Egypt condemned, on Tuesday, the Israeli government’s approval for the construction of 800 new settlement units in the West Bank, calling it a new violation of international law
Ahmed Hafez, Spokesperson for Egypt’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs, expressed his deep concern over the consequences of such steps, which undermine the chances for a two-state solution to the long-running Palestinian-Israeli conflict.
He added that the approval comes at a time when various international parties are exerting tireless efforts to revive the negotiation track between the Palestinians and Israelis. He also highlighted the repercussions of these actions on the Middle East’s security and stability.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu gave his approval, on Monday, to the construction of 800 new settlement units in the West Bank.
“We are pleased to announce today that 800 new apartments will be built in Judea and Samaria,” Netanyahu said in a Tweet, using the biblical word for the West Bank.
The decision comes only eight days before the inauguration of US President-Elect Joe Biden. Meanwhile, incumbent US President Donald Trump voiced his support for the Israeli Peace Now movement’s announcement that Israeli settlements quadrupled during the Trump Administration’s term.
Also on Monday, Palestinian Prime Minister Mohammad Shtayyeh said that the settlement operations “continue at an unprecedented rate, and settler crimes and attacks are increasing, with the protection of the Israeli army”.
Data from Israeli Peace Now indicates that, as of late November 2020, there were 661,000 settlers, 132 large settlements, and 124 random settlement outposts not authorised by the Israeli government, in the West Bank, including East Jerusalem.