MEMO : Israel approves 31 new ‘settlement zones’ in the West Bank

A Palestinian man looks towards the illegal Israeli settlement built next to Nablus in the occupied West Bank, on 23 November 2020 [JAAFAR ASHTIYEH/AFP/Getty Images]

Israel approves 31 new ‘settlement zones’ in the West Bank

Israel has approved 31 zoning plans, each containing a small number of housing units or facilities, in the occupied West Bank, in the first such move since the new coalition government came into office on 13 June.

The move, which was passed on Wednesday, saw 18 of the construction plans receiving final approval in illegal settlements such as Alfei Menashe, Elkana, Havat Sde Bar and Yitzhar. The approval is the first of its kind in six months.

According to Haaretz, chairman of the Joint List alliance of Arab-majority parties, Ayman Odeh, denounced the approval of the construction in the settlements.

« The government has existed for less than two weeks, and already, 31 construction plans have been approved in the settlements, » Odeh said. « The left is surrendering to the right and setting the diplomatic issue aside, but the right continues to sabotage the chances of peace and to deepen the occupation, repression, and dispossession of millions of Palestinians. »  READ MORE