Middle east

Saudi Arabia denies and denounces Israel’s settlement decision near East Jerusalem

On Tuesday, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs announced that Saudi Arabia denies and denounces Israel’s decision to invite entrepreneur bids to establish 1,257 new settlements near East Jerusalem.

The ministry declared on Tweeter: The Ministry of Foreign Affairs affirms the Kingdom’s condemnation and rejection of the move, which contravenes international resolutions, undermines efforts towards the two-state solutions and affects efforts to achieve peace in the region.

On Sunday, Israel proposed a settler housing plan in a sensitive area near East Jerusalem, which is considered as a step while critics related that is aimed to shore up the project before US President-elect Joe Biden takes office.

Moreover, the Israel Land Authority (ILA) invited the architect to establish 1,257 homes in Givat Hamatos under a plan activated in February by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu after being effectively arrested by international opposition.

The ILA also said that bidding ends on Jan. 18, two days before Biden is sworn in to substitute President Donald Trump. The latter’s administration has supported an Israeli settlement on occupied land that Palestinians try to make their state.

On his part, Nabil Abu Rudeineh, a spokesman for Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, reported in a statement that settlements were illegal under international law and the tender was part of Israeli efforts to kill the internationally-backed two-state solution.

Whereas, opponents of the project state that it would divide parts of East Jerusalem from the nearby Palestinian town of Bethlehem in the West Bank, and this is a question that the European Union foreign policy chief Josep Borrell suggested, who said that he was deeply worried by the bidding.

Borrell related in a statement: This is a key location between Jerusalem and Bethlehem in the occupied West Bank. Any settlement construction will cause serious damage to the prospects for a viable and contiguous Palestinian State. However, the ILA didn’t give date for the start of construction.

Furthermore, Peace Now, which is an Israeli anti-settlement group, accused Netanyahu’s government of taking advantage of the final weeks of the Trump administration in order to set facts on the ground at Givat Hamatos. Israel cites historical, political and biblical links to the West Bank and over 440,000 Israeli settlers live there, among three million Palestinians

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