New West Bank construction approved (for Palestinians as well)
According to an Israeli security official, the government will allow the construction of 2,000 Israeli and 1,000 Palestinian homes in the Jenin area. Cases of Covid-19 are up but with few deaths.
Jenin (AsiaNews/Agencies) – The new Israeli government led by Prime Minister Naftali Bennett is ready to approve the construction of new Israeli settlements in the West Bank as well as new housing construction in Palestinian areas, an unnamed security official said.
The plan includes building 2,000 homes for Israelis and 1,000 for Palestinians around Jenin with most of the construction to take place in Area C, i.e., which is mostly under full Israeli control.
This is an attempt to prop up the Palestinian Authority and counter international criticism of Israeli settlement activity in the occupied lands. Bennett is a former leader of the settlement movement.
Meanwhile, despite a quick and intense vaccination campaign, the number of COVID-19 cases is up, prompting the Israeli government on Wednesday to issue new restrictions to counter the coronavirus, including the obligation of a green pass to access certain venues and limits on the number of people who can gather indoors.
Israel reported 7,668 new infections yesterday. Over the past week, health authorities reported 4,639 daily new cases.
Earlier this month, Israel began administering a third vaccine dose to immunosuppressed people over the age of 60.
Deaths from COVID-19 are also on the rise, 16 deaths yesterday alone, but thanks to the vaccination campaign they are far fewer than during the period when vaccines were not available.
To prepare for possible mass hospitalisations, Prime Minister Bennett announced that his government was allocating 2.5 billion shekels (4 million) to increase hospital capacity nationwide.