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Israel Seeking to Build Synagogues in Several Settlements, Says Report

Israel Seeking to Build Synagogues in Several Settlements, Says Report

Sunday, 26 September, 2021 - 06:45
Palestinians block a road to stop Israeli settlers from passing during a demonstration against Jewish settlements in the village Kafr Malik in the Israeli-occupied West Bank, on November 20, 2020. (Getty Images)

An official Palestinian report accused on Saturday the Israeli government of seeking to build Jewish synagogues in many settlements and outposts.

“In its continuous effort to consolidate settlements and strengthen its presence in the West Bank, including occupied Jerusalem, the occupation government and settlement councils intend to establish synagogues for Jews in many settlements and outposts,” said a report by the National Center for the Defense of Land, which operates under the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO).

The report warned that Israeli authorities plan to allocate $6.25 million to 30 settlements and outposts due to a shortage in the number of synagogues and buildings dedicated to the celebration of the Jewish rites.

It said Israeli Religious Affairs Minister Matan Kahana has already drafted the plan and signed new standards to support the government for establishing synagogues.

Palestinian authorities fear the move will promote and strengthen settlements and restrict the Palestinian presence in the occupied West Bank, particularly since this is the first time that priority is given for settlements and outposts located in “sensitive security areas.”

The report warned that the Israeli government plans to later turn those synagogues into religious schools, which are difficult to evacuate.

By the end of 2019, there were 461 Israeli occupation sites and military bases in the West Bank, including 151 settlements and 26 inhabited outposts that were considered as neighborhoods following established settlements, in addition to 140 settlement outposts. Meanwhile, the number of settlers in the West Bank reached around 688,000.

A recent report by Israeli human rights groups B'Tselem and Kerem Navot revealed that the Israeli settler population in the West Bank has risen by 42 percent since 2010.

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