Israel Approves 31 Hebron Settler Units for First Time Since 2002

Photo: Daily Sabah

Occupied Al Quds, MINA – The Israeli occupation authorities on Monday approved permits for 31 settlement units in the West Bank city of Hebron, the first such approvals for the flashpoint city since 2002.

An Israeli committee approved construction permits for the 31 units, Anat Ben Nun of Israeli NGO Peace Now told. Several hundred Israeli settlers live in the heart of Hebron under heavy military guard among some 200,000 Palestinians, IINA News reported.

The approvals are among some 4,000 settler home plans to be advanced as part of a push to greatly boost settlement growth, an Israeli official has said.
Peace Now, which closely monitors settlement construction, said a planning council meeting on Tuesday and Wednesday is expected to have more than 2,000 units on the agenda.

Settlement building in the occupied West Bank and annexed East Jerusalem is considered illegal under international law. It is also seen as a major obstacle to peace as the settlements are built on land the Palestinians see as part of their future state.

Palestinian activist Issa Amro, the founder of NGO Youth Against Settlements, said this announcement would contribute to strengthening the policy of apartheid, as well as increasing the violent attacks by settlers and consolidating the military presence and closures against the Palestinians.

Amro said the approvals come within the Israeli plan to continue Judaizing the Old City of Hebron in a blatant challenge to the decision of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO).

In July, UNESCO’s World Heritage Committee declared the Palestinian Old City of Hebron to be a “protected area” and a “world heritage” site. Hebron was also included into UNESCO’s Endangered World Heritage List.(R/R04/P2)


Mi’raj News Agency (MINA)