Israel Approves More Homes in Jewish Settlements of West Bank

Israel’s parliament is also expected to receive legislation next week which would “retroactively legalise dozens of outposts”, according to Reuters. Some protesters threw rocks at security forces, while others set fire to tires and trash piles.The Israeli government and the residents had in December agreed to a deal that would see 24 families peacefully move to adjacent land considered absentee property.Opposition leader, MK Yitzchak Herzog of Zionist Camp, said that he “understands the pain of the families”, but that he called on them “to respect the decision of the High Court and not to cross the line of legitimate protest into violence”. More than 15 people were arrested as clashes broke out between activists and security forces, a police said. They were not armed with firearms or crowd control equipment.Earlier, some women holding children left their homes, as youths barricaded themselves inside.A few residents left their homes with young children in their arms.A number of lawmakers, including a cabinet minister, have joined the protesters.Avichay Buaron, a spokesman for the settlers, told the Israeli Channel 2: “This is a dark day for us, for Zionism, for the state and for the great vision of the Jewish people returning to its homeland”.The fate of Amona has threatened to destabilize Netanyahu’s narrow coalition that includes the pro-settler party Jewish Home and other hardliners.Israel has approved plans for another 3,000 new homes in the West Bank.According to the statement, the continued settlement expansion, illegal under worldwide law as reaffirmed by UN Security Council Resolution 2334, goes directly against long-standing European Union policy and the recommendations of the Quartet Report.Since Trump took office with top aides sympathetic to the settlement enterprise, the Israeli government has announced a string of new projects that will add more than 6,000 homes for Jewish settlers.Israel’s Defence Ministry said the latest construction was approved by defence minister Avigdor Lieberman and prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu.In December, Amona residents struck a deal with the Israeli government to delay the eviction for 45 days until February 8, and it was agreed that the residents would move to an adjacent plot of land.The West Bank has been occupied by Israel since 1967.The change of USA administration has allowed the Israeli government under Benjamin Netanyahu to take advantage.”We are building and will continue to build”, Netanyahu said in the statement.