Advertisement

We need your help now

Support from readers like you keeps The Journal open.

You are visiting us because we have something you value. Independent, unbiased news that tells the truth. Advertising revenue goes some way to support our mission, but this year it has not been enough.

If you've seen value in our reporting, please contribute what you can, so we can continue to produce accurate and meaningful journalism. For everyone who needs it.

Benjamin Netanyahu announces a new neighborhood in the Israeli settlement Har Homa PA Images
East Jerusalem

Tánaiste Simon Coveney condemns proposals for new Israeli settlements as 'very clearly illegal'

The plans were unveiled by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu last night.

TÁNAISTE SIMON COVENEY has hit out at an announcement by Israel that it intends to build thousands of new settlements in east Jerusalem.

The plans were unveiled by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu last night, when he revealed he would build thousands of new homes for Jewish settlers in the Har Homa and Givat Hamatos communities.

The contentious community was first built in 1997, during a previous Netanyahu government.

Israel seized east Jerusalem in the 1967 Six-Day War. It later annexed it in a move never recognised by the international community.

Jewish settlements in east Jerusalem and the occupied West Bank are also considered illegal by most foreign governments and the United Nations.

But Netanyahu said that he had approved that initial construction “despite objections from the entire world” and estimated that Har Homa’s population would grow from 40,000 to 50,000 when the new units were completed.

The move was criticised this evening by Coveney, who said that all settlement activity in the occupied Palestinian territory is “very clearly illegal” under international law.

“The construction of settlements in the Har Homa and Givat Hamatos areas in east Jerusalem would be a significant step, undermining the viability and territorial contiguity of a future Palestinian state,” he said.

“I urge the Israeli government to desist from any further steps in relation to these specific settlement plans, and to halt all settlement construction.”

Netanyahu’s announcement came less than two weeks before a general election.

Polls indicate another close race between the prime minister’s right-wing Likud and the centrist Blue and White party, with neither bloc expected to win an outright majority. 

Watchdog Peace Now called the Givat Hamatos project “a severe blow to the two-state solution,” as it would interrupt “territorial continuity between Bethlehem and east Jerusalem.”

- © AFP 2020

Comments have been closed due to the extremely high number of flagged posts. 

Readers like you are keeping these stories free for everyone...
A mix of advertising and supporting contributions helps keep paywalls away from valuable information like this article. Over 5,000 readers like you have already stepped up and support us with a monthly payment or a once-off donation.

Your Voice
Readers Comments
127
    Submit a report
    Please help us understand how this comment violates our community guidelines.
    Thank you for the feedback
    Your feedback has been sent to our team for review.