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Israel approves yet more settlement construction

Reports from Israel say that the Defence Minister Ehud Barak has approved the construction of hundreds of new housing units in the illegal settlement of Ariel, near Nablus in the occupied West Bank. Radio Israel announced that Barak has given approval for 277 new homes in Ariel; 100 units will be reserved for Jewish settlers who were evacuated from the former Gaza Strip settlement of Netzarim as part of the withdrawal plan that implemented by the Israelis in 2005.


Barak's decision comes a week after Israel's Interior Minister, Eli Yishai, approved the construction of 1,600 new housing units in the occupied East Jerusalem settlement of Ramat Shlomo. Yishai has said that he also intends to approve the construction of 2,700 new units in the illegal settlements of Pisgat Zeev and Givat Hamatos; both are in the south of Arab East Jerusalem.

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