by Bria Isaacson, News Editor
Mere days after President Donald Trump’s inauguration, Israel has approved hundreds of settlement homes in occupied East Jerusalem.
Settlements here are considered illegal under international law since the U.N. Security Council opposed Israeli settlements during a vote in December.
The resolution stated that the establishment of settlements “has no legal validity and constitutes a flagrant violation under international law and a major obstacle to the achievement of the two-state solution and a just, lasting and comprehensive peace,” according to the BBC.
The U.S. refused to veto this U.N resolution, as former President Obama regarded settlement homes to be an obstacle to the “two-state solution” that many countries believe is the solution to the disputes between Israel and Palestine, according to the BBC.
President Trump, on the other hand, supports Israel, and Reuters reported he has pledged the U.S. embassy will even move from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.
Because of Trump’s promised support, Jerusalem’s City Hall approved construction permits for 566 new homes in the East Jerusalem settlements, according to the BBC.
Jerusalem Deputy Mayor Meir Turgeman said to the BBC, “The rules of the game have changed with Donald Trump’s arrival as president. We no longer have our hands tied as in the time of Barack Obama.”
This decision will inevitably affect the two-state solution, though, as the Palestinians want East Jerusalem as the capital of their future state. This proposed solution would create an independent state of Palestine alongside the state of Israel. The countries would exist peacefully within pre-1967 ceasefire lines.
“We strongly condemn the Israeli decision to approve the construction,” Nabil Abu Rdainah, a spokesman for Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, said, according to Reuters.
NBC cites at least 570,000 Israelis and more than 2.6 million Palestinians live in the West Bank and East Jerusalem currently.
A Jewish Home Party official reported to CBS that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has urged Education Minister Naftali Bennett to put his proposal for settlements on hold. Netanyahu said Trump administration officials asked him not to take any major action until further discussion.