The West Bank will see closer to 2,000 Israeli settlement units to be constructed soon in the occupied West Bank.
2,166 settlers will find their homes soon on the occupied West Bank, as Israel approved the move on Wednesday. They based this number from the official figures sent to AFP news agency and served as a sign of the end of an eight-month lull in expanding the settlement.
Settlements are considered legal under international law, and most of the international community sees them as the obstacle to a viable two-state solution. NGO Peace Now sees this as a sign of Israel’s rejection of Palestinian statehood and blows any kind of deal out of the water for a wider Israeli-Arab peace.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has already sent feelers out that the settlement will move forward and would guarantee a de facto annexation of the West Bank. Although a controversial plan the Prime Minister unveiled in January signaled a blessing for the Israeli annexation of areas of the West Bank, which included the settlements.
Palestinian officials see this as the largest settlement to date and feel that the current relationship between Israel and the US has emboldened the former further. This has prompted Palestinians to hope that a second term will not come to US President Donald Trump.
The US President sees the Gulf Accords as part of his broad plan to have Middle Eastern peace. Israel has agreed to delay the plans under its normalization deal with the United Arab Emirates and is what Emirate officials have cited in relation to Arab and Muslim criticism.
This move came less than a month after the UAE and Bahrain agreed to normalize their relations with Israel, and pledged to free its plans to annex swathes of the West Bank.