Following the latest emergency security cabinet meeting, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has vowed to “bolster” the settlements in the occupied West Bank, with further expansions planned just two weeks after the major increase announced in government funding for the settlements.
The first such expansions were already announced over the weekend, with 42 more homes planned in the settlement in Kiryat Arba, which is where a stabbing attack took place last week. The Israeli military surrounded the town from which the Palestinian teen identified as the attacker came, and has since expanded its military “closure” to the whole southern West Bank, confining nearly a million Palestinians to their cities of origin with blanket travel bans.
Israeli officials are also talking up the idea of establishing a “terrorist graveyard” for all the accused attackers who have been killed by the Israeli military in recent weeks, as a way of avoiding ever having to return the bodies of the slain.
Jewish Home Party leader Naftali Bennett was harshly critical of Netanyahu, insisting his latest measures are “too late.” His party has been demanding dramatically larger settlement expansions and members of the party have talked up unilateral annexation of much of the West Bank, citing religious ownership of the area.
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