Netanyahu kicks can down the road on settlement plan discussions
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu postpones the discussions regarding the controversial plan to establish new settlements near Al-Quds.
The debate of a new, contentious construction plan for a region close to the occupied city of Al-Quds known as "E1," whose implementation would essentially divide the occupied West Bank into two halves, was postponed by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Friday, Israeli media reported.
The talks regarding the settlement were initially planned for next Tuesday.
Sources cited by Israeli news website Walla! said the US and numerous European nations wrote to Netanyahu's office to voice their displeasure with the building proposal during the previous two weeks.
The discussion at the Israeli Civil Administration Higher Planning Committee, which gives grants the "authority" to erect settlements in the occupied West Bank, was postponed, two high-ranking Israeli sources told the news website, adding that the Israeli occupation notified Washington of the decision.
The so-called E1 zone, located between occupied Al-Quds and the so-called "Ma'ale Adumim" settlement in the West Bank, has been under pressure from the US and the EU for decades.
Plans to develop the area first surfaced in the middle of the 1990s, but the US and its allies repeatedly resisted their execution, citing concerns that these plans will obstruct the establishment of a comprehensive Palestinian state.
Following the UN's approval of Palestine's request to become a "non-member observer state to the UN," the Israeli occupation, under Benjamin Netanyahu, declared in December 2012 that it would resume building plans in the E1 zone. However, because of international criticism, the plan's execution was repeatedly postponed.
Critics referred to the proposal to erect more than 3,000 settler houses in the E1 zone in occupied Al-Quds as a "doomsday" settlement because, if carried out, it would prevent the formation of an agglomeration connecting Al-Quds with Beit Lahm and Ramallah, essentially dividing the West Bank into northern and southern regions.
Despite the US publicly criticizing the Israeli occupation's plans, the Israeli daily Haaretz disclosed in 2015 that at least 50 organizations in the United States were involved in fundraising for Israeli settlements.
According to Haaretz, part of the funds also went "toward providing legal aid to Jews accused or convicted of terrorism, and supporting their families" through "Honenu", a "legal aid society."
"Among those who benefited from the group’s support in 2013 were the family of Ami Popper, who murdered seven Palestinian laborers in 1990, and members of the Bat Ayin Underground, which attempted to detonate a bomb at a girls’ school in East Jerusalem in 2002," Haaretz reported.
It is worth noting that the Israeli occupation settlements set up on Palestinian land are deemed illegal by the majority of the world, even the United Nations, though that only includes the occupied West Bank, not recognizing Palestine's sovereignty over the rest of the country except for the Gaza Strip.
Despite it all, the Israeli occupation continues its efforts to further Judaize occupied Al-Quds and destroy its Islamic and Christian identities and continue with its illegal settlement expansion.