Netanyahu Plots More Illegal West Bank Colonies

The Israeli prime minister’s statement on Sunday was presented as a retaliation against countries that recently joined the majority of the international community in recognizing Palestinian statehood.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in April 2021. (DoD, Jack Sanders)

By Jake Johnson
Common Dreams

Top Israeli officials on Sunday discussed plans to expand illegal settlements in the occupied West Bank as an act of retaliation against countries that recently joined the majority of the international community in recognizing Palestinian statehood.

The office of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu released a statement Sunday announcing that government officials “discussed steps to strengthen settlement in Judea and Samaria, including in response to the countries that unilaterally recognized a Palestinian state after October 7, as well as a series of responses against the [Palestinian Authority] following its actions against Israel in [international] bodies.”

“The defense minister and the attorney general requested additional time to comment on several of the proposed clauses,” the statement added. 

The government’s announcement, released hours before Netanyahu dissolved Israel’s war cabinet, comes amid an unprecedented wave of settler violence against Palestinians in the West Bank — violence that Israeli soldiers have abetted and frequently joined

Settlers and Israeli forces have demolished homes, razed refugee camps, set fire to cars and businesses, and carried out summary executions of West Bank residents — including children — in the eight months since Israel launched its assault on Gaza.

Israeli Finance Minister Bezalel Smotrich, who has vocally supported the ethnic cleansing of Palestinian territories, recently threatened that Israel’s military would turn the West Bank into “ruined cities like in the Gaza Strip.”

CNN noted Sunday that Smotrich suggested last month that “Israel should approve 10,000 settlements in the West Bank, establish a new settlement for every country that recognizes a state of Palestine, and cancel travel permits for Palestinian Authority officials.”

“This is what total unchecked impunity sounds like,” researcher Abe Silberstein wrote on social media following the latest news of Israel’s settlement-expansion plans. “Netanyahu knows Biden will do nothing, and that he will in fact stop others from doing anything.”

The Biden administration, which acknowledged earlier this year that Israeli settlements are “inconsistent with international law,” has sanctioned a handful of settlers as well as an entity accused of fundraising for them, but critics say the actions were largely a public relations stunt.

Israeli soldiers searching a Palestinian in Tel Rumaida, Gilbert checkpoint in the occupied West Bank city of Hebron, January 2012. (Friends123, CC0, Wikimedia Commons)

In May — amid growing global outrage over Israel’s brutalization of Palestinians in Gaza and the West Bank — Norway, Ireland, and Spain announced their decision to formally recognize Palestinian statehood, drawing a furious response from Israel’s right-wing government, which warned of “severe consequences” for the move.

Earlier this month, Slovenia’s Parliament overwhelmingly voted to recognize Palestine, becoming the latest European country to do so.

Meanwhile, Israeli leaders — including Netanyahu and Defense Minister Yoav Gallant — are facing the possibility of arrest warrants from the International Criminal Court’s top prosecutor, who applied for the warrants against Israeli officials and Hamas leaders last month.

A United Nations report published last week found that Israeli forces in the West Bank have “committed acts of sexual violence, torture, and inhuman or cruel treatment and outrages upon personal dignity, all of which are war crimes.”

“Furthermore,” according to the report, “the government of Israel and Israeli forces permitted, fostered, and instigated a campaign of settler violence against Palestinian communities in the West Bank.”

U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) said in a statement Friday that “while the world is understandably focused on the destruction unfolding in Gaza, we should not lose sight of what is happening in the West Bank — actions which are in violation of both American and international law.”

“Let’s be clear: The right-wing, extremist Netanyahu government is not only breaking international law in Gaza, they are doing the same in the West Bank, where they are pursuing illegal annexation by force,” said Sanders. “Netanyahu should be facing serious consequences for these violations, not receiving an invitation to address a joint session of Congress.”

Jake Johnson is a staff writer for Common Dreams.

This article is from  Common Dreams.

Views expressed in this article and may or may not reflect those of Consortium News.

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19 comments for “Netanyahu Plots More Illegal West Bank Colonies

  1. Vera Gottlieb
    June 24, 2024 at 11:00

    Just the sight of Bibi and Genocide Jo make me want to puke!

  2. susan
    June 18, 2024 at 08:52

    Netanyahu is an absolutely abhorrent human being and Biden is standing right beside him…

    • Frank Lambert
      June 18, 2024 at 09:19

      When you control a nation’s money supply, much of the big corporate media and the entertainment industry, you control the narrative and when you pay off politicians with money and various gratuities, you can pull their puppet-like strings. This is why the Palestinian Holocaust continues with only lip service about the calculate murder of thousands of Palestinians in their homeland.

      Too me, Netanyahu is the modern day Adolph Hitler and the blue and white flag is the Jewish swastika.

      • Nyah
        June 18, 2024 at 15:43

        “…and the blue and white flag is the Jewish swastika”.

        Zionist (not Jewish) swastika. It should be referred to as the Zionist flag. Many orthodox Jews consider Zionism to be blasphemous, that the Talmud strictly forbids Jews from having a state.

        • Frank Lambert
          June 18, 2024 at 19:50

          Agreed! Most Germans were not Nazis either. The Zionist flag, indeed!

    • anaisanesse
      June 19, 2024 at 02:55

      How any sentient being can support the Israeli Zionist genocidal State with all the evidence we can all see in recent months (even if we ignored it all in the past) shows us that perhaps “artificial intelligence” has taken over. Certainly NO human intelligence is part of the Western/ US/ Israel decision-making or even part of the mindset of our leaders.

