Netanyahu's ministers refuse halting expansion of illegal settlements
This comes after the Israeli government announced it postponed the demolition of a building in occupied al-Quds that houses 100 Palestinian families
Several ministers of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's extremist government have expressed their rejection of US calls for halting the expansion of illegal settlements in Palestinian territories, sources reported on Tuesday.
For instance, Israeli Walla! news outlet reported Finance Minister Bezalel Smotrich, leader of the Religious Zionist Party which is one of the coalition government's six parties, was quoted by reporters as saying that Netanyahu's government would not "abandon the territory to the Palestinian takeover."
National Missions Minister Orit Strook, a lawmaker belonging to the same political party, has likewise expressed her opposition to Washington's calls.
On Monday, sources reported that "Israel" announced it postponed the demolition of a building in the Eastern part of occupied al-Quds that houses 100 Palestinian families following calls from US secretary of state Antony Blinken to halt the expansion of illegal settlements a week ago.
Earlier in January, Netanyahu announced that the houses of Palestinians, who confront the Israeli aggression and carry out operations, are to be demolished and their families displaced.
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The Israeli policy of destroying villages and forcibly expelling their Palestinian occupants to carry out plans of building occupation settlements is not new. Last May, an Israeli non-governmental organization said "Israel" advanced plans to build 4,427 illegal settlement units in the occupied West Bank.
US State Department Deputy Spokesperson Jalina Porter claimed then that Biden's administration "strongly opposes the expansion of Israeli settlements, which exacerbates tensions and undermines trust between the parties. Israel's program of expanding settlements deeply damages the prospects for a two-state solution."
After Washington's "strong opposition", the Israeli occupation government issued last November an order to loot around 320 dunams (230,000 square meters) of land in Beit Lahm in the southern occupied West Bank to expand its illegal settlements on Palestinian land.
The European Union had previously stated that it does not recognize Israeli authority over the West Bank, noting that "Israel's" settlement expansion is a dangerous breach of international law. The President of the European Commission Ursula von der Leyen and former Prime Minister of Italy Mario Draghi visited the Israeli occupation entity last June.
The visitors, however, did not discuss, according to the EU, "the illegal settlements that breach international law," limiting their talks to energy.
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