Middle East Monitor / May 17, 2022
Israeli Prime Minister, Naftali Bennett, on Tuesday confirmed his visit to an Jewish settlement in the occupied West Bank, Anadolu News Agency reports.
Bennett tweeted that his visit to the settlement of Elkanan aimed “to show support” to the Israeli army.
He said that the army has “freedom of action to thwart any attack attempt”.
Bennett’s visit drew an immediate condemnation from the Palestinian Foreign Ministry.
A Ministry statement said the Israeli Premier’s visit was “part of his unannounced election campaign on the expense of the Palestinian people.”
Bennett’s visit came amid rising tensions across the Palestinian territories since last month over Israeli arrest campaigns in the West Bank and settler incursions into the flashpoint Al-Aqsa Mosque complex in occupied East Jerusalem.
International law views both the West Bank and East Jerusalem as occupied territories and considers all Jewish settlement-building activities there illegal.
Israeli and Palestinian estimates indicate there are about 650,000 Jewish settlers living in 164 settlements and 116 outposts in the West Bank, including East Jerusalem.