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Israel Approves Massive Colony Expansion

On Monday, the Israeli occupation authorities approved the construction of 5,623 new colonial settlement units in the occupied West Bank.

This moves comes in the midst of a nearly week-long wave of Israeli colonial settler violence against Palestinians that has included burning Palestinian villages, beating children, burning Muslim holy books, invading mosques and uprooting Palestinian olive trees.

The wave of violence has been condemned by the international community, including representatives of the French and US governments, who called on Israel to halt its illegal settlement expansion – which is illegal under international law.

Israel instead flaunted the worldwide condemnation, and moved to expand colonial settlements in different parts of the West Bank. The West Bank and Gaza Strip are the small portions of historic Palestine that remain belonging to the indigenous Palestinian population. They have been under Israeli military occupation since 1967, which has meant Israeli control of all land, sea and sky, all marriages and divorces, all births, deaths and other records. Palestinians must go to Israeli military bases to seek permits for hospitalization, travel, work and school. Since 1967, and particularly since the Oslo Accords in 1994, Israel has blatantly expanded its territory by forcibly expelling Palestinians from their land, and then building Jewish-only colonial settlements, moving Jewish Israelis onto the newly-seized lands, and building electrified fences and walls to secure the newly-declared colonial settlement.

Monday’s approval includes plans for the construction of 4,291 new settlement units which are already in an advanced stage of the planning and construction stages.

It also includes submitting 1,332 new building plans for approval.

According to the Israeli media, 1,000 new settlement units, more than what the occupation government had approved last week, have also been approved . They will be built in the “Eli” settlement built on citizens’ lands south of Nablus, to be added to the plans, according to an agreement between the Prime Minister of the occupation, Benjamin. Netanyahu, Defense Minister Yoav Gallant, and Finance Minister Bezalel Smotrich.

The plan to expand the ‘Eli’ settlement have been hotly contested by Palestinians, who held a non-violent protest on the hillside where the expansion is being planned for over a year, with many of the protesters brutalized, shot and teargassed by Israeli forces on a nearly daily basis.

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