Israel advances plans for 3000 new West Bank homes

"What we've approved on June 6 and 7 is the maximum that can be approved", Russia Today reported.

Defence Minister Avigdor Lieberman made the comments as Israel's government faced mounting pressure from leaders of the settlement movement, who wield heavy influence in Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's right-wing coalition. Out of these, 3,066 have been given final approval and will soon be built.

A total of 3,178 housing units were advanced in a number of different settlements, the Peace Now non-governmental organisation, which tracks settlement growth, said on Thursday.

"I respect the defense minister very much but unfortunately the numbers he mentioned aren't correct", Yossi Dagan, the head of the Samaria Regional Council, said, according to the newspaper.


Construction of settlements in the region is considered illegal under worldwide law. Further building would "stretch the rope beyond its limit, and thus put the entire settlement enterprise at risk", Lieberman said.

More than 600,000 Israelis live in settlements in the West Bank, including annexed east Jerusalem, which are seen as a major obstacle to peace between Israel and the Palestinians. Reality requires that we acknowledge that Jerusalem is not united and that the Palestinians of the city don't identify with Israel as a Jewish state. "It's up to our members of Congress who value human rights and want to guarantee a safe and just future for all children in the region to demand Israeli authorities respect worldwide law and be held accountable for ongoing violations against Palestinian children". A JVP statement also condemned the "exchange programs" between the New York Police Department and Israeli security forces that harm both communities of color and Palestinians.

At least eight Palestinians were detained during overnight and early Sunday raids into the West Bank districts of Hebron and Qalqilia, in addition to six others, including minors, from the Jerusalem area.

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