Israel considers rare Palestinian construction plan

While rarely granting construction permits to Palestinians, Israel also regularly carries out demolitions of Palestinian buildings it considers illegally built in the West Bank. (File/AFP)
Updated 30 July 2019

Israel considers rare Palestinian construction plan

  • Israel rarely grants construction permits to Palestinians and regularly carries out demolitions of Palestinian buildings
  • The plan is being considered ahead of an expected visit by Kushner

JERUSALEM: Israel is considering rare approval of construction of Palestinian homes in the part of the occupied West Bank under its complete control, an official said Tuesday, but settlement expansion would accompany it.
The plan under consideration by Israeli ministers would see 700 Palestinian homes constructed in the West Bank as well as 6,000 homes in Israeli settlements, the Israeli official said on condition of anonymity.
It is being considered ahead of an expected visit in the coming days by US President Donald Trump’s son-in-law and senior adviser Jared Kushner, who is preparing a long-awaited plan for Israeli-Palestinian peace.
The approvals would be for the part of the West Bank known as Area C, which is under Israeli security and civilian control and where its settlements are located.
Area C accounts for more than 60 percent of the West Bank, the Palestinian territory that would in theory form part of a future Palestinian state under the so-called two-state solution.
Israel rarely grants approvals for Palestinian construction in Area C.
Israeli media reported that ministers have not approved significant Palestinian construction over the past four years.
The plan, though relatively small and far outweighed by the new settlement construction being considered, could allow Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to argue he is making efforts in favor of Kushner’s upcoming plan.
The Palestinians have boycotted Trump’s White House since his 2017 recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital and have already dismissed the peace plan as blatantly biased in favor of Israel.
In addition to the Jerusalem decision, Trump’s administration has taken a series of moves against the Palestinians, including cutting hundreds of millions of dollars in aid and shutting their de facto embassy in Washington.
While rarely granting construction permits to Palestinians, Israel also regularly carries out demolitions of Palestinian buildings it considers illegally built in the West Bank.
Continued settlement construction by Israel in the West Bank has slowly eaten away at hopes for a two-state solution to the conflict.
The settlements are considered illegal under international law and are built on land that the Palestinians see as part of their future state.
Israel argues that Palestinian intransigence, violence and incitement are the main impediments to peace.


Houthis launch ballistic missile attack against Yemen’s Saada

Updated 27 min 56 sec ago

Houthis launch ballistic missile attack against Yemen’s Saada

  • The Arab coalition spokesperson Col. Turki Al-Maliki said the missile was launched from Sanaa and fell in Al-Safra district in Saada province

DUBAI: The Houthi militia fired a ballistic missile in a densely populated area in Yemen’s Saada on Sunday, state news agency SPA reported.

The Arab coalition spokesperson Col. Turki Al-Maliki said the missile was launched from Sanaa and fell in Al-Safra district in Saada province.

He added that the Iranian-backed Houthi militia continues to violate international humanitarian law by launching strikes against civilian areas.

Earlier, the Yemeni oil ministry said the Houthi militia targeted an oil pipeline in Marib’s Safar oil field, east of Yemen.

The ministry said the attack was considered a crime and an affirmation to how Houthis are seeking to destroy all Yemeni people’s capabilities.

The ministry added that such actions proved how far the militia was from ‘national and human values.’