Israel’s Security Cabinet approves first new settlement in Judea and Samaria in 2 decades

Settlement to be community for evicted Amona residents; Palestinian Authority and United Nations condemn settlement, claims it hinders peace

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Israel’s Security Cabinet unanimously voted to establish a new settlement in Judea and Samaria, the first new settlement to be created in over two decades

The vote was made on Thursday and approved the construction of the new settlement in the Shiloh Valley. The settlement is to be created for some 40 families that were former residents of Amona, a West Bank settlement evicted in February of this year.

The cabinet also announced that over 200 acres of West Bank territory would become state land and will be used for existing settlement’s growth and also approved the construction of 2,000 settlement homes.

Amona was a settlement created in the 1990’s and was deemed illegal by Israel’s High Court in 2006. In February, residents of Amona were evicted after Prime Minister Netanyahu promised a new settlement in December for the residents.

While the international community condemned the approval of the settlement, the Trump Administration has reportedly supported it as Prime Minister Netanyahu “made a commitment to the Amona settlers prior to President Trump laying out his expectations, and has consistently indicated that he intended to move forward with this plan,” according to a White House official.

The White House also stated on Friday morning “While the existence of settlements is not in itself an impediment to peace, further unrestrained settlement activity does not help advance peace.”

Prime Minister Netanyahu addressed the settlement, stating to reporters on Thursday “I had promised from the start that I would create a new settlement. It seems to me that I made that commitment in December and I will keep today.” His Office released the statement “Israel is taking into account President Trump’s position and will therefore take significant steps to scale back construction beyond the boundaries of existing communities and will exercise restraint.”

The Palestinian Authority claimed the settlement will hinder peace and contributes to Israel’s “apartheid regime”, a spokesman for the PA stating, “With these actions Israel has shown that it aims to reinforce the odious Israeli occupation.” It called on the international community to take action against the State of Israel.

The United Nations condemned the settlement, a spokesman for Secretary General Antonio Guterres stating Friday “The Secretary General has consistently stressed that there is no Plan B for Israelis and Palestinians to live together in peace and security. He condemns all unilateral actions that, like the present one, threaten peace and undermine the two-state solution.”