Israeli Defense Ministry Announces 906 New Settlement Units

Move Is 'Compensation' for Court Order to Demolish Illegal Buildings

The Israeli Defense Ministry has set up a Thursday announcement for the approval of construction of another 906 settlement units throughout the occupied West Bank, including 296 units in Beit El, on the outskirts of the de facto Palestinian capital of Ramallah.

The Beit El expansion is said to be a planned “compensation” to the settlers for the Supreme Court ordering two buildings in the settlement demolished for being illegally built on privately owned Palestinian land. The other settlements will be in the area around metro Jerusalem.

The settlers have promised to fight against the demolition despite the compensation, and far-right MP Uri Ariel has threatened to oppose the Netanyahu government on key votes if they let the demolitions, and the return of the land to its actual, real owners, go through.

This is a constant undercurrent in the far-right governments of Israel expanding settlements, as the settlers seize some Palestinian land, demand it be retroactively given to them, and then are given huge government projects as reparations.

Even after this, the demolitions are rarely ever carried out, and the same illegal buildings are often used as the pretext for several rounds of compensatory construction, even as the settlers move toward an eventual retroactive legalization of all of them.

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Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is news editor of Antiwar.com.