Nabil Abu Rudeineh
Nabil Abu Rudeineh Reuters

The Palestinian Authority (PA) on Tuesday blasted the approval of the construction of 300 housing units in Beit El, in accordance with a promise made by Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu to residents five years ago.

Nabil Abu Rudeineh, a spokesman for PA chairman Mahmoud Abbas, said that “settlements” are illegal and condemned by the Arabs and the international community, as well as being in violation of United Nations Security Council resolutions, particularly resolution 2334.

“This settlement assault comes at a time when the administration of U.S. President Donald Trump is exerting effort and creating the conditions that will pave the way for making a real peace,” he charged, in a statement posted on the official PA WAFA news agency.

Abu Rudeineh accused Netanyahu of defying the world, especially the Trump administration, by insisting on continuing with “settlement activity in the territory of the State of Palestine”.

He added that neither peace nor stability can be achieved without Israel's adherence to United Nations and Security Council resolutions.

The approval of construction in Beit El came a day after the Civil Administration issued 31 building permits for a planned housing project in Hevron, the first permits for new Israeli construction in the ancient city in decades.

Prior to Abu Rudeineh's harsh condemnation, the White House had issued a statement in which it did not condemn Israel, but also said that construction does not advance peace.

“President Trump has publicly and privately expressed his concerns regarding settlements and the Administration has made clear that unrestrained settlement activity does not advance the prospect for peace,” the statement said.

“At the same time the Administration recognizes that past demands for a settlement freeze have not helped advance peace talks.”