Israeli gov't authorizes Smotrich to approve illegal settlement construction

Israeli Finance Minister, Bezalel Smotrich. (Photo: Twitter)
The Israeli government has approved Sunday a decision that would shorten the process of approving construction of settlements in the occupied West Bank, and would give Finance Minister, Bezalel Smotrich, the authority to approve anything related to building new settlement projects.اضافة اعلان

This decision alters the mechanism that has been in existence for the last 27 years. In addition, the Civil Administration’s Higher Planning Council will discuss next week the advancement of constructing 4,500 settlement units, according to media reports. 

Meanwhile, the decision transfers powers of settlement construction from Defense Minister Yoav Gallant to Smotrich. 

Smotrich said “The construction boom in the West Bank and throughout the country continues, exactly as we promised, and today we are taking another step to build thousands of units in the West Bank. The residents of the West Bank settlements are no longer second-class citizens.”

The existing mechanism allows the halt of settlement construction but the political level within the government. 

Over the years, the prime minister and the defense minister have often intervened to delay construction in accordance to political considerations and in the context of dialogue with the international community.

Meanwhile, Yesh Din, an Israeli human rights organization said “This decision is dramatic and devastating, and aims to allow settlement construction without recognition in the West Bank, and to render any opposition to such construction irrelevant.”

Following the announcement, Hussein Al-Sheikh, Secretary General of the Palestinian Liberation Organization, took to Twitter to announce the Palestinian response. 

In a translated Tweet, he said “The Israeli Finance Minister's authorization to approve settlements is a dangerous step towards completing the annexation of the West Bank.”

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