More Israeli settlements OK'd in Hebron, says watchdog

Lester Mason
October 16, 2017

Israel on Monday approved permits for 31 settler homes in Hebron, the first such green light for the flashpoint West Bank city since 2002 and part of a major increase in settlement activity, an NGO said.

The construction process, however, is not imminent as a bureaucratic process must still run its course.

U.S. President Donald Trump is more sympathetic to Israeli settlements there than the global community, which considers them illegal.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's right-wing coalition government leans heavily on settlers and their supporters to maintain its thin parliamentary majority.

However, Palestinian municiple authorities in Hebron said on Monday they meant to go to the Israeli supreme court to oppose the plan.

Still, settlement advocates say that despite a string of announcements for construction of thousands of settler homes in the West Bank, only a fraction might be built eventually.

According to United Nations documentation, Israeli occupation forces conducted 121 search and arrest operations across the West Bank and abducted 205 Palestinians, including nine children, between September 26 and October 9. Several hundred Israeli settlers live in the heart of Hebron under heavy military guard among some 200,000 Palestinians.

In addition to stealing olive harvest from farmers, many areas planted with olive trees are closed to farmers due to their proximity to Jewish settlements or fall behind the Israeli apartheid wall.

Hadar Horen, a spokeswoman for the Israeli body that runs civilian affairs in the West Bank, could not confirm the details issued by Peace Now and said the planning committee decision would be published later.

Other reports by Iphone Fresh

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