1012 GMT May 28, 2022
The European Union on Thursday condemned Israel’s plan to construct some 4,500 settler units in the occupied West Bank, according to a statement by the union.
According to an Israeli anti-settlement organization, Israel has advanced plans for the construction of some 4,500 settler units in the occupied West Bank as the regime continues its illegal settlement expansion activities across the occupied Palestinian territories, Press TV reported.
Peace Now said on Thursday that the high planning committee of the so-called Israeli Civil Administration had given the final approval to a total of 4,427 units, including 2,791 housing units and initial endorsement for another 1,636 units, according to an Israeli anti-settlement organization.
Later on Thursday, in a statement issued by its high representative and foreign policy chief Josep Borrell, the EU condemned and deeply deplored Israel's approval of plans for building the settler units in the occupied West Bank.
“The European Union condemns and deeply deplores today’s approval, by Israeli authorities, of plans for advancing over 4,400 housing units, further expanding illegal settlements across the occupied West Bank, as well as the retroactive approval of three illegal outposts,” the statement said.
The EU urged “Israel to reverse such decisions, which run counter to international law, directly threaten the [so-called] two-state solution, and are completely inconsistent with efforts to lower tensions.”
Meanwhile, Hagit Ofran of Peace Now said, “This is bad news for Israel and deepens the occupation, making it harder to achieve [the so-called] future peace,” referring to the prospect of a so-called two-state solution that has so far been hindered due to Israel’s expansionist policy, among other atrocities against Palestinians.
More than 600,000 Israelis live in over 230 settlements built since the 1967 Israeli occupation of the West Bank and East Al-Quds.
All Israeli settlements are illegal under international law as they are built on occupied land. The United Nations Security Council has condemned Israel’s settlement activities in the occupied territories in several resolutions.
On Friday, some 230 international rights organizations and networks strongly condemned the killing of veteran Palestinian journalist Shireen Abu Akleh by Israeli forces in the occupied West Bank, calling for the regime in Tel Aviv to be held accountable for the brutal crime.
The Palestinian Ma’an news agency said the 229 signatories affirmed in a statement that the Israeli occupation forces’ targeting of the Palestinian journalist was a “deliberate and premeditated act and a full-fledged assassination operation.”
“Martyr Shireen Abu Akleh is a direct victim of organized state terrorism, which behaves with the mentality of criminal gangs,” the signatories stressed.
The statement said the killing was a result of systematic incitement against Palestinian journalists by the occupying regime for their professional role in revealing the truth and exposing the regime’s crimes.
Shireen Abu Akleh, a longtime TV correspondent for Al Jazeera Arabic, was killed on Wednesday after being shot in the head while covering the Israeli army’s raids in the city of Jenin in the northern occupied West Bank.
She was rushed to a hospital in Jenin in critical condition, where she was declared dead shortly thereafter, according to the Palestinian Health Ministry.