Before the parliamentary elections in Israel, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has approved Israeli settlement in the occupied West Bank. The government has decided to transform the wild settlement of Mevo’ot Yericho, founded in 1999, is an Israeli settlement and a community settlement located in the West Bank’s southern Jordan Valley just north of Jericho, in the Yitav Valley, into an official settlement, Netanyahu’s office said Sunday.
Under international law, all Israeli settlements in the occupied West Bank are illegal, but Israel makes the distinction between settlements approved by the Israeli authorities and unauthorized so-called wild settlements.
Netanyahu, who heads the Israeli government for more than 13 years, is campaigning for reelection, scheduled on Tuesday. His right-wing national ruling party Likud is a head-to-head race with the center-right blue-white list of his challenger Benny Gantz.
In the election campaign, the 69-year-old Netanyahu therefore tried to win additional voters on the right edge for themselves. He triggered international outrage a few days ago when he announced that he would annex the Jordan Valley in the West Bank entirely if he were re-elected.
Although the Likud and its allies secured a majority, the prime minister was unable to forge a government alliance. Instead, early elections were scheduled for 17 September. In addition, an imminent charge of corruption burdened Netanyahu Election campaign.
In an Israeli annexation of parts of the West Bank, observers see the deathblow for the two-state solution, which has been the central approach of international efforts to resolve the Middle East conflict so far.
Internationally, Israeli settlement construction is already seen as one of the major obstacles to a lasting peace settlement in the Middle East conflict because the dwellings were built on land that the Palestinians claim for their state.
Israel occupied the West Bank and East Jerusalem in the 1967 after a Six Day War and annexed East Jerusalem in 1980. The UN does not recognize the annexation.
Hundreds of thousands of Jewish settlers live in the West Bank and East Jerusalem. Some settlements were built with the express permission of the Israeli government, but the wild settlements are largely tolerated by the government.
The UN classifies all Israeli settlements in the occupied Palestinian territories as illegal.