Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has ordered the construction of 5,000 new settlement units in an Israeli Jewish settlement in the occupied West Bank, Israeli media reported on Friday.
According to the news website of Israeli TV Channel 7, Netanyahu has called for the Israeli High Council of Planning and Building to be convened in the West Bank after the Jewish holidays.
"Netanyahu instructed the council to approve the construction of 5,000 housing units in dozens of settlements in the West Bank," the website reported.
The Israeli government has neither confirmed nor denied the development, claiming that Netanyahu made his decision after settler leaders in the occupied West Bank convinced him to take the step.
"The settler leaders expect Netanyahu to abide by his promise and invite the Supreme Council to meet in order to approve construction projects," according to Israeli media.
Yossi Dagan, head of the Settlements Council in the West Bank, confirmed that the Israeli prime minister is: "Facing the test of approving construction projects."
Peace Now, a non-governmental Israeli movement, affirmed the government has approved the construction of 3,412 settlement units in eastern Jerusalem.
According to the group, reported by Anadolu Agency, more than 428,000 settlers are living in 132 settlements and 124 random settlement outposts in the occupied West Bank.
The figure does not include the 18 settlements in East Jerusalem that are occupied by more than 220,000 settlers.