Israel to pursue bills to expand control of illegal settlements

Israel to pursue bills to expand control of illegal settlements
Israeli Education minister Naftali Bennett said he will pursue two bills that will increase Israeli military control in the occupied West Bank.
2 min read
17 December, 2018
Israel is illegally occupying the West Bank [Getty]

Israeli Education Minister Naftali Bennett pledged on Monday to pursue two laws that would bring illegal Israeli settlements in the occupied West Bank under increased Israeli control.

"Citizens and residents of Judea and Samaria do not enjoy the same rights that people enjoy in Tel Aviv in terms of water, electricity, kindergartens. It is all second grade here, and an Israeli is an Israeli, is an Israeli." said Bennett.

Bennett was speaking after a meeting with the settler community in Givat Assaf in the West Bank, where two Israeli soldiers were killed when a Palestinian gunman opened fire at a bus stop last week.

Israel seized control of the West Bank and east Jerusalem in a 1967 war. Around 600,000 Israelis now live in settlements there considered illegal by the international community.

The expansion of settlements are widely condemned and considered a barrier for peace and security.

"Israel's settlement expansion is an illegal project that is dangerous on all fronts," says Diana Alghoul The New Arab's resident Palestine expert.

"By illegally building outposts on internationally-recognised Palestinian land, Israel is sending out a message to Palestinians that their plight to statehood is irrelevant - causing a blow for all supporters of the two-state solution," she added.

Earlier on Monday the Israeli military partially demolished the home of a Palestinian accused of killing two Israelis in a West Bank attack two months ago.

Agencies contributed to this report.