News ID: 202585
Published: 0344 GMT October 17, 2017

NGO: Israel advances plans for 1,292 more settler units

NGO: Israel advances plans for 1,292 more settler units

Israel on Tuesday advanced plans for 1,292 settler units in the occupied West Bank, in a new push by Tel Aviv for such approvals, settlement watchdog Peace Now told AFP.

"They are all over the West Bank," spokeswoman Hagit Ofran said, without immediately providing a breakdown.

They are part of nearly 4,000 settler home plans to be advanced in the West Bank under a push to greatly boost settlement growth, an Israeli official has said.

On Monday, an Israeli committee approved permits for 31 settler homes in Al-Khalil, the first such green light for the flashpoint West Bank city since 2002.

Several hundred Israeli settlers live in the heart of Al-Khalil Al-Khalil under heavy military guard among some 200,000 Palestinians.

The Al-Khalil units are to be built on Shuhada Street, formerly an important market street leading to a holy site where the biblical Abraham is believed to have been buried.

The street is now largely closed off to Palestinians.

Settlement building in the occupied West Bank and East Beit-ul-Moqaddas is considered illegal under international law.

About 400,000 Israelis live in roughly 150 settlements in the West Bank, and an additional 200,000 Israelis live in Beit-ul-Moqaddas, which Palestinians want to become the capital of a future state.

Israel approves such projects every few months but until recently focused on approving buildings in the major settlement blocs, which it hopes to keep as part of any eventual peace settlement

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