordance with the principles of the international humanitarian law, and in accordance with the signed agreements that give the Palestinian Authority the power to plan in its entire territory occupied since 1967."
The Jordan Valley makes up about one third of the total area of the occupied West Bank.
"We, in the Palestinian government, have developed a comprehensive plan for the Jordan Valley based on putting all available resources to strengthen the resilience of its citizens and strengthen their presence on their lands," added Al-Saleh, at a ceremony in the northern Jordan Valley village of Kardala while handing out the building permits.
He stressed that issuing these permits "is a right for us and our citizens, and we in the Ministry of Local Government are doing our job."
"These permits are a legal weapon in the hands of the citizens despite all the practices of the occupation and its condescending attitude toward the laws."