The government plans to demolish hundreds of Palestinian homes in the occupied West Bank in the coming weeks in an effort to create an Israeli settlement in the territory, Israeli news outlets reported Sunday.
The demolition, which is part of a long-standing Israeli plan to strip Palestinians of their land, will begin on Wednesday, the first day of the start of construction in the West Bank and east Jerusalem, Haaretz reported.
According to a government official, Israel will start removing the homes from the area and transferring them to “an appropriate location in the south of the occupied territory.”
The move will be the first of many steps Israel is planning to take to expand the settlement blocs in the area.
The move comes in the wake of the election of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who is widely seen as a more moderate figure who has vowed to expand settlement construction.
The Israeli government, which sees the settlement movement as a threat to its existence, has repeatedly clashed with the Palestinians, who see it as an existential threat.
A series of deadly attacks on Palestinians have killed at least 33 Israelis and two visiting Americans since October.