Jerusalem (AsiaNews / Agencies) - The Israeli government has approved 675 new housing units in Itamar, a settlement located about 10 km south of Nablus (West Bank). The Israeli newspaper "Yediot Ahronot" has confirmed the move. The construction plan, which increases the expansion of the colony by 100%, was approved by the former Minister of Defense Ehud Barak before the parliamentary elections.
The problem of the illegal settlements in the West Bank in recent weeks at the center of a debate between the government led by the conservative Benjamin Netanyahu and the U.S. Secretary of State who in recent months is attempting a resumption of dialogue between Israel and the Palestinian Authority. Instead of freezing settlement construction, which is essential for a resumption of negotiations, the government is pushing ahead with a policy of demolitions, confiscation and appropriation of Palestinian territories. In recent days, the Israeli military expelled in eight families (53 people) of the village to the establishment of Atroth (West Bank) from their homes.
According to Peace Now, an Israeli movement for human rights and Israeli-Palestinian dialogue, "Netanyahu decided to change the rules and ruin any chance of reviving the talks. The government has become dependent on the construction of settlements outside Israeli territory. The people of Israel will have to pay the cost of these diplomatic and financial policies. "
Despite pressure from the UN and the international community to end occupation, the illegal settlements have been flourishing for decades in the West Bank and around East Jerusalem. At least 500 thousand Israeli settlers live in more than 100 settlements built after the 1967 occupation.