Joint List leader, MK Ayman Odeh (Hadash) has, in an interview with Al-Ittihad, attacked the Bennett-Lapid government for approving building in settlements in the occupied Palestinian territories, telling the Arabic-language communist daily, “The government has existed for less than two weeks and has already approved 31 building plans in the settlements.” Odeh went on to say, “The [Zionist] left is caving in to the right and is sidelining the diplomatic issue, but the right continues to sabotage prospects for peace and is deepening the occupation, the oppression and dispossession of millions of Palestinians.”
A Defense Ministry panel approved on Wednesday, June 23, new construction projects in several West Bank settlements, the first such move since the establishment of the new government headed by far-right Prime Minister Naftali Bennett. The Civil Administration’s High Planning Subcommittee gave the green light to 31 projects, including the building of a mall in Mishor Adumim, a special needs school in the settlement of Elkana, and synagogues and Jewish seminaries in Karnei Shomron and Kfar Adumim.
On Friday, June 25, the United Nations accused Israel of blatantly violating international law and called on it to halt the illegal expansions in settlements. According to Al-Ittihad, Antonio Guterres, UN Secretary-General and Tor Wennesland, UN Mideast envoy, cited Security Council resolution 2334 from December 2016 that declared the occupation’s settlements as having “no legal validity.”
“I again underscore, in no uncertain terms, that Israeli settlements constitute a flagrant violation of United Nations resolutions and international law,” Wennesland said. “They are a major obstacle to the achievement of a two-state solution and a just, long lasting and comprehensive peace. The advancement of all settlement activity must cease immediately.”