Israel approves construction of nearly 2,000 West Bank homes
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Israel approves construction of nearly 2,000 West Bank homes

Defence Ministry committee backs building of 1957 houses on Palestinian territory despite calls from left-wing Israeli groups to halt plans

A settlement construction site in the West Bank (AP Photo/Oded Balilty, File)
A settlement construction site in the West Bank (AP Photo/Oded Balilty, File)

An Israeli Defence Ministry committee approved the construction of nearly 2,000 homes in the West Bank.

Among the 1,957 homes approved Wednesday by the Civil Administration’s high planning subcommittee, 696 gained final backing for construction and tenders will be issued. Some 300 of those are located in isolated settlements.

The remaining homes received preliminary approval and will be considered again by the committee following public discussion. Most are in isolated settlements that Israel will likely have to evacuate within the framework of a two-state agreement, according to Peace Now. The plans include the authorisation of two illegal outposts known as Zayit Raanan and Brosh.

Among the plans that were approved is the construction of 92 residential units on about half a square mile of land less than a mile from the Palestinian village of Khan al-Ahmar, which the Supreme Court last week authorised the Israeli government to demolish due to lack of building permits.

“The approval of the plan is the embodiment of exploitation and evil,” Peace Now said in a statement. “The government stubbornly refuses to grant building permits to 32 Palestinian families living on about 40 dunams in the area and intends to evict them, but at the same time approves construction on large areas for hundreds of Israeli families.

“If there is anything that blackens Israel’s image in this world, it is the cruelty and discrimination that reeks to the heavens in this case. Neither is there any real Israeli national interest behind the destruction of the village.”

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