Over 400 American Jewish rabbis, cantors, and students signed a letter, published on Monday, protesting Tel Aviv’s plans to expand illegal settlements in East al-Quds [Jerusalem] and the West Bank, particularly in the controversial E1 area.
The signatories warned that “the current situation in the occupied territories violates Palestinian human rights.”
They also said “if Israel builds in E1, it will cut East Jerusalem off from its West Bank surroundings and effectively bifurcate the West Bank.”
The letter also criticized Israel’s Monday approval of the construction of some 1,500 illegal settler units in East al-Quds.
Tel Aviv announced the plan for new settler units on November 30, just a day after the UN General Assembly voted 138-9 with 41 abstentions to upgrade Palestine’s status to non-member observer state.
Construction in E1 would violate repeated commitments that Israeli regimes “have made to the United States since 1994 not to build there,” the letter also said.
The US has also condemned Israel’s plan on Monday, calling on the Israeli authorities to refrain from “unilateral actions.”
On December 10, the European Union criticized the Israeli regime over its plan to build thousands more illegal settler units on the occupied territories, saying the bloc is “deeply dismayed” by the move.
More than half a million Israelis live in over 120 settlements built since the 1967 Israeli occupation of the Palestinian territories of the West Bank and East al-Quds.
The settlements are considered illegal by the UN.