Conflicts & War

Israel approves almost 4,500 new settler units in West Bank

Jerusalem, May 12 (EFE).- Israel on Thursday approved the construction of 4,427 new settler units in the occupied West Bank, the second such move since the coalition government took office less than a year ago.

The Higher Planning Council of the Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories (COGAT) greenlit the decision that included retroactive approval of two illegal outposts, an Israeli security official confirmed to Efe.

The housing units are set to be in Palestinian towns in Area C of the West Bank, which, according to the 1993 Oslo Accords, is under Israeli administrative and security control.

Among the houses approved are 364 apartments in Dolev settlement, 534 in Shvut Rachel settlement, 761 in Beitar Illit, 56 in Negohot and 156 in Kiryat Arba, next to Hebron.

The decision comes despite the United States’ condemnation of new settlements for how they exacerbate simmering tensions in the region.

Israeli prime minister Naftali Bennett called the plan “necessary,” while members of the left-wing Meretz party, which is a part of the eight-way coalition government, described it as a step away from peace and justice.

In October, more than 3,000 housing units were approved, a move that was also rejected by the US.

Israel has controlled Palestinian borders since the Six-Day War in 1967 when it occupied the territories of East Jerusalem, the West Bank and Gaza. EFE


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