The National Office for Defending Land and Resisting Settlement said on Saturday that the occupied West Bank, including East Jerusalem, has witnessed since the beginning of 2017 an unprecedented settlement building that is the largest in 25 years as admitted by the Israeli minister of war Avigdor Lieberman.
The Office explained in its weekly report that Lieberman stated that the number of permits issued for the settlement construction in the West Bank during the first half of 2017 is the highest since 1992.
Lieberman pointed out that the Israeli government approved building 3,651 settlement units earlier in June, 671 of whom are under construction. He added that in total, the construction of 3,066 settlement units out of 8,345 approved since the beginning of 2017 has started.
According to Lieberman, this comes in conjunction with Israeli schemes to increase the number of settlers in the West Bank to reduce the overcrowding in the 1948 occupied Palestinian territories.
The report noted that the Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu repeated his old-new talk during his meeting with the US ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley about implementing the Dutch-Belgian border arrangement, under which citizens of one country live in enclaves within the other, to enable Jewish settlers in the West Bank to remain under Israeli sovereignty inside a future Palestinian state.
Netanyahu had proposed such ideas in 2014 in talks led by the US Secretary of State at the time John Kerry. Speaking to the Knesset on Tuesday, Netanyahu said that the settlements would not be evacuated in any future agreement with the Palestinians.
(Source / 17.06.2017)