Ramallah: The Israeli Defense Ministry has announced that construction of a bypass-roads system in the West Bank will commence next week.

The emergence of the Israeli roads plan as an immediate threat angered the Palestinian leadership who branded the plan as a threat to Palestinians.

The Palestinian National Office for the Defence of the Land and Resist Settlement has warned about the new Israeli bypass-roads system which connects West Bank Jews-only colonies to each other and also connects the main roads in the West Bank to roads in Israel without having to pass through territory inhabited by Palestinian.

The Palestine Liberation Organisation (PLO) office said in a statement that the Israeli plan worth several billions of Shekels is meant to achieve further growth of the colonist population in the West Bank each day.

The office stressed that Israel’s colony construction in the occupied territories usually increases following the building up of new bypass roads, which are seen as a pre-cursor to Israeli expansion in the West Bank. Currently, more than 600,000 Israeli colonists reside in the West Bank and occupied East Jerusalem in 150 official colonies and 100 unauthorised outposts.

Work in the Israeli bypass roads is set to commence next week, announced Eli Ben-Dahan, Israeli Deputy Defense Minister in an interview with the Israeli daily, Jerusalem Post. “It will strengthen the Jewish presence in the West Bank,” he said. “This is a strategic plan. It is a big opportunity for us to annex Judea and Samaria (West Bank).”

Ben-Dahan said that the first of the major bypass roads will connect the Israeli city of Kfar Saba to the Palestinian city of Nablus by bypassing the Palestinian village of Nabi Elyas, enabling the colonists who live in colonies and outposts around Nablus to reach areas inside the Green Line. Another road would run from Nablus to Za’atarah Junction (Tapuah Junction) and bypass the Palestinian village of Huwarah. The work on this road is set to be finalised in coming March. Ben-Dahan said that another example of the Israeli bypass roads is the road that would connect the Gush Etzion Junction to the Palestinian city of Hebron by bypassing the Palestinian refugee camp of Al Aroub and the town of Beit Ummar in addition to several other bypass roads.

The Palestinian office argued that the bypass roads would entirely bury the possibility of establishing an independent contiguous and viable Palestinian state. The office said that the Israeli occupation forces have already expropriated huge hectares of West Bank land for the construction of those bypass roads.

“The recent adoption of the UN Security Council Resolution will not have an impact on the building of the bypass roads,” said Ben-Dahan.

Only a week ago, the Security Council adopted its resolution 2334 condemning Israeli colonial activities as illegal and demanding that Israel immediately and completely cease all colony activities in Palestinian occupied territories including the occupied East Jerusalem.