The human rights group, Peace Now, said that Donald Trump’s administration greenlighted a surge in settlement construction and planning and attempted to set in motion Israel’s formal annexation of the occupied West Bank.
“Donald J. Trump’s four years in office, there have been far-reaching changes in the American position on Israeli settlements that have shattered the international consensus around a two-state solution, and which have promoted annexation in all but name,” Peace Now said Monday on its website.
“The de facto annexation has manifested itself in high levels of settlement unit approvals, transgressions of informal international red lines in highly sensitive areas like the Jerusalem environs and Hebron, and the building of over 30 new outposts.”
“The Trump administration lent the power of the United States to the benefit of the narrow interests of a small, radical group of settlers, and has done enormous damage to Israel. We expect the incoming administration of President-Elect Biden to be attentive to the peace-seeking majority in Israel and to restore the United States to its status as a constructive intermediary for a two-state solution.”
It highlighted that “the number of plans promoted in the settlements increased 2.5 times compared to the previous four years – 26,331 housing units were promoted in the settlements in the years 2017-2020, compared to 10,331 housing units in the years 2013-2016.”
“The number of tenders in the settlements doubled – tenders were published for 2,425 housing units in the settlements, compared with 1,164 housing units in the previous four years.”
It also pointed out that Israel carried out infrastructure and road projects during those four years in order to add another million settlers. “In recent years, the Israeli government has begun infrastructure and road projects designed to form the development axis for settlements with an investment of billions of shekels.”