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In Donald Trump’s remaining days, Israel’s Netanyahu orders extra settler properties constructed

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Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu speaks throughout a go to to a healthcare upkeep organisation (HMO) centre administering vaccinations in opposition to the coronavirus illness (COVID-19) in Jerusalem, January 6, 2021
  • The transfer comes proper earlier than Joe Biden turns into president
  • Biden who has been essential of Israel’s settlement insurance policies
  • Trump administration has backed Israel’s proper to construct West Financial institution settlement

JERUSALEM: Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu ordered building plans superior on Monday for some 800 Jewish settler properties within the occupied West Financial institution, anchoring the tasks within the remaining days of the pro-settlement Trump administration.

Palestinians condemned such building as unlawful. The timing of the transfer gave the impression to be an try and set Israel’s blueprint in indelible ink earlier than Joe Biden, who has been essential of its settlement insurance policies, turns into US president on January 20.

Transferring forward with the tasks may assist shore up assist for Netanyahu from settlers and their backers in a March 23 election, Israel’s fourth in two years, through which the conservative chief faces new challenges from the precise.

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An announcement by Netanyahu’s workplace mentioned about 800 properties could be constructed within the settlements of Beit El and Givat Zeev, north of Jerusalem, and in Tal Menashe, Rehelim, Shavei Shomron, Barkan and Karnei Shomron within the northern West Financial institution. It gave no beginning date for building.

“It is an attempt to race against time and benefit from the last days of the current US administration,” Wasel Abu Youssef, a member of the Govt Committee of the Palestine Liberation Group, informed Reuters.

The Donald Trump administration has successfully backed Israel’s proper to construct West Financial institution settlements by abandoning a long-held US place that they break worldwide legislation. Trump has additionally delighted Israeli leaders and angered Palestinians by recognising contested Jerusalem as Israel’s capital and shifting the US Embassy there.

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Gayil Talshir, a political scientist at Jerusalem’s Hebrew College, mentioned Netanyahu desires the settlement transfer “to be set in stone before the Biden administration comes into office, and maybe changes Israeli-American tacit understandings on settlements that existed under Trump.”

Netanyahu additionally desires to inform voters he’s “the only leader who can stand up to Biden and make sure he doesn’t dictate our policy in the (Palestinian) territories,” Talshir mentioned.

Palestinians search to determine a state within the West Financial institution and Gaza Strip, with East Jerusalem as its capital, all land captured by Israel in a 1967 conflict.

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Most international locations view Israeli settlements as violating worldwide legislation. Israel disputes this, citing historic, political and biblical hyperlinks to the West Financial institution, the place greater than 440,000 Israeli settlers now reside amongst 3 million Palestinians who’ve restricted self rule below Israeli occupation.

As vp below Barack Obama, Biden was put in an uncomfortable place throughout a go to to Israel in 2010 when Israel introduced plans for a settlement in a West Financial institution space annexed to Jerusalem. Arriving 90 minutes late for dinner with Netanyahu, Biden condemned the choice as undermining US-Israeli belief.

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