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Palestinian PM calls for Israel to be confronted over illegal settlement expansion

PALESTINIAN Prime Minister Mohammed Shtayyeh has called on the international community – especially the United States – to “confront” Israel over its plans to build nearly 1,500 new illegal settlements.

Tel Aviv announced the publication of tenders for 1,355 homes in the occupied West Bank on Sunday.

Housing Minister Zeev Elkin said that “strengthening Jewish presence [in the West Bank] was essential to the zionist vision.”

But Mr Shtayyeh said that the international community must respond to the aggression that Israel’s settlement construction constitutes for the Palestinian people.

Assaults on Palestinians by have intensified in recent weeks with the advent of the olive harvesting season.

Today, soldiers protected settlers while the latter fired tear gas at Palestinians who were picking olives on the road between the villages of Aqraba and Yanoun, south of Nablus.

In Jalud, farmers were blocked from accessing their olive groves by security forces, who claimed that the Palestinians did not have permission from the Israeli civil administration or the military.

Settlers from Ahiya then stole their harvesting equipment, according to local reports.

More than 700,000 Israeli settlers live in the West Bank and East Jerusalem, which have been occupied by Israel since the 1967 six-day war.

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