Ramallah, Nov 27 (IANS) Palestine on Friday condemned Israel for approving the construction of 372 settlement units in the southern West Bank city of Hebron.
The Israeli move “is an extension of the process of deepening and expanding the illegal settlements in the heart of the old city of Hebron,” the Palestinian foreign ministry said in a press statement.
The “provocative” move came just a few days after the Israeli approval of building 11,000 units on the lands of the defunct Qalandia Airport in East Jerusalem, also known as the Jerusalem International Airport, said the ministry.
The ministry also condemned Israeli President Isaac Herzog’s visit to the settlement to celebrate Hanukkah, or the Jewish Festival of Lights, where he lighted the festival’s candle in the Ibrahimi Mosque, or the Cave of the Patriarchs, Xinhua news agency reported.
Warning against the Israeli attempts “to divert the international attention from the Palestinian cause,” the ministry highlighted the damage by the move to the principle of the two-state solution.
“The two-state solution is subjected to the most heinous process of sabotage because of Israel’s policy about controlling the Palestinian land during its accelerated annexation of the West Bank,” it said.
On Thursday, the Israeli media reported that the Kiryat Arba council in Hebron city approved the construction of 372 new housing units in the local settlement area, including public buildings, educational institutions, commercial buildings, and public parks.
More than 600,000 Jews live in about 140 settlements in the West Bank and East Jerusalem, according to official Palestinian figures.