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Published: 11:01, June 14, 2023 | Updated: 11:37, June 14, 2023
Arab League chief warns Israel against expanding settlements
By Xinhua
Published:11:01, June 14, 2023 Updated:11:37, June 14, 2023 By Xinhua

Houses in the Jewish settlement of Halamish are pictured, near the Palestinian village of Nabi Saleh in the central part of the occupied West Bank on June 6, 2023. (PHOTO / AFP)

CAIRO/JERUSALEM - Arab League Secretary-General Ahmed Aboul-Gheit warned on Tuesday against the implementation of Israeli plans to build thousands of settlements in the occupied West Bank.

He stressed that such plans undermine the two-state solution by grabbing the lands of the future Palestinian state, according to a statement published on the website of the Arab League.

Aboul-Gheit called on the US administration to take a firm position against the planned Israeli plans in defense of the two-state solution that Washington is promoting, adding that the settlements undermine peace efforts.

READ MORE: Israel urged to stop encroaching on Palestinian land, resources

"It is not possible to talk about reaching a settlement between the Palestinians and the Israelis, or about peace in the region, while the Palestinian territories are being gnawed away every day," he pointed out.

Earlier in the day, Israel's state-owned Kan TV reported that the Israeli government decided to promote the construction of 4,570 new homes in settlements in the occupied West Bank

The statement said the right-wing Israeli government is seeking a US green light to proceed with its plans.

Aboul-Gheit noted that the Israeli government led by Benjamin Netanyahu refuses to be a partner in a peaceful political process leading to a comprehensive settlement, adding that this government is working to satisfy and appease the most extreme wings in the domestic political arena as well as the settlement groups and religious nationalists.

4,570 new settlement homes

Earlier in the day, Israel's state-owned Kan TV reported that the Israeli government decided to promote the construction of 4,570 new homes in settlements in the occupied West Bank.

ALSO READ: Israeli army demolishes home of Palestinian bombings suspect

The construction plans, which are in different stages of review and authorization, are expected to be approved next week by the Higher Planning Council of the Civil Administration, an Israeli body that approves construction in the West Bank, Kan TV reported.

This Jan 30, 2023 photo shows a general view of the West Bank Jewish settlement of Efrat. (PHOTO / AP)

A senior government official confirmed to Xinhua that the Higher Planning Council is expected to give the green light to "thousands" of new settler homes.

Speaking on condition of anonymity, as he was not authorized to discuss the issue, the official said that last week, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's office informed the Biden administration of their anticipated action.

ALSO READ: Jordan condemns Israel's plan to build new settlements

On Monday, Bezalel Smotrich, Israel's finance minister and a far-right pro-settler leader, told a meeting of his Religious Zionism party that "soon there will be great news for the settlements."

Israel occupied the West Bank and East Jerusalem, which are claimed by the Palestinians, in the 1967 Middle East war and has controlled them ever since.

Israeli settlement in the West Bank and East Jerusalem is one of the thorny issues between the two sides, which led to the halting of their direct peace negotiations.

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