Status: 10/24/2021 7:44 p.m.
Israel’s new head of government Bennett is continuing the policy of his predecessor Netanyahu: The responsible ministry approved the construction of 1,355 new apartments in the West Bank. The move could bring new conflicts with it.
Israel’s new government is also continuing to develop settlements in the occupied West Bank. Tenders for the marketing of 1,355 apartments have been published, said a spokesman for Housing Minister Seew Elkin. They are to be built in seven existing settlements.
These include 729 apartments in the settler town of Ariel and 346 in the Beit El settlement. “We implement what we have promised,” said Elkin according to the information. After a long period of stagnation, he would “continue and strengthen the Jewish settlement of Judea and Samaria”.
Stability is on the test
A few days ago there were reports about the planned approval of construction plans for more than 3,000 apartments in Israeli settlements and 1,300 apartments in Palestinian villages in the West Bank. The authorities had already approved the approval of 2,000 residential units in settlements in the West Bank in August.
New settlement activities could threaten the stability of the extremely diverse and fragile Israeli government under Bennett. He has been Prime Minister since June and leads a broad coalition alliance. It consists of left and right parties and an Arab party. The 49-year-old is considered a fierce opponent of a two-state solution in the Middle East conflict. His Jamina party has many supporters among Israeli settlers in the West Bank.
“No government of change”
Despite Bennett’s personal positions, his government, unlike his predecessor Benjamin Netanyahu, is trying to bring about rapprochement with the Palestinian leadership in the conflict. Only recently, for the first time since 2009, the Israeli authorities issued registration permits for Palestinians without documents in the West Bank.
According to the newspaper “Jerusalem Post”, the Israeli organization Peace Now spoke of “proof that this is not a government of change”. Rather, it continues the policy of a “de facto annexation” of its predecessor Netanyahu. A MP from the left-liberal Meretz Party told the newspaper that the Jamina government was ten degrees further to the right than the previous government.
Call of the UN to Israel
During the Six Day War in 1967, Israel conquered the West Bank and East Jerusalem, among others. Often there are conflicts between settlers and Palestinian residents. About 2.8 million Palestinians and 475,000 Israelis live in the West Bank.
The UN Security Council described the settlements in 2016 as a violation of international law and called on Israel to stop all settlement activities. The Palestinians want to set up their own state in the West Bank, Gaza Strip and East Jerusalem.