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News > Palestine

Israel Approves 2,300 New Illegal Settlement Units in Occupied West Bank

  • A general view picture shows houses in the Israeli settlement of Maale Adumim, in the occupied West Bank Feb. 15, 2017.

    A general view picture shows houses in the Israeli settlement of Maale Adumim, in the occupied West Bank Feb. 15, 2017. | Photo: Reuters

Published 6 August 2019

The Higher Planning Committee approved plans for regularizing three outposts.

Israel’s Higher Planning Committee (HPC) approved Monday and Tuesday the construction of 2,304 illegal housing units for Jewish settlers in the occupied West Bank, according to Israeli NGO Peace Now. 

Israel Approves 6,000 New Illegal Settler Homes in West Bank

The organization reported that 838 housing units for validation (second and final approval) and 1,466 housing units were approved for deposit (first stage.) Also, plans for regularizing three outposts were approved.

Outposts in the occupied West Bank differ from settlements as they are not “authorized” by the Israeli government. However, they are used as colonial tactics to expand illegal settlements and seizure of Palestinian land, as settlers set them up to later get them legalized and recognized.

About 88 percent of the settlement units will be deep in the West Bank and the three outposts to be regularized will be Givat Salit in the north of the Jordan Valley (established in 2002); Ibei Hanahal southeast of Bethlehem (established in 1999); and Haroeh Haivri near Khan al-Ahmar east of Jerusalem (established in 2015.)

“The approval of settlement plans is part of a disastrous government policy designed to prevent the possibility of peace and a two-state solution, and to annex part or all of the West Bank,” the NGO said.

Far-right Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who is drumming up ultra-nationalist Jewish support ahead of a Sept. 17 election, has hinted that Israel could annex its West Bank settlements in defiance of international law and world powers that view the enclaves as illegal.

However, as Issa Amro, a Palestinian rights activist who is based in Hebron told Al Jazeera, with United States support under Donald Trump, "Israel and the settlers feel they have full impunity to work more and more towards annexation."

This comes as on July 31 Israel announced that another 6,000 illegal settlements will be built in the occupied West Bank.

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