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Israel to build 4,000 new settlement units in occupied West Bank

A picture taken on January 17, 2017 from the Palestinian West Bank village of Hares shows illegal outposts in the Israeli Jewish settlement of Revava [JAAFAR ASHTIYEH/AFP via Getty Images]
A picture taken on January 17, 2017 from the Palestinian West Bank village of Hares shows illegal outposts in the Israeli Jewish settlement of Revava [JAAFAR ASHTIYEH/AFP via Getty Images]

Defying international law, Israeli occupation authorities plan to build 3,988 new settlement units in two areas across the occupied Palestinian West Bank.

The Israeli Higher Planning Council for Judea and Samaria (the Israeli name for the West Bank) is set to give its final approval for building 2,536 new settlement units, The Jerusalem Post reported, and allow for plans for an additional 1,452 settlement units.

The 2,536 settlement units include 761 units for the Beitar Illit settlement, 534 units for Shvuet Rachel, 364 for Dolev, 168 for Neria, 156 for Kiryat Arba, 136 for Givat Ze'ev, 114 for Ma'aleh Michmash, 106 for Tal Menashe, 92 for Zofim, 64 for Revava and 40 for Efrat.

Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett pledged that his government will continue to build illegal settlements in the occupied West Bank - Cartoon [Sabaaneh/Middle East Monitor]

Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett pledged that his government will continue to build illegal settlements in the occupied West Bank – Cartoon [Sabaaneh/Middle East Monitor]

Meanwhile, the 1,452 settlement units include 500 units for the Elkana settlement, 286 units for Kedumim, 192 for Sha'are Tikvah, 170 for Immanuel, 110 for Mevo Horon, 90 for Dolev, 56 for Negahot, 32 for Nokdim and 16 for Ma'aleh Adumim.

Head of Israel's Jordan Valley Regional Council David Elhayani and Head of West Bank Settlement Council Yossi Dagan claimed that the Higher Planning Council had initially intended to advance plans for close to 6,000 settler units, but were told to cut around 1,800-2,000.

Meanwhile, at least three different US parties expressed anger towards the Biden administration for this measure to senior Israeli officials in Israel.

According to one source speaking with N12, the White House even prepared President Joe Biden on the issue of the plans for West Bank settlement units before his visit to Israel next month.

Walla reported that Israel had told the US that this measure would likely shore up Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett's fragile coalition in advance of the return of the Knesset from the summer session.

The Israeli Planning and Building Council last met in October to advance plans for 3,130 settler homes.

Building settlements in the occupied territories is considered illegal by international law and has been described as "stupid" by US Ambassador to Israel Tom Nides because it undermines the two-state solution.

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