Palestinian Foreign Ministry condemns Israeli settlement expansion plan
The Palestinian Foreign Ministry has condemned the expansion of Israeli settlements, saying the Jewish state authorities recently approved the construction of 560 new settlement units south of the West Bank city of Bethlehem.
“The construction of new units is aimed at expanding the settlements that have been built on the lands of Palestinian citizens in the region,” the ministry said in a statement to the Xinhua News Agency on Friday.
The statement warned that the expansion of settlements in the Bethlehem area of the West Bank “will isolate Palestinian towns and villages from each other and turn them into isolated islands in an ocean of settlements.”
The Foreign Ministry has held the Israeli government responsible for the expansion of settlements and the seizure of Palestinian land, and has warned of its dire consequences for the chances of making peace.
Palestinians, who claim the entire West Bank, Gaza and East Jerusalem, and a majority of the international community see the settlements as a violation of international law and an obstacle to peace.
More than 600,000 Jews live in approximately 140 settlements in the West Bank and East Jerusalem.
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