Published: Sun, December 30, 2018
Global News | By Blake Casey

France urges Israel to reconsider settler home approvals in West Bank

France urges Israel to reconsider settler home approvals in West Bank

Ziad al-Sharabati told Ma'an that he was threatened by three Israeli settlers as he was helping global activists who were escorting children to cross the al-Shuhada Street checkpoint on their way to their school.

The announcements this week by the Government of Israel to advance over 2,800 housing units in settlements in the West Bank are unacceptable and disappointing.

According to an N-G-O, the Peace Now, the decision was made by a high-level Israeli committee tasked with settlement projects.

"We'll see an attempt by the left-wing to overthrow our rule with the help of the media and others ..."

Israeli settlements are considered illegal under global law and major roadblocks to peace, as they are built on land Palestinians see as part of their future state.

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The settlements are an important issue among the right-wing constituency amid the ruling coalition's decision to dissolve the parliament and hold early elections.

Approximately 600,000 Israelis lived in more than 200 settlements in the occupied West Bank and East Jerusalem at the end of 2016, Israeli human rights group Btselem reported.

The Palestinian Authority (PA) says Israel stepped up settlement construction in east Jerusalem after U.S. President Donald Trump officially recognized Jerusalem as Israel's capital earlier this year. Settlements are one of the most heated issues in efforts to restart Israeli-Palestinian peace talks, frozen since 2014.

Israel's settlements in the occupied West Bank are a violation of the Fourth Geneva Convention, according to the United Nations, which forbids states from transferring their citizens to occupied land, as well as a presumptive war crime under the 1998 Statute of Rome that set up the International Criminal Court. Among the major sticking points in those negotiations was Israel's continued settlement expansion on Palestinian territories.

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