By Madeeha Araj
Since the Palestinians’ referral of the Israeli settlement crimes in the Palestinian territories occupied in 1967 to the International Criminal Court and their call for opening a judicial investigation regarding them as described by the Rome Statute of the Court, settlement expansion continues under the American support mostly in the international forums, institutions and organizations of the UN, and the international silence and the double standard policy used in our case, the Occupation Army Minister, Avigdor Lieberman announced his government’s approval to construct thousands of housing units in settlements scattered throughout the West Bank including Jerusalem, starting by 3,900 settlement units in more than 30 settlements, including Ariel, Ma’aleh Adumim, Kiryat Arba and Kfar Atzion next week.
In his statement Lieberman said, “We have pledged to double building in the West Bank, and new housing units will be approved next week by the Planning Council, to be built immediately in 2018.”
“Moreover, thousands of additional housing units will be built next month. We will build in from north to south, in large and small gatherings, and we will continue to settle and develop the West Bank, indeed, not words, he added.”
Israeli PM Netanyahu also announced that his government would continue settlement in the occupied Palestinian territories, he congratulated, Mayor of the Ma’aleh Adumim Settlement, Beny Ksriel, on the Israeli approval for the construction of hundreds of new settlement units in the settlement. Adding, we continue our efforts to develop Jewish settlements in Judea and Samaria, and we approve the construction of thousands of new settlement units, especially in the Ma’aleh Adumim settlement.
According to the National Bureau, the settlements included in the expansion and construction of the new settlement units are as follows: “Ariel 400 units, Maale Adumim 460, Maale Ephraim 45, Kiryat Arba 150, Alfe Menashe 40, Avni Hevitz 130, Hanita 80, Helmish 60, Talmon 180, Neve Daniel 170, Tiny-Omar 130.
Within the context, marketing of about 300 housing units has begun in the “Beit El Settlement” near Ramallah as part of “housing price project” led by Israeli Minister of Finance, Moshe Kahlon. The proect came following a decade of freezing settlement construction in Beit El. The price of housing is about 2% percent lower than the usual one. It was decided to build 296 housing units in 5 different locations in Beit El. This is the largest project in the settlement since the start of the “housing price project,” as 44 units were marketed yet.
The Supreme Planning Council in the so-called “Israeli Civil Administration” in the occupied territories, has approved the marketing of 300 housing units last Oct, as Netanyahu promised Rabbi, Zalman Mamlid, and residents of the settlement following the demolition of settlement buildings at the “Giv’at Hulbaneh outpost “.
On the other hand, mass expulsion order was issued by the Israeli High Court of Justice to demolish the Bedouin community in East Jerusalem, known as the Al-Khan Al-Ahmar and it Itarat School, and to deport its people to an area near Al-Azariya town. Worth mentioning that the Al-Khan Al-Ahmar is affiliated to the Al-Quds Governorate, it is bult in an area of about 150 donums, where about 35 families living in it i.e. about 190 people, and that the Itarat School is the only one in the region. It has 170 students of both sexes, and 16 staff.
The National Bureau considered the settlement escalation in the occupied West Bank as a war crime under the Rome Charter, adding such illegal Israeli policies and practices require the International Criminal Court to open an immediate and urgent criminal investigation to hold the Israeli leaders accountable for violating the international law and conventions.
Source: The National Bureau for Defending Land and Resisting Settlements