A new study by the Jerusalem Post reveals the U.S. will approve Israel’s controversial settlement building in the West Bank and east Jerusalem in 2017.
The study, based on data from the U,S.
Census Bureau, the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) and the Israeli NGO Peace Now, reveals that the settlements approved in 2016 were the first in more than two decades.
Israel has built over 400,000 housing units in the settlements, a majority of them in illegal outposts.
Israel built over 40,000 units in illegal Israeli outposts in 2016, according to a UN report.
The new report comes as Israel is currently reviewing plans to build over a thousand new settlements in the occupied West Bank, and as President Donald Trump is pushing for further settlement construction.
In December, the State Department rejected a request from the Israeli government to review its approval of over 1,100 illegal outbuildings in the northern West Bank.
The report found that nearly half of the settlements are built on privately owned Palestinian land, which the United State considers illegal under international law.
It also noted that the majority of the outposts were built in areas designated for agricultural development.
“We believe that there is little justification for the construction of the 1,098 new housing units authorized by the Israeli authorities in 2016 in illegal settlements in Jerusalem and the occupied territories,” the report states.
“These new units will likely create substantial new housing and economic pressures in the territories, further eroding existing protections for Palestinians in the Occupied Palestinian Territories,” the document says.
The US, along with other countries, have long rejected the premise that the West bank and East Jerusalem are occupied territories and are not part of Israel.
The UN is currently considering a resolution condemning Israeli settlement expansion and calling for an end to its occupation.
In 2016, the US also rejected a resolution in favor of the two-state solution.
The resolution was defeated in the UN Security Council by a vote of 12-0, with seven abstentions.