Israel announces plan to approve 2,500 new settler homes in occupied West Bank

AFP , Thursday 24 May 2018

File Photo: Israeli Defence Minister Avigdor Lieberman is seen after attending a meeting at an Israeli military base near Kissufim on the Israeli side of the border between Israel and the Gaza Strip, May 16, 2018 (Photo: Reuters)

Israeli Defence Minister Avigdor Lieberman said Thursday he would request approval from a planning committee for the building of 2,500 new homes in 30 West Bank settlements.

"The 2,500 new units we'll approve in the planning committee next week are for immediate construction in 2018," Lieberman said in a statement, adding he would also seek the committee's approval for a further 1,400 settlement units for later construction.

"We committed to advancing construction in Judaea and Samaria and we're keeping our word," Lieberman said, using the biblical terms for the occupied West Bank.

"In the coming months we will bring forward thousands more units for approval."

Israel's settlements in the West Bank are considered illegal under international law and are bitterly opposed by Palestinians.

In a Tuesday appeal to the International Criminal Court, the Palestinian foreign ministry called Israeli settlements "the single most dangerous threat to Palestinian lives and livelihoods".

*This report was edited by Ahram Online

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