Plans approved for more West Bank housing for Jewish settlers

BEIT EL , West Bank, Aug. 31 (UPI) — Israel approved construction of new housing in the West Bank Wednesday, ignoring the international community’s calls to end Jewish settlement of the territory.

The High Planning Committee of the Civil Administration, which oversees all West Bank construction, approved the building of 234 apartments, designated as part of a nursing home community, in Elkana; 31 homes in Beit Ayre and 20 in Givat Ze’ev. All three are municipalites in the West Bank.

The committee also retroactively approved 180 existing housing units built in the 1980s but not designated as legally constructed until Wednesday.

Several weeks ago a Jerusalem board of authority approved the building of 56 homes in Ramot, a Jerusalem suburb east of the “Green Line” separating Israeli territory from foreign territory, as defined by a 1949 armistice agreement. Ramot and the rest of the West Bank was taken by Israel in the 1967 Six-Day War and is regarded as “Israeli-occupied territory.”

Israel also intends to expand the Jewish settlement in the West Bank city of Hebron for the first time in over a decade, a move decried by a U.S. State Department spokesman as “corrosive to the cause of peace” and “not consistent with Israel’s stated desire to achieve a two-state solution.”

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