US Protesters Urge End to 50 Years of Israeli Occupation

Posted June 13, 2017

Meanwhile, Israeli defence minister Avigdor Lieberman said that Palestinians and Israelis are "are closer than ever before to an agreement" during a TV interview with Israeli Channel 2 amid an announcement that Netanyahu and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas are set to meet for negotiations with US President Donald Trump in July.

Plans for 8,345 new housing units have been approved by the Israeli authorities so far this year, the Jewish Telegraphic Agency writes, citing Liebermann.

Settlement projects pass through a list of planning stages before final approval.

"The numbers for the first half of 2017 are the highest since 1992", Lieberman said, as cited by local media and news agencies.

"There was no better government in terms of settlement construction", he said, according to Haaretz.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu called Sunday for the dismantling of the United Nations agency that aids millions of Palestinian refugees, accusing it of anti-Israeli incitement.

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For some, however, the plans appear to fall short of expectations.

Lieberman said "I am aware more than anyone else of the construction needs in the settlements, and I am also well aware of the restrictions and the pressure that come from the worldwide political community", he said.

Over 60 attendees, including staff from at least 36 congressional offices, joined human rights advocates on Capitol Hill on Thursday, for a briefing to mark 50 years since the Israeli military occupied the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, and the Gaza Strip. A JVP statement also condemned the "exchange programs" between the New York Police Department and Israeli security forces that harm both communities of color and Palestinians.

Issuing condemnation, which both the United States and European Union regularly do, and benignly calling settlements an obstacle to peace is useless.

The houses are in a number of settlements across the West Bank.