Britain and America have strongly criticised yet another Israeli announcement of Jewish settlement expansion in Palestinian territories.
Foreign Office Minister Tobias Ellwood said: “The UK condemns the Government of Israel’s decision of 30 January to publish new tenders for 450 settlement units in the West Bank of the Occupied Palestinian Territories.”
He added: “Israeli settlements… are illegal under international law. We urge the Government of Israel to reverse this decision.”
Settlements watchdog Peace Now said it was a right-wing power play ahead of next month’s election, adding: “It is a pre-election grab to establish facts on the ground made by the Netanyahu government.”
Hanan Ashrawi, a senior official of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO), said: “Once again, Palestinian lives, rights and lands are being violated in the service of Israeli election campaigns.”