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Israel approves hundreds of new settlement units in occupied West Bank

Settlements are considered illegal under international law and constitute an obstacle to the internationally-supported two-state solution

The construction of hundreds of new settlement units has been approved by Israeli authorities to expand an illegal Jewish settlement in occupied Bethlehem, reported Wafa news agency.

Hasan Brijiyeh, a local anti-settlement and anti-apartheid activist, told Wafa that occupation authorities have approved the construction of 500 housing units in the illegal Israeli settlement of Tzur Hadassah, which is built on land belonging to Palestinians from Wadi Fukin village.

He added that Israel is targeting Bethlehem with plans to expand its illegal settlements built around the biblical city and district since the start of the occupation, in order to include more of its land to the illegal settlements in the area, as well as barring landowners and villagers from accessing their lands.

READ: One-year-old Palestinian toddler injured by Israel settlers

Bethlehem cities, villages and neighbourhoods have been subject to increasing Israeli theft of land in favour of expanding illegal Israeli settlements.

Earlier this year, Defence Minister Naftali Bennett approved 7,000 settlement units in the illegal Efrat settlement.

Peace Now, a non-governmental Israeli movement, affirmed the government has approved the construction of 3,412 settlement units in occupied East Jerusalem.

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