Israel plans 261 more settlement units

Israel plans 261 more settlement units
Wed Jan 22, 2014 21:12:33

The Israeli regime has moved forward with plans for to construct 261 new homes in two illegal settlements located deep in the occupied West Bank, according to a settlement watchdog group.

The Wednesday effort by Tel Aviv came as Israeli settlers uprooted 600 trees belonging to Palestinian farmers in the West Bank, Ma'an news agency reported, citing a statement by Peace Now Movement.

The development comes just a day after the regime announced the construction of 381 settler homes in the West Bank, prompting Palestinian charges that it was more interested in building settlements than reaching a deal with the Fatah-led Palestinian Authority.

The plans include 256 housing units in Nofei Prat settlement, between east al- Quds (Jerusalem) and Jericho, and another five in the sprawling Ariel settlement in the north, the group said.

"The addition of 256 housing units to the small, isolated settlement of Nofei Prat dramatically changes the settlement, expanding its size and population significantly. In fact, these planned units will nearly triple the size of Nofei Prat," Peace Now said in a statement.

Construction would be allowed to start "without further political approval or public awareness," it added.

The illegal effort was the fifth such move in just over two weeks and raised to 2,791 the number of new settlement units announced by the occupying regime since the start of the year.

Tel Aviv further pushed ahead with plans for a second visitors' center at an archaeological site in Silwan, a densely-populated Palestinian neighborhood of east al-Quds, according to the group.

Meanwhile, the Israeli regime approved plans on January 6 for 272 new homes in various West Bank settlements. Four days later, it unveiled plans for more than 1,877 new units, some in annexed east al-Quds.

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