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Palestinians denounce Amona 'distraction' as Israel approves settlement expansio

Israel unveiled plans for 3,000 new housing units for Jewish settlers in the occupied West Bank late on Tuesday, the fourth such announcement in the less than two weeks since US President Donald Trump took office.

The announcement came hours before Israeli security forces began evicting the occupants of a settlement post in line with a high court ruling two years ago that determined the homes were built on private Palestinian land.

International law does not recognise that distinction as all settlements are built on Palestinian territory.

The settlers will be relocated to a nearby site as part of a deal under which they had agreed to be evacuated peacefully, police said.

Opponents of Israel's settlement programme have described the situation at Amona as a distraction from the government's commitment to supporting settlers elsewhere in the West Bank.

Mustafa Bargouti, a member of the Palestinian Legislative Council, told MEE: "What Netanyahu has done is a big trick and dangerous propaganda, there is no real eviction at all. A few settlers are being moved from a few houses on Palestinian private land to other confiscated Palestinian lands.

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