Foreign Ministry: Israel Started to Annex Settlements

Ramallah, 15 Ramadan 1437/21 June 2016 (MINA) – The Ministry of Foreign Affairs said, in a statement Monday, that Israel’s recent approval to disburse $21.3m in aid to illegal settlements in the West Bank means that Israel practically started to annex the settlements.

It said that, for instance, Israel’s enforcement of the Investment Promotion Law in the West Bank settlements, which was recently approved, allows the Israeli Ministry of Tourism to finance the construction of major tourism projects there, thus dealing with the settlements as Israeli cities.

Acording WAFA, the statement came after the Israeli government, in its weekly meeting on Sunday, approved an additional 82 million shekels (about $21.3m) of aid to illegal Jewish settlements in the West Bank.

The funds include 15 million shekels to cover extra security expenses; 10 million shekels for temporary housing and repairs, six million shekels for welfare-related activities and five million shekels for the development of tourism infrastructure.

Israeli settlement activities in the occupied Palestinian territories, including in East Jerusalem, are illegal under international law.

More than 500,000 Israelis already live in settlements in the West Bank and East Jerusalem, the Palestinians’ hoped-for capital.

Israel annexed east Jerusalem, with its Palestinian population, immediately after capturing the territory from Jordan in 1967 and has built housing developments for Jews there, but the annexation has not been internationally recognized. (T/R07/R01)

Mi’raj Islamic News Agency (MINA)