[…]Israel Plans West Bank Settlement Expansion - Common Dreams

Human rights defenders on Monday blasted Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s far-right apartheid government after it reportedly informed the Biden administration of plans to build thousands of new Jewish-only settler homes in the illegally occupied West Bank of Palestine.

Three Israeli and U.S. officials told Axios that Israel will announce later this month its intention to build at least 4,000 homes in existing West Bank settler colonies. Over the weekend, Israeli and international media reported that Netanyahu’s government would postpone plans for what’s known as the E1 project due to U.S. pressure.

For two decades Israeli and international human rights experts have called the settlements—which are illegal under Article 49 of the 4th Geneva Convention and the International Criminal Court’s (ICC) Rome Statute—part of Israel’s apartheid regime. The seizure of Palestinian land in the occupied territories is also a war crime under the Rome Statute.

The Biden administration has largely turned a blind eye to Israeli settlement construction and expansion but says it is strongly opposed to E1 because it would reduce the Palestinian population in East Jerusalem and further diminish faint hopes of any so-called two-state solution.

In the United States, the progressive political group Justice Democrats called on Congress to pass H.R. 3103, the Defending the Human Rights of Palestinian Children and Families Living Under Israeli Military Occupation Act. The measure—which was introduced last month by Rep. Betty McCollum (D-Minn.)—would ensure that no U.S. tax dollars are used by the Israeli military to imprison Palestinian children, force Palestinians out of their homes or demolish their property, or further expand settlements and steal Palestinian land.

The U.S. gives Israel around $3.8 billion in mostly unconditional military aid each year.

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Common Dreams

Locations: Israel Palestine West Bank, Palestine East Jerusalem, Palestine 

Organizations: International Criminal Court Geneva Convention Justice Democrats 

People: Benjamin Netanyahu Betty McCollum 

Tags: Apartheid Human Rights Legislation Defending the Human Rights of Palestinian Children and Families Living Under Israeli Military Occupation Act Military 

Type: Headlines