Israel has approved a plan to construct 2,500 new settlement homes in the occupied West Bank, two days after the country accepted building permits for more than 500 settler homes in occupied East Jerusalem.
Israeli Defence Minister Avigdor Lieberman said in a statement on Tuesday that he and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu agreed on the approval “in response to housing needs”. Trump pledges to recognise Jerusalem as Israeli capital
It is the largest recent settlement building plan announced by Israel, which came as the country feels emboldened by US President Donald Trump, who is not critical of illegal settlement activity, as opposed to his predecessor Barack Obama.
Lieberman said the majority of the housing units will be built in existing settlement blocs, areas where most settlers live and which Israel wants to keep under its control under any future peace deal with Palestinian officials.
Palestian officials have condemned Israel’s latest plan for settlements, which are illegal under international law.
A spokesman for Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas said it deals a new blow to attempts to bring peace to the region and will promote extremism. Israel approves permits for 566 settler homes after Trump inauguration
Nabil Abu Rdeneh said the decision “disregards” international opposition to the settlements and is calling on the international community to take a “real and serious position” against Israel.
“We build and continue to build,” Netanyahu wrote on Twitter shortly after Lieberman’s announcement on Tuesday.