The Israeli government has approved the building of thousands of racially segregated housing settlements in the occupied West Bank—6,000 for Jews only, and 700 for Palestinians only.
The approvals are for the West Bank’s Area C, which is under Israeli security and civilian control and where its settlements are located. It accounts for more than 60 percent of the West Bank, the Palestinian territory that would form part of a future Palestine state under the so-called two-state solution.
Settlements are illegal under international law and are major stumbling blocks to an Israeli-Palestinian peace agreement. They are built on land the Palestinians see as part of their future state.
More than 600,000 Jews live in settlements in the West Bank, including occupied East Jerusalem, all in an attempt to establish demographic control over the region which they call Judea and Samaria, and which has as its end aim the expulsion of the three million Palestinians who live there.
“No settlement or settler will be uprooted. That is over,” Netanyahu said during a tour of the Efrat settlement, just south of Bethlehem. “What you’re doing here is forever.”
Netanyahu told Efrat Mayor Oded Revivi, one of the few settler leaders to voice support for the new construction permits for Palestinians, that he would advance plans for a further 8,250 Jews-only housing units to be built in Efrat.