Hadash condemned on Thursday, January 21, the far-right Israeli government’s plans to build thousands of new housing units in its illegal settlements in the occupied Palestinian territories and called on it not to implement these plans. “Hadash condemns the recent decisions related to the construction of more than 2,500 new homes in the occupied West Bank and East Jerusalem settlements and nearly 1,300 homes in the settlement of Givat Hamatos in East Jerusalem,” the statement released by Hadash said.
On the eve of US President-elect Joe Biden’s inauguration on Wednesday, January 20, Israel announced tenders for new 2,572 housing units in the settlements. News of the tenders was reported late Tuesday night by Peace Now, which said that 2,112 of the homes were for seven settlements and another 460 were slated for the occupied east Jerusalem settlement of Pisgat Ze’ev. “Our out-of-touch government leadership continues to press on with its mad scramble to promote as much settlement activity as possible until the last minutes before the change of administrations in Washington,” Peace Now said.
In addition, the Palestinian Authority, France, Germany, Italy, Great Britain, Ireland, Egypt, the European Union and Jordan also condemned the ongoing Israeli settlement activity. The Palestinian President condemned the Israeli occupation authorities’ decision, with his spokesman, Nabil Abu Rudeineh, saying that the Israeli government is “racing against the clock to eliminate any remaining possibility of achieving a two-state solution by placing more obstacles in the way of the new US administration and obstructing any effort on part of the administration to resume the long-stymied peace process.” Abu Rudeineh added that, “The continuation of Netanyahu’s government with its settlement policy and theft of Palestinian land – with the support and bias of the [then] current US [Trump] administration – will not bring security and stability.”
The Palestinian spokesman reaffirmed that such colonial settlement construction decisions violate international law and United Nations resolutions, particularly UNSC 2334, and called on the international community, which has been vocal in its condemnation of the Israeli colonial settlement activity, to take a firm stance to pressure Israel into ceasing the enterprise. He stressed that if the new US administration wants to achieve security and stability in the region, it shall take a clear stance on the unbridled Israeli settlement construction policy, while reiterating that all the colonial settlements are illegal to international law.
UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said on Monday, January 18, that “settlement expansion increases the risk of confrontation, further undermines the right of the Palestinian people to self-determination, and further erodes the possibility of ending the occupation and establishing a contiguous and viable sovereign Palestinian state, based on the pre-1967 lines.” He urged Israel “to halt and reverse such decisions, which are a major obstacle to the achievement of the two-state solution, and a just, lasting and comprehensive peace.”