Israel Publishes Plans For New Settlement Units in West Bank
IMEMC – The Israeli government published plans for the construction of additional 170 units, and 84 “guestroom”, for Jewish settlers in Rote m illegal settlement, in the Jordan valley, Hagit Ofran of Israel’s Peace Now movement said.
Ofran stated that the construction have been previously authorized by Israel, and that what have been declared recently is the construction plan.
Construction maps were submitted last week for review; they include 200 homes (30 have already been built), in addition to construction plans for 84 “guestrooms”.
Ofran further stated that the Israeli public has 60 days for file objections, and that after all objections, if any, have been reviewed, the Construction and Planning Committee will be deciding whether to approve or reject the plan (although a rejection is a rare occurrence).
The Rotem settlement in the Jordan village is located in “Area C” in the occupied West Bank; the area under the Oslo peace deals is under “Israeli civil and military control”.
There are numerous calls by Israeli right wing parties demanding the Israeli government to “annex” area C (%60 of the occupied West Bank) to regard it as “part of the state of Israel”.
After the Palestinians managed to obtain an observer state status at the United Nations General Assembly in November of last year, the Israeli government decided “to punish” them by tripling its illegal settlement activities in the occupied territories, in addition to continuing to block the transfer of tax money Israel collects on behalf of the Palestinian Authority on border terminals (around $150 a month as part of previous agreements between Israel and the P.A).
The International Law does not recognize settlements and considers them illegal; this includes settlements built in and around occupied East Jerusalem.
Several countries around the world, mainly in Europe, denounced Israel settlements plans, especially Israel’s illegal E1 settlement project that aims at building thousands of units for Jewish settlers in occupied East Jerusalem and the occupied West Bank.
The United States found is “suffice” to declare that the Israel plan was “counterproductive”, and called on both Israel and the Palestinians to “refrain from conducting unilateral moves that obstruct the efforts to resume direct peace talks”
E1 would effectively kill the chances of a “two-state solution” as Israel’s settlement are blocking any geographical contiguity between the Palestinian communities, and the new E1 project would split the West Bank into two parts, and would completely isolate Palestinian communities in East Jerusalem from the rest of the occupied West Bank.