Israel approves $18M extra funding for illegal West Bank settlements

AP , Sunday 19 Jun 2016

Illegal Israeli settlements
File photo of Illegal Israeli settlements in the occupied West Bank. (Photo: Reuters)

The Israeli government approved $18 million in extra funding for the occupied West Bank settlements on Sunday, in a move that angered both opposition lawmakers and Palestinians, according to a statement from Netanyahu's office.

Some 600,000 Jews live in settlements built on the occupied West Bank and in east Jerusalem on lands Israel captured from Jordan in the 1967 war. Most of the world considers them to be illegal. Israel has faced strong criticism for their continued expansion.

Opposition lawmakers attacked the decision, saying that instead of boosting Israel's struggling periphery the government was pouring money into an enterprise that undermined Israel's security and international standing.

Later Sunday, the Palestinian Health Ministry said a 22-year-old man was killed by the Israeli military in the West Bank in May.

Since the start of October, the recent surge in violence has raised concern of wider escalation. Israeli occupation forces have killed at least 200 Palestinians. Meanwhile, almost daily stabbings, shootings and car-ramming attacks by frustrated and unarmed Palestinians have killed 32 Israelis and two Americans.

The current wave of protests by Palestinians and repression by Israeli occupation forces started in late July when toddler Ali Dawabsha was burned to death and three other Palestinians were severely injured after their house in the occupied West Bank was set on fire by Israeli settlers.

Settlement-building, racial discrimination, confiscation of identity cards, long queues at checkpoints, as well as daily clashes and the desecration of Al-Aqsa mosque, describe Palestinians' daily suffering.

*The story was edited by Ahram Online.

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