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Netanyahu Defies ICC By Promoting Settlement Construction Plan

Netanyahu Defies ICC By Promoting Settlement Construction Plan

Monday, 30 December, 2019 - 12:00
A general view picture shows houses in the Israeli settlement of Maale Adumim, in the occupied West Bank on February 15, 2017. REUTERS/Ammar Awad

The Israeli government has returned to its practices a few days after the International Criminal Court (ICC) top prosecutor Fatou Bensouda’s decision to move forward with an investigation into the Israeli war crimes against Palestinians.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu announced on Tuesday that he would soon be promoting a plan to expand settlements by building about 3,000 new settlement housing units.

According to political sources, Netanyahu still fears the ICC decision, yet he doesn’t want to bow to its dictates during his election battle.

They revealed that he has started contacts with the “US administration to exert a joint effort and put pressure on countries that provide support for the ICC budget, especially Britain, Australia, the Netherlands, and others, in order to withdraw this support if it continues its judicial procedures to investigate with Israel.”

“Netanyahu is confident that President Donald Trump’s administration will agree to the Israeli proposal in this regard and use its influence to financially besiege the ICC if it continues with the procedures,” sources stressed.

Therefore, along with discussing the court’s powers, Netanyahu decided to continue his practices in the occupied Palestinian territories.

The Supreme Planning Council of the Israeli army’s Civil Administration will meet in the coming days to approve many settlement projects.

As seen by the draft resolutions in this regard, the council will most likely give legitimacy to settlement construction and to homes built by settlers without permits.

According to Israeli law, building on private Palestinian land is considered illegal.

The Israeli “Peace Now” movement, which monitors settlement construction in the occupied Palestinian territories, announced that “Netanyahu is taking a political step aimed at improving his position and that of the Minister of Defense in his government for electoral purposes.”

“Netanyahu, without authority and without accountability, is advancing more and more construction in the West Bank settlements at the cost of making it even more difficult for Israel to ever be able to reach a political agreement with the Palestinians,” the left-wing group said.

It called on Israel’s next government to freeze construction beyond the Green Line and start negotiations with the Palestinians to achieve a two-state solution.

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