Palestinian PM: ‘We don’t need permission from Israel to build’

The Palestinian Authority prime minister attacked Israel’s plan to build 715 housing units in Area C.

By World Israel News Staff

Palestinian Authority Prime Minister Mohammad Shtayyeh attacked Israel’s plan to build 715 housing units in Area C on Wednesday. Area C comprises 61 percent of Judea and Samaria and falls under Israeli control as per the Oslo Accords.

“We do not need permission from the occupying power to build our homes on our lands,” he said, according to the PA’s official news agency WAFA.

The Israeli government decision “is aimed at deceiving international public opinion, legitimizing the settlements and attempting to equate Palestinian construction on their lands with the colonial settlement construction that steals the land, the water and the air,” WAFA reports.

Shtayyeh also said that the Oslo classification of Areas A, B and C “no longer exists because Israel has violated and terminated the interim Oslo agreement.”

Israel’s Security Cabinet approved the housing units earlier this week after a debate in which reservations were expressed by government ministers, according to reports.

Right-wing Israeli groups criticized the move as Palestinians have been building tens of thousands of illegal buildings and constructing roads in Area C in an attempt to create a de facto state. They have received financial help from E.U. countries, which publicly flout their assistance for the illegal activity.

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Regavim, an NGO focused on land issues, was one of those who attacked the government decision.

In a statement issued on Monday when rumors of the construction approval first aired, the group said,  “Every member of every right-wing party understands that the rampant illegal construction carried out by the Palestinian Authority in Area C poses a strategic and security threat to the State of Israel.

“Every right-wing member of Knesset should be taking steps to insure that this Arab takeover is halted immediately, through swift and efficient law enforcement. The only place for large-scale construction projects that serve the Arab sector in Judea and Samaria is the area under Palestinian Authority jurisdiction.”

Israeli media have suggested that the reason for the government’s move is to help Trump Senior Adviser Jared Kushner, who arrived in the Middle East on Wednesday night, in his talks with Arab states by providing an example of a concrete move by Israel to compromise.