The spokesperson for the European Union Friday strongly condemned Israel’s plans to construct 98 new housing units in occupied Palestinian territory in the northern West Bank for the establishment of a new Israeli settlement. The condemnation came two days following notably harsh criticisms by the United States over Israel’s illegal settlement enterprise.
Last month, the Higher Planning Committee (HPC) of Israel’s Civil Administration approved for “depositing” -- the planning phase prior to final approval -- a plan for 98 housing units for a new settlement to be located east of the already established settlement of Shiloh, on lands of the Palestinian village of Jalud in the northern West Bank district of Nablus. It is part of a larger plan for 300 units yet to be promoted.
Meanwhile in April, Palestinian residents of Jalud reported that Israeli authorities delivered notices alerting them that 5,000 dunams (1,250 acres) of private land were slated for confiscation. A new industrial area west of Ramallah was also given approval at the time, near to Israel’s separation wall and the Green Line that divides the occupied West Bank from Israel.
The EU spokesperson emphasized that the new settlement units represented the “accelerating trend of new settlement announcements since the start of 2016,” adding that the move has threatened to further separate the West Bank districts of Ramallah and Nablus while disrupting any possibility of a contiguous Palestinian state. more