Op-Ed via The Hill

More Israeli settlements will mean fewer Palestinians

No sooner did Donald Trump take the presidential oath of office and seemingly put a promised move of the United States Embassy to Jerusalem on hold, than Israel announced it was building some 6,000 new housing units in occupied East Jerusalem and the rest of the occupied West Bank.

Despite the U.S. administration’s slap on the wrist in response, Israel’s far-right Jewish Home party, led by Naftali Bennett, pushed through a bill “legalizing” outposts built on private Palestinian land, a move that brought international condemnation and was described as “theft” even in Israel. In fact, any changes in occupied territories are illegal under international law, as was recently reaffirmed by the United Nations Security Council.

Yet, away from the headlines about settlements and the threat they pose to the two-state solution, there is little information about how settlement construction affects the Palestinians living under Israeli occupation and the cumulative effect over almost 50 years.

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