The Israeli authorities have approved the establishment of a new settlement bloc near the occupied West Bank city of Bethlehem. The new construction will have 40 housing units built for illegal Jewish settlers.
Reports in Haaretz newspaper on Monday said that Minister of Defence Ehud Barak approved the construction of a new settlement and farm near the existing Jewish colony of Efrat. This will expand the massive Gush Etzion bloc of illegal settlements northward towards the edges of Bethlehem. The new units will lie adjacent to the Deheisheh Palestinian refugee camp and the town of Al-Khadr.
The Israeli occupation authorities have also approved a new settler colony in the Ras Al-Amoud district of Occupied Jerusalem. To be called Ma'ale David, the colony will be built in a predominantly Palestinian area.