United Nations and Palestinians blast Israel for new West Bank settlement plans

United Nations and Palestinians criticise Israel for new West Bank settlement plans

Israel say they will build new settlements in the West Bank (Stock image)

Friday, March 31, 2017

Palestinians, the United Nations and pro-peace groups have criticised Israel for deciding to create a new settlement in the West Bank.

This is the first time in 20 years that Israel has decided to establish a new settlement, according to Haaretz.

United Nations chief Antonio Guterres said the organisation condemns the move, which he believes "threatens peace and undermines the two-state solution," and spoke of his "disappointment and alarm" at the news.

Pro-peace watchdog Peace Now also accusing Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of prioritising his own political survival over the interests of Israel. 

Prominent Palestinian leader Hanan Ashrawi said the decision was proof of Israel's "systematic policies of settler colonialism, apartheid and ethnic cleansing, showing a total and blatant disregard for Palestinian human rights.

"Israel is more committed to appeasing its illegal settler population than to abiding by the requirements for stability and a just peace."

However since news of the new settlement was announced, Israel announced a change in policy in order to take US President Donald Trump's concerns into account.

This means Israel should restrict the construction to only building within existing settlements or on land directly next to them.

The Yesha Council, Israel's organisation for settlers, said they will now "stand guard and work to make sure that the Israeli government will actualise this plan."