0120 GMT January 24, 2018
Anat Ben Nun of Peace Now, an Israeli NGO which closely monitors settlement construction, said on Monday that an Israeli committee had approved construction permits for 31 units in the flashpoint city
Peace Now added that a planning council meeting on Tuesday and Wednesday is expected to have over 2,000 units on the agenda.
Meanwhile, an Israeli official has confirmed that the approvals are among some 4,000 settler unit plans to be advanced as part of a push to greatly boost settlement growth.
Settlement building in the occupied West Bank and annexed east Jerusalem al-Quds is considered illegal under international law.
Since the inauguration of US President Donald Trump in January 2017, the regime in Tel Aviv has stepped up construction of settler units on the occupied Palestinian land in a blatant violation of international law.
Less than a month before Trump took office, the United Nations Security Council adopted Resolution 2334, which called on Israel to “immediately and completely cease all settlement activities in the occupied Palestinian territories, including East Jerusalem” al-Quds.
In May, the Israeli Foreign Ministry appealed to the US to nullify Resolution 2334.
About 600,000 Israelis live in over 230 illegal settlements built since the 1967 Israeli occupation of the Palestinian territories of the West Bank and East Jerusalem al-Quds.
Palestinians want the West Bank as part of a future independent Palestinian state, with East Jerusalem al-Quds as its capital.
The continued expansion of Israeli settlements is one of the major obstacles to the establishment of peace in the Middle East.
The last round of Israeli-Palestinian talks collapsed in 2014. Among the major sticking points in those negotiations was Israel’s continued settlement expansion on Palestinian territories.