Israel mulls establishing new settlements in retaliation for Palestinian statehood recognition

Israeli Security Cabinet drafting plan in response to European states unilaterally recognizing Palestinian statehood. On the table: establishment of new settlements.

By David Rosenberg, World Israel News

Israel is considering a number of possible moves to boost Jewish towns in Judea and Samaria as a response to the decision by several European states to unliterally recognize Palestinian statehood, the Prime Minister’s Office announced Monday.

According to a statement released by the PMO Monday afternoon, Israel’s Security Cabinet discussed on Sunday measures which could be adopted to bolster Jewish settlement in Judea and Samaria, as part of Israel’s response to one-sided recognition of Palestinian statehood.

“The Security Cabinet 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 Prime Minister’s Office said.

No final decision was taken Sunday, however, as Defense Minister Yoav Gallant and Attorney General Gali Baharav-Miara requested that a vote be delayed until the proposals are fully assessed.

“The Defense Minister and the Attorney General requested additional time to comment on several of the proposed clauses. The Prime Minister instructed that all of the proposals be submitted to a vote at the next Security Cabinet meeting.”

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In recent weeks, four European states including Ireland, Norway, Spain, and Slovenia all unilaterally recognized Palestinian statehood, without a final status agreement between the Palestinian Authority and Israel.

Israel’s Foreign Minister, Israel Katz (Likud), condemned the move, calling it a reward for terrorism, given that the recognition came just months after the Gaza invasion of Israel on October 7th.

Finance Minister Bezalel Smotrich, a member of the Security Cabinet, last month called on the government to green light 10,000 new housing units in Judea and Samaria in response to the unliteral recognition of Palestinian statehood.

Smotrich has also proposed establishing entirely new Israeli towns in Judea and Samaria – one for each country that recognizes Palestinian statehood.

In addition, Smotrich advocated for the cancellation of travel passes for Palestinian Authority officials.