Israel's minister of military affairs, Avigdor Lieberman, has agreed to settlement expansion activities in Palestinian territories, and Israeli authorities are going to issue permits for the construction of 900 housing units at Ariel settlement in the central West Bank, Israel's Hebrew-language Channel 10 television network reported.
The report added that the so-called Supreme Planning Council of the Civil Administration will hold a session next week, in which it is supposed to grant the necessary permits to start building 225 units.
Less than a month before US President Donald Trump took office, the United Nations Security Council adopted Resolution 2334, calling on Israel to “immediately and completely cease all settlement activities in the occupied Palestinian territories, including East Jerusalem” al-Quds.
About 600,000 Israelis live in over 230 illegal settlements built since the 1967 Israeli occupation of the Palestinian territories of the West Bank and East Jerusalem al-Quds.
Palestinians want the West Bank as part of a future independent Palestinian state, with East Jerusalem al-Quds as its capital.
The last round of Israeli-Palestinian talks collapsed in 2014. Among the major sticking points in those negotiations was Israel’s continued settlement expansion on Palestinian territories.
This as there have been regular anti-US protests by Palestinians in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip since December 6, when Trump declared that Washington recognized Jerusalem al-Quds as the “capital” of Israel and was moving the American embassy from Tel Aviv to the holy city. Many say Trump's move has effectively killed any chances of further negotiations.
The dramatic shift in Washington’s Jerusalem al-Quds policy drew fierce criticism from the international community, including Washington's Western allies, and triggered protests against the US and Israel worldwide.
The United Nations General Assembly later voted by a resounding majority to reject Trump's Jerusalem al-Quds move.
Israel lays claim to the whole of Jerusalem al-Quds, but the international community views the ancient city’s eastern sector as occupied land and the Palestinians consider it their future capital.