Palestinian protesters clash with Israeli soldiers during a protest against the expanding of Jewish settlements, in the West Bank city of Qalqilya, on Jan. 6, 2020. (Xinhua/Nidal Eshtayeh)
"Israel is largely demolishing buildings and facilities in the West Bank to increase the settlers' number there by the end of 2020 to 1 million," Palestinian PM said Monday, accusing Israeli gov't of trying to kill any possibility of a "viable independent State of Palestine."
RAMALLAH, Jan. 13 (Xinhua) -- Palestinian Prime Minister Mohammed Ishtaye said on Monday that Israel is seeking to increase the number of its settlers in the West Bank to 1 million.
Israel is seeking to increase the settlers' number in the West Bank through demolishing Palestinian facilities, buildings and constructions, Ishtaye said in a statement issued after the weekly cabinet meeting in Ramallah.
"Israel is largely demolishing buildings and facilities in the Jordan Valley area and Area C in the West Bank to increase the settlers' number in the West Bank by the end of the year to 1 million settlers," he said.
The Palestinian prime minister accused the Israeli government of toppling any possibility of establishing a "viable independent State of Palestine."
Area C takes up more than 60 percent of the 5,655-square-km West Bank.
Under the Oslo Accords signed between the Palestine Liberation Organization and Israel in the 1990s, the West Bank was divided into three area: Area A under Palestinian control, Area B under joint Palestinian-Israeli control, and Area C under full Israeli control.
According to recent figures, the number of Israeli settlers has reached over half a million in both the West Bank and East Jerusalem.
Several international conventions, including a UN Security Council resolution that was issued shortly before Donald Trump was elected as the president of the United States, condemned Israeli settlement in the West Bank.
Political ties between Palestine and the United States were severed right after Trump declared Jerusalem as Israel's capital in December 2017.
Considered one of the thorny issues in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, the settlement dispute was the main cause of the breakdown of the peace talks between the two sides in 2014. ■