Palestinian labourers work at a construction site in a new housing project in an Israeli settlement.
Palestinian labourers work at a construction site in a new housing project in an Israeli settlement. Oded Balilty

Israel adds West Bank homes

ISRAEL has approved the construction of more than 1100 new settlement homes in the occupied West Bank, an NGO has said.

A total of 1122 new housing units had been approved in 20 settlements and outposts, a spokesman for Peace Now told The Independent.

In a statement, the group said: "The government is attempting to destroy the possibility of a two-state solution and the prospects of peace by building more and more in the settlements.

"This agenda runs counter to Israel's national interest, as well as the interests of everyone who seeks a peaceful future in the region.”

Earlier this week, Defence Minister Avigdor Lieberman said authorities would approve the construction of 1285 housing units to be built this year.

He also said authorities were due to start advance planning for 2500 others in about 20 settlements.

Settlements are one of the most contentious issues in efforts to restart the Israeli-Palestinian peace talks that stopped in 2014.

Palestinians want the West Bank for a future state, along with East Jerusalem and the Gaza Strip.

The settlements Israel has built in the territory it captured in the 1967 Middle East war are considered illegal by most countries.

Israel disputes the view and says the settlements' future should be determined in peace talks with the Palestinians.

- Samuel Osborne, The Independent



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