Israel’s Civil Administration department has approved a call to hasten the construction of 284 new housing units in illegal settlements in the occupied West Bank.
The decision came at the behest of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Defence Minister Avigdor Lieberman.
The new ministers:
- 30 houses in Beit Arye, northwest of Ramallah
- 234-unit nursing home in Elkana, west of Salfit
- 20 dwellings in Giv’at Ze’ev, northwest of Jerusalem
In addition, 179 building permits were issued retroactively, legalising under Israeli law housing units that were erected in the settlement of Ofarim, Israeli NGO Peace Now said.
Following the decision, US State Department spokesman John Kirby said: “We are deeply concerned by the government’s announcement to advance plans for these settlement units in the West Bank.”
“We are particularly troubled by the policy of retroactively approving unauthorised settlement units and outposts that are themselves illegal under Israeli law. These policies have effectively given the Israeli government a green light for the pervasive advancement of settlement activity in a new and potentially unlimited way.”
Source: Middle East Monitor