Following the meeting between Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and President Biden (20.09.23), and before Netanyahu’s speech at the UN, Peace Now has sent letters to United States President, Joe Biden, and the UN Secretary-General, Antonio Guterres.
In the letters, Peace Now’s Executive Director, Lior Amihai, calls on them not to believe Netanyahu’s expected statements about Israel’s commitment to peace or the two-state solution, emphasizing that under his leadership, Israel’s government has been actively engaged in actions that annex the West Bank and threaten the prospects for a just and lasting resolution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
In a recent report published by our Settlement Watch team, we outline the key decisions and political steps taken by Israel in the occupied West Bank over the past nine months since the formation of the Netanyahu-Smotrich-Ben Gvir government. The report shows a clear picture of Israel’s de facto annexation activities in the occupied West Bank, which blatantly contradicted PM Netanyahu’s previous commitments, most recently in the Abraham Accords. These actions are changing the political reality of the State of Israel and the physical landscape of the West Bank, effectively leading to the de facto annexation of the West Bank.
The report highlights 13 specific actions that contribute to this alarming reality, among them:
- – Creation of the “Settler Administration” – a new governmental and civil body established to oversee all aspects of settler life within the occupied territories
- – Record approval of housing units in settlements
- – Legalization and transformation of 15 unauthorized outposts into settlements.
- – Promotion of new settlements in East Jerusalem.
- – Repeal of the Disengagement Law and a series of decisions to deepen settler presence in the northern West Bank.
- – Significant changes to planning procedures in the West Bank, granting Minister Smotrich unchecked authority.
- – Unprecedented budget allocation for infrastructure and settlement development.
- – Establishment of six tourist settlements within Palestinian-populated areas.
- – The creation of a new settlement in Hebron.
These actions are rapidly altering the status quo in the West Bank and further entrenching the Israeli settlement enterprise.
Peace Now implores to critically assess PM Netanyahu’s false statements and to hold Israel accountable for its actions in the occupied West Bank, which undermine the viability of a two-state solution. Peace Now remains dedicated to the pursuit of a just and peaceful resolution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and calls upon the international community to support efforts that promote peace, security, and justice for all.