Israel plans 4,000 new settler units 

May 8, 2022 - 18:40

Defying international law once again, Israeli occupation authorities plan to build around four thousand new settlement units in two areas across the occupied Palestinian West Bank. 

The regime’s announcement of approving the planning and building of 3,988 settler units has alarmed human rights organizations and the international community; not for the first time. 

An official with the Tel Aviv regime claims there is a "growing need" for settlements as the Israeli settlers increase in occupied Palestine in the latest bid to ethnically cleansed the Palestinian natives from their land.

More than half a million Israeli settlers live in the occupied Palestinian territories, “with many more even wanting to move there”, the Israeli official added.

The regime’s Planning Council for the occupied West Bank is set to give its final approval for building 2,536 new settler units and approve plans for an additional 1,452 settlement units.

The 2,536 settlement units are said to include 761 units for the Beitar Illit settlement, 534 units for Shvuet Rachel, 364 for Dolev, 168 for Neria, 156 for Kiryat Arba, 136 for Givat Ze'ev, 114 for Ma'aleh Michmash, 106 for Tal Menashe, 92 for Zofim, 64 for Revava and 40 for Efrat.

Meanwhile, the 1,452 settlement units include 500 units for the Elkana settlement, 286 units for Kedumim, 192 for Sha'are Tikvah, 170 for Immanuel, and 110 for Mevo Horon, 90 for Dolev, 56 for Negahot, 32 for Nokdim and 16 for Ma'aleh Adumim.

Regime officials say initial intentions were to advance plans for close to 6,000 settler units but were told to cut around 1,800-2,000.

Qatar has been among the latest country to condemn the motion calling on the international community to act urgently to prevent the occupation authorities from approving the plans and forcing them to stop their settlement policies in the Palestinian territories.

Israel has reportedly told its top ally the U.S. that this measure would likely shore up Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett's fragile coalition ahead of the return of the Knesset from the summer session.

Israeli settlements and their expansion in the occupied territories are illegal under international law, yet the regime continues to violate the UN charter.

This comes on the backdrop of an Israeli decision last week to uphold an expulsion order that would force at least 1,000 Palestinians out of their ancestral homes in the occupied southern West Bank where they have been residing for decades.

It is yet another example of the many methods Israel uses in its ethnic cleansing policies of the Palestinians, the most popular of which is violence against the Palestinians. 

According to a publication by Doctors Without Borders In the occupied West Bank “systematic repression and discrimination by Israeli authorities against Palestinians continue, with home demolitions, forced relocations, and violence on the rise.”

“For many people, such experiences have long-term consequences, particularly when they come on top of pre-existing trauma from previous episodes of violence.” the international medical NGO added. 

Meanwhile, the regime has demolished more Palestinian property.
This time the demolition (which normally occurs around dawn) took place in the occupied village of Silat al-Khartiyeh, with heavily armed Israeli troops raiding the village and setting off explosives to raze the family home to the ground. 

Angry local residents came out in protest and threw stones at the regime troops who responded with live rounds and tear gas. According to Palestinian medics, at least three Palestinians have been injured by live fire and others sustained injuries from tear gas inhalation.

Such demolitions have been strongly denounced by rights groups as collective punishment, yet the regime's forces carry them out on a routine basis. 

On many occasions, the regime claims the property was built without a permit but Palestinians argue Israel makes it practically impossible to obtain the necessary permits to build a home. 

Tensions have been high in the occupied Palestinian territories recently as regime forces heavily crackdown on Palestinians killing at least 30 and injuring hundreds more. 

Most of those killed and injured had been protesters who were attacked by Israeli troops across the occupied territories, in particular, Jenin and Jerusalem (al-Quds) where the regime has been regularly attacking worshippers brutally inside the Al-Aqsa Mosque and its compounds in the occupied city of Jerusalem (al-Quds) triggering protests by men, women, children and the elderly. 

A smaller proportion of the casualties have occurred when Palestinians were shot dead after carrying out retaliatory attacks on Israeli forces and settlers in response to the regime’s desecration of the holy al-Aqsa site. 

Rights groups say Israel often uses unnecessary excessive force against unarmed Palestinians, lately documenting the murder of an unarmed woman and two bystanders during the regime’s military offensives in the occupied territories. 

The retaliatory Palestinian operations have also grown over the past six weeks, mostly including lone-wolf attacks against Israeli forces and settlers that have left around 18 dead. 

Israeli media pundits have called on the regime to respond by assassinating high-ranking officials belonging to Hamas in the besieged Gaza Strip, particularly the Gaza-based Palestinian government’s top leader Yahya Sinwar.

Israeli officials including Knesset members, former military officials, and the media have also been calling for the assassination of Sinwar in response to the retaliatory operation carried out in the Israeli settlement of Elad near Tel Aviv on Thursday, in which three Israeli settlers were left dead.

Some of them even took those threats to social media with members of the Knesset Itamar Ben-Gvir calling on the regime to bomb the house of Sinwar.

Ben-Gvir said “the Air Force planes must now launch missiles at the house of Yahya Sinwar, who called for attacks with weapons and axes, and to assassinate him,”

Abu Obeida, the spokesman for the al-Qassam Brigades, the military wing of the Hamas, has hit back warning the Israeli occupation against such a move on the Hamas leader.

In a statement, Abu Obeida said: "we warn the enemy of an unprecedented response, and sword of al-Quds battle will be a normal event, compared to what [the occupation regime] will witness."

Abu Obeida added, "whoever takes the decision to harm Sinwar writes a catastrophic chapter in the history of the entity, and commits a folly for which he will pay dearly."

Last year, the Palestinian resistance in the besieged Gaza Strip launched operation sword of al-Quds after Israeli forces intensified their attacks on worshippers inside the al-Aqsa mosque. 

The eleven-day battle saw some 4,000 Palestinian missiles target Israeli targets which shocked the regime. 

In a speech last week, Sinwar called on the Palestinians in the occupied West Bank and the Palestinian territories inside the occupied land to "launch attacks with firearms, and with knives if this is not possible", in response to the recent Israeli violations of Al-Aqsa Mosque.

Reports have also emerged about recent contacts taking place between Hamas movement and mediators, focusing on the matter of "stopping the [Israeli] attacks on Al-Aqsa Mosque."  

The movement is said to have conveyed to the Egyptian mediators a warning to Israel, stating that it "is not indifferent to the occupation's threats to assassinate its leaders," warning that "the price of such foolishness is known to the enemy," and it means explosive operations inside the occupied land.

According to reports, Hamas had demanded through the mediators "the occupation's retreat from the incursions into al-Aqsa Mosque, and the return of the situation to what it was in 2000."

Hamas is reported to have told the mediators the Palestinian resistance “will burn the cities of the center, and will direct massive missile strikes against Gush Dan and Tel Aviv, beyond the enemy's imagination if it implements its threats."

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