RAMALLAH (Ma’an) -- Israeli bulldozers started building a road on Palestinian land leading to an illegal settlement outpost in the northern occupied West Bank district of Nablus on Sunday morning, a Palestinian official told Ma’an.
Ghassan Daghlas, who monitors settlement activity in the northern West Bank, said that Israelis began working on a road servicing the outpost of Shvut Rachel, encroaching on Palestinian lands south of the Palestinian village of Jalud.
Daghlas added that the road would lead to the seizure of dozens of dunams of agricultural land in Jalud, and contribute to the expansion of settlements in the West Bank.
A spokesperson for the Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories (COGAT), the Israeli agency responsible for implementing Israeli policies in the occupied Palestinian territory, told Ma'an that "the work in question was not legal and did not have the approval of the required authorities and therefore was stopped."
The Palestinian Prime Minister’s office said in a statement in August that Israeli settlements -- which are illegal under international law -- control some 42 percent of West Bank land, whether through housing, agricultural and industrial facilities, roads, and other infrastructure.
While members of the international community rested the solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict on the discontinuation of illegal Israeli settlements and the establishment of a two-state solution, Israeli leaders have instead shifted farther to the right as many Knesset members have called for an escalation of settlement building in the occupied West Bank, and with some having advocated for its complete annexation.
A number of Palestinian activists have criticized the two-state solution as unsustainable and unlikely to bring durable peace, proposing instead a binational state with equal rights for Israelis and Palestinians.