Israeli Minister of Finance Smotrich Given Authority to Expand Illegal Settlements

Ramallah, MINA – The Palestinian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Expatriates said the Israeli government authorizing the right-wing Minister of Finance Bezalel Smotrich to approve the construction and expansion of settlements is a serious development on the way to Israel’s full annexation of the West Bank.

In a press statement as quoted by Wafa on Monday, the Palestinian Ministry of Foreign Affairs warned of the dangers of the decision, which it described as another step to apply Israeli law to the West Bank and facilitate the approval of settlement projects “quietly, without sound”.

The Palestinians called for concrete international and US action to pressure the Israeli government to reverse the decision and stop illegal unilateral steps that undermine chances for a two-state solution.

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Earlier, the Israeli occupation government approved a decree authorizing the Head of the Religious Zionist Party and Minister of Finance Bezalel Smotrich to issue preliminary planning and construction approvals in Israeli settlements.

Israel’s public broadcaster Kan said the decision required construction plans in the settlements to proceed without the approval of Israel’s political echelons, going against a situation that had existed for 25 years. (T/RE1/P2)

Mi’raj News Agency (MINA)