Israel Seeks To Increase Settlers’ Number In West Bank To One Million

RAMALLAH, Palestine, Jan 14 (NNN-MA’AN) – Palestinian Prime Minister, Mohammed Ishtaye, said that, Israel is seeking to increase the number of its settlers in the West Bank to one million.

Israel is seeking to increase the settlers’ number in the West Bank, through demolishing Palestinian facilities, buildings and constructions, Ishtaye said, in Ramallah.

“Israel is largely demolishing buildings and facilities in the Jordan Valley and Area C, in the West Bank, to increase the settlers’ number in the West Bank by the end of the year to one million settlers,” he said.

The Palestinian prime minister accused the Israeli government of toppling any possibility of establishing a “viable independent State of Palestine.”

Area C, under full Israeli occupation, takes up more than 60 percent of the 5,655-square-km West Bank.

Under the Oslo Accords, signed between the Palestine Liberation Organisation and Israel in the 1990’s, the West Bank was divided into three areas: Area A under Palestinian control, Area B under joint Palestinian-Israeli control, and Area C under full Israeli control.

According to recent figures, the number of Israeli settlers has reached over half a million, in both the West Bank and East Jerusalem.

Several international conventions, including a UN Security Council resolution, that was issued shortly before Donald Trump was elected as president of the United States, condemned Israeli settlement in the West Bank.

Political ties between Palestine and the United States were severed right after Trump declared Jerusalem as Israel’s capital in Dec, 2017.

Considered as one of the thorny issues in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, the settlement dispute was the main cause of the breakdown of peace talks between the two sides in 2014.– NNN-MA’AN