Tuesday, March 5, 2024

European states call on Israel to reverse plans to build new settler units

Six European countries have urged Israel to halt the expansion of its settlements in the occupied West Bank amid escalated tensions between Palestinians and Israelis.

In a joint statement on Saturday, Germany, France, Britain, Italy, Poland, and Spain said that the illegal entity should “reverse its recent decision to advance the construction of more than 7,000 settlement building units across the occupied West Bank and legalize settlement outposts.”

On February 15, the Israeli regime’s cabinet approved the construction of more than 7,000 illegal settler units in the Tel Aviv-occupied West Bank, with the Palestinian Information Center putting the exact number of the planned units at 7,032.

More than 600,000 Israelis live in over 230 settlements built since the 1967 Israeli occupation of the Palestinian territories of the West Bank and al-Quds.

All Israeli settlements are illegal under international law, and the United Nations Security Council has in several resolutions condemned Israel’s settlement activities in the occupied territories.

The joint statement came a day after the European Union’s envoy to the Palestinians called for accountability and for perpetrators to be brought to justice after illegal settlers went on a rampage centering on a village near the occupied West Bank city of Nablus.

Hundreds of armed Israeli settlers attacked Huwara and nearby villages on Sunday night and torched dozens of houses and cars. They had been angered at the killing of two Israeli brothers by a Palestinian gunman in Huwara.

One Palestinian was killed during the settler rampage and at least 390 others were injured, with Palestinian media reporting stabbings and attacks with metal rods and rocks.

The Israeli regime’s forces and settlers have escalated their deadly acts of aggression against the Palestinians since late December 2022, when Benjamin Netanyahu staged a comeback as the regime’s prime minister at the head of a cabinet of hard-right and ultra-Orthodox parties.

Since the start of the year, at least 68 Palestinians have been killed as a result of the violence, including five, who were killed by Israeli settlers’ gunfire, 13 children, four elderly people, and one prisoner.

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