HevronNati Shohat/Flash 90

Jordan on Monday condemned Israel’s decision to build a new Jewish neighborhood in the historic Jewish marketplace in Hevron.

Jordan's Foreign Minister Ayman Safadi said the Israeli announcement undermines peace efforts and is a violation of all laws and conventions, according to a statement by the ministry quoted by the Xinhua news agency.

The minister stressed that “Israeli settlements” are illegal according to international laws, stressing the need for the international community to shoulder its responsibilities to stop the Israeli settlements and force Israel to abide by implementing UN resolution 2334.

Safadi warned against Israel's continued building of “settlements”, which he said undermines the two-state solution and kills all opportunities for peace.

Defense Minister Naftali Bennett on Sunday ordered the Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories and the Civil Administration of Judea and Samaria to notify the Hevron municipality of the planning a new Jewish neighborhood in the historic Jewish marketplace.

The decision is expected to end years of legal and political battles over the fate of the marketplace, which has sat abandoned for decades even after Jews began to return to Hevron following the 1967 Six Day War.

The new neighborhood will create a territorial continuum from the Cave of the Patriarchs to the Avraham Avinu neighborhood and double the number of Jewish residents in the city.

As expected, Bennett’s announcement angered the Palestinian Authority, with senior official Saeb Erekat blaming the recent US policy shift on the Jewish communities in Judea and Samaria for Israel’s decision to build in Hevron.

"Israel's decision to build a new illegal settlement in occupied Hebron is the first tangible result of the U.S. decision to legitimize colonization; this cannot be taken out of the context annexation," he tweeted.

"Concrete measures, including sanctions against settlements, are an international responsibility," added Erekat.

Erekat’s comment was referring to the recent announcement by US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo that Washington no longer considers Israeli communities in Judea and Samaria to be a violation of international law.