Israel razes lands near Nablus in preparation for a new settlement

Cheryl Sanders
June 24, 2017

The Israeli government today broke ground on their first new official settlement in the occupied West Bank in 20 years.

Israeli bulldozers on Wednesday embarked on razing lands belonging to Palestinians in order to make way for a new settlement to south to Nablus, in the occupied West Bank, local sources said.

Netanyahu had vowed to build a new settlement toreplace Amona, which was destroyed in February after Israel's top court ruled it was illegally built on private Palestinian land. In his own trip to the region last month, Trump said nurturing relations between Israel and Saudi Arabia could help produce the wider Mideast pact that former U.S. President Barack Obama and his predecessors failed to deliver. He appears to have backtracked since.

Hamas, which swept Palestinian parliamentary elections in 2006 but remains blacklisted as a terrorist group by the European Union and the United States, has fought three wars with Israel since 2008.

Trump has made it clear that working toward achieving a lasting peace agreement between the Israelis and Palestinians is a top priority for him, a White House official told CNN ahead of Kushner's arrival. "For a decade they have lived under the control of Hamas".

He is joined by US Ambassador to Israel David Friedman in making the condolence call.

The presence of Kushner, Trump's son-in-law, is an indication of the importance the president places on making a deal between Israel and the Palestinians. This is going to be greatly complicated by the new settlement, of course. He has also said settlements are not a core problem of the Israeli-Palestinian dispute. "They are a unsafe actor who has no care for the Palestinians, no care for the Israelis, and they are determined to destroy everything in their path", Haley said.

"This is a serious escalation", Abbas spokesman Nabil Abu Rudeineh said in an email.

US mediated negotiations collapsed in 2014. Then U.S. President-elect Donald Trump and Israel had urged Washington to wield its veto.

Days of Palestine reports that the reduction of power to the Gaza Strip has caused a "total collapse" in all the service sectors across the tiny coastal enclave, which has been under strict Israeli siege for 11 years.

Other reports by iNewsToday