Israel approves thousands of settler homes in West Bank
Jerusalem, Oct 27 (EFE).- Israel on Wednesday approved the construction of thousands of new housing units in the occupied West Bank.
It was the first announcement of new settlements since the coalition government took the helm in June.
The Israeli Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories (COGAT) gave the green light to build 3,130 units for Jewish settlers during a meeting, a security official told Efe.
The move comes after the United States and the European Union urged Israel to halt settlement construction in the West Bank.
“We strongly oppose the expansion of settlements, which is completely inconsistent with efforts to lower tensions and to ensure calm, and it damages the prospects for a two-state solution,” US State Department spokesman Ned Price said Tuesday.
This is the first approval of settlement housing units since US President Joe Biden took office in January.
The left-wing Labor Party and Meretz, both part of the Israeli eight-way coalition government, have condemned the decision, which comes three days after housing minister Zeev Elkin announced tenders for more than 1,355 units in the West Bank.
Both the Palestinian National Authority and the UN special coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process, Tor Wennesland, have criticized Elkin’s announcement.
“I reiterate all settlements are illegal under international law, remain a substantial obstacle to peace, and must cease immediately.”EFE