RNA - Since Trump took power, the number of new homes approved for construction in illegal Israeli settlements tripled, the AFP reported on Friday, citing Peace Now, an Israeli nonprofit group that opposes the settlements.
The nonprofit group also said around 20,000 new settlement housing units were constructed under the decade-long rule of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
The outpost of Kedem Arav is believed to be the first Israeli settlement of the Trump era, and one of dozens built during Netanyahu’s rule, the AFP reported.
More than 600,000 Israelis live in over 230 settlements built since the 1967 Israeli occupation of the West Bank. All Israeli settlements are illegal under international law.
The so-called Trump peace plan, which Zionists describe as the “deal of the century”, was announced by the US president on January 28.
The plan recognizes Jerusalem al-Quds as “Israel’s undivided capital” and allows the regime to annex settlements in the occupied West Bank and the Jordan Valley, among other controversial terms.
Naftali Bennett, Israel’s far-right minister of military affairs, this week announced the approval of nearly 1,800 new settler units in the occupied West Bank.
Netanyahu also announced earlier this month that he had lifted restrictions on the construction of the controversial Givat Hamatos neighborhood in East al-Quds, which the Palestinians want as the capital of their future state. He said 3,000 settlers units would be built in the area.
The new construction permits are apparently aimed at securing votes for scandal-hit Netanyahu ahead of upcoming elections.
The approvals have prompted widespread criticism even among Israel’s close allies in Europe, with German, French, Spanish, Italian, Swedish, Irish, Dutch, and British ambassadors to Tel Aviv communicating their objections.
German Ambassador Susanne Wasum-Rainer wrote in a tweet that she and the other envoys had conveyed “their grave concern about announcements of the Israeli authorities regarding new settlement units”.