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Turkey condemns Israel’s new settlement plan

ANKARA, Turkey: Turkey has condemned Israel’s plan to construct over 2,500 new settlement units in the occupied West Bank and East Jerusalem.

“We strongly condemn the step taken by Israel with the tenders issued today (January 20) for the construction of additional illegal settlements consisting of 2,572 housing units, 2,112 of which are in the West Bank and 460 in East Jerusalem,” said a Turkish Foreign Ministry statement on Wednesday.

The statement said Israel, by such actions, intends to prevent the establishment of a Palestinian State with geographical integrity and change the status of Jerusalem.

The increase in the number of such actions before each election reflects a mentality of opportunism, it said, and added that these actions are “also attempted to block the ways of establishing peace in the region.”

The ministry, in the statement, called on the international community to take action to ensure the rights of the Palestinian people and to protect Palestinian territories in the face of the occupying mentality of the Israeli administration.

The Palestinian Authority (PA) on Wednesday also condemned the Israeli tenders for the construction of more than 2,500 new settlement units in the occupied West Bank.

“The Israeli government is racing against time to eliminate what remains of any possibility for a two-state solution and to place more obstacles in front of the new US administration,” PA spokesman Nabil Abu Rudeineh said in statement s cited by the official Wafa news agency.

The spokesman called on the new US administration to take a clear position on the Israeli settlement policy if it wanted to achieve security and stability in the region.

On Tuesday, Israel published tenders to build 2,572 new settler homes in the occupied West Bank, including 460 units in East Jerusalem.

The move came after Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on January 11 approved the construction of 800 settlement units in the occupied territory.

The West Bank, including East Jerusalem, is regarded as “occupied territory” under international law, making all Jewish settlements there illegal.