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Israel approves 800 new settlement units in Bethlehem

Israeli Public Prosecution has revealed an Israeli settlement plan consisting of 800 new settlement units in Bethlehem, south of the occupied West Bank, Palestinian newspaper Al-Resalah reported yesterday.

The plan was approved by the Israeli Housing and Construction Minister Ori Ariel, during Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s previous government at the end of last year.

The Israeli Ministry of Housing also allocated 900,000 Israeli shekels ($250,000) for the implementation of the plan.

Official Israeli radio reported yesterday that the new settlement was given the name of Giv’at Hitam, and E2 status, regarding the area as “State Lands”.

The report said that the settlers in this area see a strategic importance for this plan because it is considered an expansion of the settlement bloc of Gush Etzion towards the city of Bethlehem.

The plan closes the Palestinian city off from the south and separates it from other areas in the West Bank.

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