Defying a UN Security Council Resolution on Saturday, the Jerusalem municipality is expected to authorize on Wednesday the construction of hundreds of illegal settlements.
The 390 building permits under consideration are for residential projects in occupied East Jerusalem, annexed after the 1967 war Reuters’ reports. That is a clear signal. Haaretz reports that this year Israel has approved the construction of 1,506 settlements as opposed to 395 homes in 2015. That means Israel will grand in one day the housing construction permits issued for the hole of 2015.
Israel is calling into question its relationship with the United Nations as such. Last Saturday, the US deviated from an established diplomatic tradition and allowed the Security Council to condemn illegal settlements with a 14-0 vote and a US abstention.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu condemned the US deviation from diplomatic tradition – for the first time since President Carter – as “shameful.”
Politically, the stakes are high for Netanyahu who is portraying himself as ready to take on the world, while settler leaders are calling for accelerated construction in East Jerusalem that will send a clear signal of contempt for the UN Security Council Resolution 2338.
The Obama administration and the EU member states strong oppose settlement policy. However, President-elect Trump is expected to change policy even more dramatically, moving the US embassy to Jerusalem and perhaps will go as far as approving of illegal settlement policy.
Israel views Jerusalem as the undivided capital of Israel alone, which deviates from the precedent of negotiations for a two-state solution. There are already more than half a million Israeli citizens living in East Jerusalem and the West Bank.