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UK 'strongly condemns' Israel's new settlement plans

January 11, 2018 at 8:45 pm

Britain on Thursday “strongly” condemned Israel’s approval of hundreds of new housing units for Jewish settlers in the occupied West Bank.

“The UK strongly condemns the advancement by the Israeli authorities of plans and tenders for settlement units across the West Bank,” said a statement by Alistair Burt, the Foreign Office minister for the Middle East.

“We call on Israel to reconsider these proposals,” said Burt.

Settlements are illegal under international law and undermine the physical viability of the two-state solution,

he added.

Israeli authorities on Thursday approved the construction of hundreds of new housing units for Jewish settlers in the occupied West Bank, according to Israeli media reports.

“The plans that were approved involve construction of more than 200 homes in Oranit and more than 50 in Petzael in the Jordan Valley,” Israeli daily Haaretz reported.

According to Haaretz, additional housing units were approved in the Ariel and Alfei Menashe settlements, both of which are located in the northern West Bank.

Haaretz added that the Israeli authorities had also approved plans for “hundreds” of additional housing units in the West Bank settlements of Kfar Adumim and Givat Zeev.

Read: Israeli MPs to submit new bill to annex West Bank settlements

Earlier this week, Israeli Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman vowed to approve the construction of some 2,500 new settlement units across the occupied West Bank.

According to Israeli anti-settlement group Peace Now, the Israeli authorities approved the construction of 6,742 new settlement units in the West Bank and East Jerusalem in 2017 — the highest number since 2013.

Some half a million Israelis currently live on more than 100 Jewish-only settlements built since Israel occupied the West Bank and East Jerusalem in 1967.