(Jerusalem) Israel on Thursday approved nearly 4,500 housing units in settlements in the West Bank, Palestinian territory occupied since 1967 by the Jewish state, including more than 2,700 permanently, according to the Israeli anti-colonization organization “Peace Now”.

A total of 2,791 housing units received a final green light from the Civil Administration’s planning committee while 1,636 received pre-approval, according to “Peace Now.”

Three so-called “savage” settlements, built without Israel’s consent, must be approved, the source said.

Today, around 475,000 Israeli settlers reside in the West Bank, where 2.9 million Palestinians live.

Israeli settlement, illegal under international law, has continued under every Israeli government since 1967.

It has accelerated in recent years under the leadership of former Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu. His successor Naftali Bennett, a former leader of a settler organization, has since June 2021 headed a motley coalition ranging from the radical right to left-wing parties.

His Interior Minister, Ayelet Shaked, one of his relatives, estimated Thursday on Twitter that it was a “day of celebration for the settlement movement in Judea and Samaria”, the term used by the authorities. Israelis to talk about the West Bank.

“This is bad news for Israel and it reinforces the occupation, making future peace even harder to achieve,” said Hagit Ofran, of the Peace Now organization, which closely monitors the development of Israeli colonization.

“It is disappointing that this government which promised change is following policies similar to those of the Netanyahu government,” she added.

Last week, Washington denounced this plan upstream. “The Biden administration has been clear from the start: We strongly oppose settlement expansion that heightens tensions and weakens trust between parties,” said Deputy State Department Spokesperson Jalina Porter. .

The approval for the new accommodation comes a day after Al Jazeera journalist Shireen Abu Akleh was killed in the West Bank while covering an Israeli raid in the northern city of Jenin. The announcement of his death aroused great emotion and thousands of Palestinians paid tribute to him Thursday in Ramallah.



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