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PA warns of Israeli election used as cover for settlement expansion

A picture taken on January 17, 2017 from the Palestinian West Bank village of Hares shows illegal outposts in the Israeli Jewish settlement of Revava [JAAFAR ASHTIYEH/AFP via Getty Images]
A picture taken on January 17, 2017 from the Palestinian West Bank village of Hares shows illegal outposts in the Israeli Jewish settlement of Revava [JAAFAR ASHTIYEH/AFP via Getty Images]

The Palestinian Authority warned on Tuesday that the ongoing General Election campaign in Israel may be used by parliamentary candidates to encourage the building and expansion of illegal settlements. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Expatriates said that it is looking with suspicion at the "dangerous" use of campaigning for this purpose.

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

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

The ministry renewed its warning about the ongoing preparations by settlement groups and organisations, backed by right-wing and other extremist political factions, "which are planning to build dozens of settlement outposts in the occupied West Bank during the election campaign."

It named the Nachala Settlement Movement, a right-wing group which is proud that its main goal is the building of settlements. All Israeli settlements and so-called outposts are illegal under international law, and outposts themselves are even illegal under Israeli law.

Nevertheless, the Israeli government has decided to legalise the Mitzpe Dani settlement outpost which is being built east of Ramallah, and has approved a plan to add 114 new settlement housing units there. The decisions have been condemned by the PA.

The authority called for the international community to abide by its obligations contained in UN Security Council Resolution 2334, which criminalises illegal Israeli settlement in the occupied Palestinian territories.

READ: Israel legalises settlement outpost, expands it with 114 new housing units

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