Outposts on private Palestinian land are even considered illegal in Israel, which contravenes international law by building settlements in occupied territory.
Shortly after Israel approved hundreds of settlement homes in East Jerusalem and a recent U.N. Security Council resolution condemning the illegal practice, Israeli parliament postponed Monday a vote on a bill that would retroactively legalize about 4,000 homes built in outposts on privately-owned Palestinian land.
While the state of Israel has pillaged and plundered Palestinian land and expanded settlements that are illegal under international law, these outposts even violate Israeli Supreme Court rulings. The attorney general has even deemed the practice unconstitutional.
Passage of the legislation is backed by the right-wing government, even though Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu had privately opposed the bill, which won preliminary parliamentary approval in November.
After briefly halting the project, however, Jerusalem’s City Hall approved the building permits for more than 560 units in the urban settlements of Pisgat Zeev, Ramat Shlomo and Ramot.
Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat claimed in a statement that under Obama, the situation for Israel was “difficult with pressure … to freeze construction,” but that Israel is now entering a new era under a Trump presidency.
Palestinian authorities sharply criticized the decision.
“We strongly condemn the Israeli decision to approve the construction,” Nabil Abu Rudeineh, spokesman for Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, told Reuters.
Israeli settlements in the occupied Palestinian territories are considered illegal according to international law and many countries in the international community have called on Israel to put an end to such projects in order to advance the peace process with Palestine.
Both the West Bank and East Jerusalem, occupied by Israel in 1967, are territories claimed as part of the desired Palestinian state.
Additionally, in yet another proposal that has drawn Palestinian outcry, Trump has pledged to move the U.S. embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.
Netanyahu spoke to Trump by phone Sunday. The U.S. president said his conversation with his Israeli counterpart was “very nice.”