Israel calls off vote on new illegal settler homes in East al-Quds

Israel calls off vote on new illegal settler homes in East al-Quds

Wed Dec 28, 2016 10:8AM

Israeli officials have reportedly scrapped plans to build hundreds more illegal settler units on the occupied Palestinian territory, which would amount to a clear violation of the recent UN Security Council resolution demanding a halt to the regime’s land grab policy.

Hanan Rubin, with the Jerusalem al-Quds Local Planning and Building Committee, told Reuters on Wednesday that the bid to approve construction permits for nearly 500 homes in East Jerusalem al-Quds had been shelved upon the request of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

Rubin said the decision came as US Secretary of State John Kerry is to offer a purported “comprehensive vision” for the Israeli-Palestinian conflict during a speech in Washington later in the day.

Relations between Tel Aviv and Washington are in tatters after the United States abstained from voting on the Security Council resolution 2334.

The resolution demands Israel to “immediately and completely cease all settlement activities in the occupied Palestinian territory, including East Jerusalem” al-Quds.

It also states that the building of settlements by Israel has “no legal validity and constitutes a flagrant violation under international law.”

Israeli officials claim they have “iron-clad information,” which reveals the administration of outgoing US President Barack Obama drafted the document to end unlawful settlements on Palestinian land.

The Hebrew-language daily Israel Hayom reported on Sunday that Israel mulls construction of 2,600 housing units in the illegal Gilo settlement in southwestern East Jerusalem al-Quds, 2,600 others in Givat HaMatos, and 400 units in the Ramat Shlomo settlement.

More than half a million Israelis live in over 230 illegal settlements built since the 1967 Israeli occupation of the Palestinian territories of the West Bank and East Jerusalem al-Quds.

The continued expansion of Israeli settlements in occupied Palestine has created a major obstacle to the efforts to establish peace in the Middle East.

The Palestinian Authority wants the West Bank as part of a future independent Palestinians state, with East Jerusalem al-Quds as its capital.