      • Brian Bixby
        June 23, 2024 at 01:24

        Nah, any AI worth the CPU cycles would add up all the pluses and minuses and within a millisecond come to the conclusion that there is no conceivable advantage to the US in supporting Israel. Only human beings can possibly be that stupid.

  3. Em
    June 18, 2024 at 08:22

    Yesterday, heard activist, anti-Zionist, Milo Peled: The Generals Son, quite aptly describe Netanyahu as (paraphrasing) a narcissistic, psychopathic, genocidal maniac!

  4. Andrew Nichols
    June 18, 2024 at 06:43

    Israel is losing the right to exist. The One state solution is coming and all the faster as theWestern Minority World declines.

  5. CaseyG
    June 17, 2024 at 23:19

    The fact that Biden supported Israel—in spite of Israel warring upon Palestine since 1948. Netanyahu works for himself and for power— I do not believe he truly cares about Israelis, and he certainly does not care about all of the Palestinians children that have been murdered either.
    I saw an old war picture from WW 2 and it showed Mussolini dead—and hanging upside down —next to his equally dead girlfriend.
    – I would truly like Netanyahu to go away and die- he has murdered so many men , women and children, and blown up all forms of shelter.
    He is a man with no soul—and I would like to see him, like Mussolini hanging upside down one day. Perhaps some sanity can return to that nation.
    Palestinians have a right to the return of their own land. I am happy that more
    nations see that they must also support the people of Palestine.

  6. June 17, 2024 at 22:00

    Kudos to Jake Johnson of Common Dreams and CN for republishing this thoughtful & factual reporting.
    The ICC, along with the recently acknowledged unanimous support (-Russia) of the UN Security Council, should be granted unfettered jurisdiction over the criminal acts by the Israeli government against the Palestinian people; as well as those committed by any Palestinian against any Israeli.
    As Usual,

  7. LeoSun
    June 17, 2024 at 20:26

    Awh, the Netty-Pot strikes again!!! AND, the Independent, hot-air factory from Vermont, Bernie “Betrayed, Everyone,” $anders, blows!!!

    Like his fellow, corrupted homies,” Netanyahu & Sanders were unmasked YEARS ago as frauds, grifters, sycophants like their “Homies,” Biden-Harris, ABC, Bowman, Tlaib, Omar, Pressley, Bush, the Democrats $ocialists of The Hill, on The Hill, by The Hill, “Stinking Up the Planet!!!”

    This reign of terror will never hold the Killers in High Places to account b/c they, Congress, are 100% complicit in the deception, destruction & death, on the West Bank & the Gaza Strip, plus, Yemen, Somalia, Libya, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Syria, Iraq, etc., etc., etc., for 50+ years.

    “There is no division between “establishment” & “non-establishment Democrats.” And, no doubt, the Independent Bernie Sanders IS worthless! Bernie $anders is an ZERO value add. Bernie Sanders is a “Common” Democrat.

    NO DOUBT, imo, the Democrats are the establishment. The Democrats are the $tate. The Democrats are the CIA, the MIC, the FBI.

    The Democrats is an institution through which the capitalist class remains its rule, suppresses social opposition; AND, plunders the world on behalf of corporations.”

    The Democrats are “Stinking Up the Planet!!!” It’s Code Blue. Best practice, “FJB!”

  8. Joe D'Urso
    June 17, 2024 at 19:37

    Bibi is shoring up his support among the ultra-right settler faction while making the “two-state solution” even less practicable than it is now.

  9. Andrew Thomas
    June 17, 2024 at 19:09

    As to Senator Sanders’ statement- no s—t, Bernie. And this watered down tea makes him a minority of one in the U.S. Senate.
    Some wag said about 50 years ago that irony died the day Kissinger got the Nobel Peace Prize. I wonder what whoever it was would be saying today.

  10. June 17, 2024 at 17:01

    But decent people still “stand with Israel” which permits me to begin to grasp how decent Germans did not stand up to the Nazis. We humans are a strange lot.

    • Frank Lambert
      June 18, 2024 at 09:09

      Decent Germans who stood up to the Nazis were either shot, hung, beheaded or imprisoned, which is why there were so many failed attempts to assassinated Adolph Hitler. Think of Hans and Sophie Scholl who printed pamphlets and distributed them about the atrocities they observed on the Eastern Front by the dreaded Waffen SS soldiers. They were caught, tried in a Nazi court, found guilty, and beheaded that night.

      If you can get a copy of “Killing Hitler” The Plots, the Assassins, and the Dictator Who Cheated Death, by Roger Moorehouse, it’s a fascinating read for history enthusiasts. Excellent documentation of almost fifty would-be assassins who tried to kill Hitler, and most of them were German.

    • WillD
      June 19, 2024 at 23:38

      It should be ‘decent’ people – that is people who appear, and think themselves, decent – but aren’t really.

      Why? Because they don’t understand the impliocations of their beliefs and support, and if they do then they aren’t ‘decent’.

  11. Linda Luck
    June 17, 2024 at 16:25

    Why isn’t Israel accepting og all that they have already stolen? They do not have an expanding population……quite the opposite.

    • Beverly
      June 18, 2024 at 00:25

      Linda, the Zionists never were content with what the UN gave them in 1947. They were not content with what they conquered in 1967. They want all of the land of Palestine and then some more from various neighbors as a security buffer zone – , Oded Yinon Plan.

      Yes, all reasonable, decent and enlightened Israelis started to leave this abomination of a country already some 35 years ago. On a flight from Los Angeles to Europe I sat next to an Israeli woman from Haifa. She was looking at real estate in L,A. so she and her children could leave Israel. She had enough of Zionism and its racial supremacist fascism. However, these type of people (Ziofascists) are never satisfied. They want more Lebensraum even if they don’t have the people.

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