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PA’s Abbas slams plan to approve new settlement building

Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas addresses a meeting of Fatah's Revolutionary Council, in a speech that was broadcast on Wednesday, June 23, 2021. (WAFA)
Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas addresses a meeting of Fatah's Revolutionary Council, in a speech that was broadcast on Wednesday, June 23, 2021. (WAFA)

Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas condemns an anticipated Israeli decision to add around 2,200 units in major West Bank settlement blocs.

Abbas’s office adds that the decision to add new units to the settlements contradicts the position of United States President Joe Biden, who has been critical of settlements in the past.

“It contradicts the clear American position expressed by President Joe Biden during his call with President Mahmoud Abbas, in which he affirmed the American side’s rejection of settlements and unilateral measures,” Abbas’s office said in a statement.

Abbas demands that the US and the international community “immediately and seriously work to stop this Israeli advancement,” his office says.

Foreign Minister Yair Lapid told reporters today in Morocco that the new government will focus on “natural growth” within existing settlements, rather than expanding into new areas.

Abbas’s statement does not mention another pending decision by Israeli authorities to advance 800 units in Palestinian areas where Israel has civilian control — a zone known as Area C, which comprises around 60 percent of the West Bank.

Israel rarely issues permits for Palestinians to build in Area C, rejecting some 98% of applications between 2014 and 2018, according to the Defense Ministry.

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