Israel approves the building of a new West Bank settlement after a long time. Israel's security cabinet stated the construction will take place in Emek Shilo, a place near Nablus. This is the first construction after 20 years. This has happened while Benjamin Netanyahu, the Israeli Prime Minister, has been negotiating with the US government on reducing settlement activity.
Palestinian officials dislike the construction of this Israeli settlement, they have condemned it. The BBC reports that Hanan Ashrawi, a member of the Palestine Liberation Organisation (PLO), disapproves it. Ashrawi stated that the announcement proves again Israel is more committed to appeasing its illegal settler population instead of abiding by the requirements for stability and a just peace.
The US administration has yet to comment about the unanimous israeli vote. Jewish families evicted from Amona will be housed in this new settlement. Amona was an outpost that was cleared last month after the Israeli Supreme Court stated that it was built illegally on Palestinian land. Mr Netanyahu promised Amona residents that a new area would be found for them.
Settlements are source of dispute
For a long time, the issue of Jewish settlements in the West Bank and East Jerusalem has been a major source of dispute between Palestinians and Jews. About 140 Israeli settlements have been built since Israel's 1967 occupation of the West Bank and East Jerusalem. There are 600,000 jews living there. Under international laws, the settlements are seen as illegal but Israel disputes this. Jews and Palestinians have had a lot of disagreements the last decades.
Israel is ruled by a pro-settlement government, which had huge differences with US under Barack Obama administration. Today, Israel feels emboldened because Donald Trump backs the Jewish state. Since Trump became US President, Israel has authorised 6,000 new settlement homes, which is one of the biggest surges in the last years.