The Zionist entity approved on Wednesday 2,166 new settler units across the occupied West Bank, ending an eight-month lull in settlement expansion.
The approvals came less than a month after the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain signed agreements to normalize relations with the Zionist entity, which in return pledged to freeze its plans to annex swathes of the West Bank.
NGO Peace Now said the settlement uptick “signals Tel Aviv’s rejection of Palestinian statehood and deals a blow to hopes of a wider Israeli-Arab peace.”
It said that around 2,000 more homes were expected to be approved on Thursday.
“Netanyahu is moving ahead at full steam toward solidifying the de facto annexation of the West Bank,” it said in a statement ahead of Wednesday’s decisions.
US President Donald Trump sees the Gulf accords as part of his broader initiative for the so-called Middle East ‘peace’.
But a plan he unveiled in January gave US blessing to Israeli annexation of large chunks of the West Bank, including the settlements, communities considered illegal under international law.
The Zionist entity agreed to delay those plans under its normalization deal with the UAE, something Emirati officials have cited in response to Arab and Muslim criticism.
The two Gulf countries were only the third and fourth Arab states to normalize relations with Israel, following Egypt in 1979 and Jordan in 1994, and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has said he sees others following.