Tel Aviv: Israel approves new homes in West Bank settlements. Israel has approved 2,166 new homes in settlements in the West Bank, for the first time since it halted its annexation plan for the occupied territory.
The Israeli Civil Administration’s Higher Planning Committee in the West Bank said in a statement on Wednesday that it gave final an approval for the construction of 1,313 housing units in several settlements, reports Xinhua news agency.
An additional 853 units received an initial green light but have not yet been given final approval.
The move marks the first time Israel has approved new housing units in the settlements since it signed a peace deal with the United Arab Emirates.
As part of the deal, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu agreed to suspend his controversial plan to annex portions of the West Bank.
Israel approves new homes in West Bank settlements. Meanwhile, Nabil Abu Rudeineh, a spokesman for Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, urged the international community to pressure Israel to halt the expansion of the settlements.
“The Israeli decision violates all international legitimacy resolutions, including the Resolution 2334 that considered all Israeli settlements on the lands of Palestine state illegal,” Abu Rudeineh said in a statement.
The Palestinians, who claim all of the West Bank, Gaza and East Jerusalem, and a majority of the international community consider the settlements a violation of international law and a hurdle to peace.
More than 600,000 Jews live in about 140 settlements in the West Bank and East Jerusalem.