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Israeli government gives go ahead for more settlement units

Construction workers build illegal settlements in the West Bank [Mahfouz Abu Turk/Apaimages]

The Israeli government gave its unanimous approval on Sunday for 350 new settlement units to be built south of the occupied city of Bethlehem. All of Israel's settlements in the occupied West Bank and Jerusalem are illegal under international law.

The new units will be built in the Gush Etzion settlement bloc to accommodate the Jewish settlers who were evacuated by the Israeli High Court of Justice from the settlement outpost of Netiv Ha'avot, which was regarded as illegal even under Israel law.

"Today, the Cabinet will approve a budget for the Netiv Ha'avot outline," said Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. "The residents have been waiting a long time for this."

Although the evacuation of Netiv Ha'avot was ordered by the court, the Israeli government asked that it be delayed until June in order to find a solution for the issue.

Read: Israel approves construction of 3,000 settlement units in East Jerusalem

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