Saturday, January 22

Israel’s colonial expansion continues despite US opposition

The settlement of Elon, in the West Bank.

Cranes and excavators never stop working on the West bank busy. It doesn’t matter who is in government. Nor is it relevant what the State Department of USA (USA). Despite the Administration opposition Biden, Israel does not stop its colonial expansion in the occupied territories. The Israeli Prime Minister, Naphtali Bennett, advance plans to build 3,130 homes in the deep West Bank, truncating a little more dreams of a Palestinian state. This first expansionist gesture since Bennett and Biden came to power has exacerbated tensions with their greatest patron and differences within their government.

Antony Blink I call Benny Gantz in an attempt to dissuade you from your intentions. The US Secretary of State expressed to the Israeli Defense Minister on Tuesday night his opposition to the resumption of settlement policy. He is no longer in the White House Donald Trump, who applauded every expansionist gesture of the Israeli Government. And at the head of the Israeli government he is no longer Binyamín Netanyahu, a supporter of the annexation of the West Bank. Since June, the former leader of the settlers, Naftali Bennett, governs Israel and must listen to its electorate.

We strongly oppose the expansion of settlements, which is completely inconsistent with efforts to reduce tensions and ensure calm, and damages the prospects for the two-state solution, ”he said Tuesday. Ned Price, spokesman for the State Department. But this reproach is not the first the Biden Administration has made towards the Bennett administration this week. The Americans criticized Israel’s appointment of six Palestinian human rights groups as terrorist organizations and they demanded explanations.

700,000 settlers

Meanwhile, on the ground, the Palestinians suffer the encirclement of their civil society and their lands. The President of the Palestinian National Authority (PNA), Mahmoud Abbas, has asked international leaders “to confront these Israeli decisions and practices that seek to steal Palestinian land and push us to a state of instability and tension, which will negatively affect everyone ”. The almost three million Palestinians they are forced to live together with 700,000 Jewish settlers distributed between the West Bank and East Jerusalem. The larger the settler population, the more difficult it will be to dismantle the settlements in a hypothetical peace agreement.

In addition, the violence of the occupants on the native population increases every week in the middle of olive harvest campaign, key to the Palestinian economy. Jerusalem has become the scene of provocations since the authorities allowed the jewish prayer continue in the precinct of the Al Aqsa Mosque. It was Trump who abandoned the American anti-settlement position, in force for decades. During his tenure, Netanyahu undertook an aggressive expansionist policy. Just in the 2020 plans were advanced for 12,000 settler homes, according to Peace Now, the highest number since 2012.

Tensions in the Israeli government

But before reaching the other side of the pond, tensions began within the Israeli government. Since June 2020, Bennett is leading a Multicolor executive ally in opposition to Netanyahu. Within the coalition, leftists, centrists and Arab Islamists in favor of the two state solutionRight-wingers like the current prime minister against any Palestinian sovereignty, and center-rightists like Gantz, who despite expressing his support for some type of Palestinian state, is in charge of approving the expansion of the colonies.

United by their hatred of Netanyahu, they decided not making big decisions on controversial issues like the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, but Bennett seems to have forgotten the promises to his partners. During the first months, the president has starred modest gestures towards Palestinians, some unpublished after three decades under the reign of ‘Bibi’, as Netanyahu is popularly known. The number of Israeli work permits for Palestinians, has granted identity documents to thousands of undocumented people in the West Bank, it has allowed high-level meetings between Gantz and Abbas, and has even promised 156 million dollars to the impoverished ANP.

No consulate for Palestinians

To Blinken’s irate call, Gantz responded that plans to 1,300 new homes in Palestinian villages. The largest number of homes for Palestinians approved by Israel for more than a decade will be located in the West Bank Area C, 60% of the territory under full Israeli military and civil control. But the discussion has been postponed to next week.

Meanwhile, the Bennett government makes every effort to stop another dream of the Palestinians. Biden is frustrated his vocation to reopen the American consulate to the Palestinians in Jerusalem, closed by Trump, in the face of opposition from the Israeli prime minister. Bennett has decided. The Holy City will not be your capital.

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