The United States has censured Israel’s plans to construct more illegal settlements on the occupied Palestinian land.
On Wednesday Tel Aviv approved plans to build 200 new illegal settler homes in East al-Quds (Jerusalem).
The State Department said that it was “deeply concerned” by the announcement.
State Department spokesperson, Jen Psaki said “These decisions to expand construction have the potential to exacerbate this difficult situation on the ground, and they will not contribute to efforts to reduce the tension,”
Human rights groups have also condemned Israel for its plans to build more settlements on the occupied land. Press TV reports : Lior Amihai, a spokesman for settlement watchdog Peace Now, criticized the move.”This is terrible — and in the middle of such a sensitive period.”
Tel Aviv had approved the construction of another 500 settler units in the same area a week ago.
Israeli settlements are considered illegal by the UN and most countries because the territories were captured by Israel in the Six-Day War of 1967, and are hence subject to the Geneva Conventions, which forbid construction on occupied lands.
Palestinians are seeking to create an independent state on the territories of the West Bank, East al-Quds, and the Gaza Strip and are demanding Israel to withdraw from the occupied Palestinian territories.
Tel Aviv, however, has refused to return to the 1967 borders and is unwilling to discuss the issue of al-Quds.
More than half a million Israelis live in over 120 illegal settlements built since the Israeli occupation of the Palestinian territories of the West Bank and East al-Quds in 1967.