Saudi Arabia condemns Israel’s decision to build new settlements in West Bank

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Riyadh – Saudi Arabia on Tuesday condemned Israel’s decision to approve the establishment of 800 new settlement units in the West Bank, Saudi Press Agency (SPA) quoted Saudi Foreign Ministry.

“We strongly condemn Israel’s decision to approve the establishment of 800 new settlement units in the West Bank, and we reiterate our categorical rejection of this step as a new violation of international legitimacy decisions, a threat to peace, and an undermining of efforts for the two-state solution,” the Kingdom’s Foreign Ministry said in a Twitter post.

On Monday, Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu ordered to proceed with the plans to construct some 800 homes for Jewish settlers in the occupied West Bank, an official statement said.

The 800 homes for settlers would be built in Beit El, Tal Menashe, Rehelim, Shavei Shomron, Barkan, Karnei Shomron and Givat Zeev.

However, no starting date for construction is declared yet.

Saudi Arabia’s foreign minister Farhan bin Faisal in September 2020, declared that Kingdom’s support for Palestinian cause and the Palestinian people remains unchanged despite the approval to use Saudi airspace for flights flying to and from United Arab Emirates.

In August 2020, Saudi Arabia’s former intelligence chief Prince Turki bin Faisal Al-Saud said that, “Saudi Arabia’s price for normalising relations with Israel is the creation of a sovereign Palestinian state with Jerusalem as its capital”.

The 2002 Arab Peace Initiative was proposed by the late Saudi King Abdullah Al-Saud to the state of Israel. According to the API, Arab countries will normalize ties with Israel in return Israel should withdraw its forces and settlements from all territories including the West Bank, Gaza and East Jerusalem, which were captured in the 1967 Middle East war. Moreover, East Jerusalem should be Palestine’s capital.

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