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Israel to green-light nearly 4,000 new West Bank settlement homes: report

A general view taken on July 6, 2017 shows the Jewish settlement of Kokhav Yaakov, north of Ramallah, in the Israeli-occupied West Bank
ABBAS MOMANI (AFP/File)
Government to approve construction in large blocs as well as smaller, isolated settlements

The Israeli government is reportedly set to approve construction of nearly 4,000 new settlement homes in the West Bank next week.

Israel's Channel 2 News reported Sunday that a total of 3,829 new housing units in settlements throughout the West Bank will be approved by the government's Civil Administration Higher Planning Committee on October 16.

The report said the new plans include 30 units in the West Bank city of Hebron, 296 in the settlement of Beit El, 453 in Givat Ze’ev, 102 in Naguhot, 97 in Rechalim, 54 in Har Bracha, 86 in Kochav Yaakov, 48 in Ma’aleh Michmash, 158 in Kfar Ezion, 129 in Avnei Hefetz, 120 in Nofim, and 206 in Tekoa.

It added, however, that the Committee would not approve at this time infrastructure development including new bypass roads and industrial areas that settlers have argued would benefit both Jewish and Palestinian residents of the area.

AFP

The report comes two weeks after Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said that he had successfully convinced US President Donald Trump to tolerate limited settlement construction without distinction between the large blocs and smaller isolated settlements.

Trump, who hopes to revive moribund peace talks and clinch "the ultimate deal" between the Israelis and Palestinians, has urged Israel to "hold back" on settlement building but has not drawn a hard line on the issue.

Israeli settlements are considered illegal by the bulk of the international community. 

About 430,000 Israeli settlers live among 2.6 million Palestinians in the West Bank, which has been under Israeli control since the conclusion of the 1967 Six Day War.

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