Israel approves plan to construct 4320 settlement dwellings in West Bank

JERUSALEM: Israel has announced new plans to construct 4,320 settlement homes in the West Bank. According to reports, the High Planning Subcommittee of Israel's Civil Administration, which is in charge of approving construction in the West Bank, plans for 2,684 housing units gained final approvals, while those for 1,636 units won initial clearances.

On Twitter, Interior Minister Ayelet Shaked praised the decision, calling it "a wonderful day for the settlements." The agreement, however, was criticised by Peace Now, a Tel Aviv-based anti-settlement watchdog, as "a smack in the face, not only to the chance of peace, but also to the potential of some future Palestinian economic progress."

The creation of "illegal settlements is contrary to Israeli interests, and the only reason to accept these plans is to appease right-wing groups," it said in a statement. The controversial action comes as Israel and the Palestinians are at odds following a spate of fatal attacks and incursions in the West Bank.

The Israeli settlements are in the West Bank, a Palestinian territory that Israel seized in the 1967 Middle East conflict and has ruled since then. The majority of the international world views the settlements' expansion as a breach of international law.

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