By EMERY YOUNGER
In recent weeks tensions have been rising along the Israeli-Palestine border, following an announcement that Israel will be building a series of new settlement homes in a portion of land that is claimed by Palestine. On Tuesday, Israel stated that it would construct an additional 3,000 housing units in this contested region.
The issue of settlement building has created controversy since the conclusion of the Six-Day War in 1967. Under the rule of President Netanyahu, however, the construction of settlements has increased exponentially. Today, more than 500,000 Israelis live in settlements within the West Bank.
Over the last eight years, settlement expansion faced extreme criticism from the Obama administration, which consistently supported a two-state solution. The international community has also condemned settlement construction, and settlements remain illegal under international law.
Since the election of President Trump, however, Israel has gained an unwavering ally who is unlikely to push back against the nation’s expansion policies. This has opened the door to continued settlement building.
With an absence of pushback from Washington, the European Union has increased its criticism of Israeli settlements. This week, the EU released a statement expressing that it “deeply regrets that Israel is proceeding with this, despite the continuous serious international concern and objections, which have been constantly raised at all levels.”
Despite concerns among much of the international community, Israel’s newfound support from President Trump will almost certainly clear a path for the continued construction of settlement.
With each new settlement, however, the prospects for the successful implementation of a two-state solution are diminished.