More settlement homes in works

April 4, 2011

TEL AVIV, Israel (Ma’an) — The construction of another 124 apartment units in the occupied West Bank were approved by the Jerusalem District Planning and Construction Committee, which was set to convene Monday for a discussion on the approval of an additional 942 units, Israeli media reported.

The daily news site Ynet said the the latest housing push would center on Gilo, a large suburban housing community built on lands illegally seized and annexed from the West Bank municipalities of Jerusalem and Bethlehem.

Approval for the 124 units, and discussion of further expansion comes as Israel’s President Shimon Peres visits Washington, and EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton prepares for a visit to the Middle East.

Settlement construction derailed the peace process in September, when weeks after US mediators had established talks between sides, an Israeli partial moratorium on settlement construction came to an end construction was resumed.

Palestinian negotiators said talks could not continue in good faith as long as Israel was building Jewish-only homes on occupied land, which both sides agree will form the basis of a Palestinian state.

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