Israel announces plans for hundreds of new settler homes

Benjamin Netanyahu government approves 800 new settlement units in sprawling West Bank settlement and East Jerusalem

Israel announces plans for hundreds of new settler homes

World Bulletin / News Desk

The Israeli government has announced plans to build 800 new homes for Israeli settlers in and around occupied East Jerusalem, Israeli daily newspaper Haaretz reported Sunday night. 

The plans, which include 560 housing units in the Maale Adumim settlement in the occupied West Bank, were approved by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu late Sunday before he set out for a five-day tour of Africa. 

On Friday, the government also announced plans to resume the process of building 42 homes in the Kiryat Arba settlement.

The move came one day after a 13-year-old girl was stabbed to death inside the settlement. 

In reaction to the stabbing, Netanyahu pledged to "strengthen" Israeli settlements across the West Bank. 

Israeli human rights group Peace Now, which monitors settlement building, criticized the move.

"There is no justification for violence, and the recent deadly attacks on Israelis must be condemned in the strongest possible terms," the group said in a statement.

"But settlement construction in the heart of the future of the Palestinian state is endangering both the possibility for peace and two states and the security of Israeli citizens," it added. 

Israel’s Jerusalem Post newspaper reported Monday that settler leaders from Maale Adumim were not satisfied with the planned new homes, calling for the territory to be completely annexed by Israel in advance of mass settlement construction. 

The government has also approved plans for building 600 homes for Palestinians in East Jerusalem -- a step which had been opposed by Education Minister Naftali Bennet because the planned homes were on the same site as a proposed Israeli settlement. 

Güncelleme Tarihi: 04 Temmuz 2016, 14:05