After days of talking up the idea of new construction to “punish terror,” Israel’s far-right government has announced plans to build another 800 housing units in settlements across the occupied West Bank, including 240 inside East Jerusalem. These settlement constructions are in addition to 42 units announced over the weekend.
Israel’s current government is heavily reliant on hawkish settler movements for its political support, and tends to use every dust-up with the Palestinians as a pretext to announce yet more expansions. The expansions, which tend to cut deeply into land that was meant to be part of a future Palestinian state, fuels unrest, and more pretexts for expansion.
For Israel’s farthest right MPs, that’s very much the idea, with many insisting that the Palestinians must never be allowed a state, and advocating policies that will make independence impossible for them. Even relative moderates like Finance Minister Moshe Kahlon are eager to endorse the expansions.
Indeed Kahlon today demanded far more construction in Jewish areas of East Jerusalem, both to spite “the murderers” in Palestine, and because bringing more settlers into the area would resolve “undesirable” demographics issues in the occupied territory, i.e. the presence of all those occupied people.
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