Cairo (AFP): The Arab League on Wednesday condemned Israel’s announcement of new settlements as a sign of contempt for the international community and an obstacle to peace.
Israel on Tuesday approved 2,500 new homes in the occupied West Bank in a major expansion of settlements following the election of US President Donald Trump.
The move drew widespread international criticism. The settlements are seen as illegal under international law and major stumbling blocks to peace as they are built on land the Palestinians want for their own state.
Tuesday’s announcement “confirms the Israeli government’s approach, which is full of contempt and defiance for the will of the international (community),” the head of the Cairo-based Arab League, Ahmed Aboul Gheit, said in a statement.
The statement accused Israel of “causing all efforts to implement the two-state solution to fail.”
It suggested Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s government was feeling “strengthened” by “recent international developments”.
Trump has signalled strong support for Israel, and Israeli right-wing politicians have sought to take advantage, with hardliners calling for an end to the idea of a Palestinian state.