The Zionist Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu vowed on Monday to build thousands of new Jewish-only settlement units in occupied East Jerusalem if re-elected to the premiership.
“Despite international pressure, we will build this neighborhood,” he was quoted as saying by the Zionist Public Radio, defying demands by the international community to halt settlements building.
He lashed out at the electoral list of the Zionist Union coalition – his main electoral rival – saying it would bring Palestinian faction Hamas to East Jerusalem.
“If [former Justice Minister Tzipi] Livni [co-leader of the center-left Zionist Union coalition] and [Labor Party Chairman Isaac] Herzog formed the next government, Hamastan would be established here,” Netanyahu said.
The occupation entity is slated to hold fresh Knesset elections on Tuesday. Elections are held every four years, but the assembly can dissolve itself before the expiration of its term through a simple majority vote.
Competition between Netanyahu’s right-wing Likud party and the Zionist Union alliance is expected to be fierce, according to local opinion polls.
International law considers the West Bank and East Jerusalem occupied territories captured by the Zionist entity in 1967, deeming any construction of Jewish settlements on the land to be illegal.