Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has approved the construction of 1,060 new settler units in the occupied Palestinian territories amid mounting criticism of the regime’s expansionist policies.
Israeli authorities made the announcement on Monday, noting that the new housing units are slated to be built in East al-Quds (Jerusalem), Israel’s Jerusalem Post newspaper reported.
The officials stated that the new plans also include building civilian infrastructure in the occupied West Bank.
The development comes a day after Israel’s Channel 2 said Netanyahu is expected to endorse a new project which includes the construction of 2,000 settler homes, 12 new roads as well as several other facilities in the occupied West Bank.
The Israeli premier purportedly discussed the plan with Housing Minister Uri Ariel and Economy Minister Naftali Bennett, and Ze’ev Hever, the director of a real estate development company in the West Bank.
During the talks, Bennett urged Netanyahu to expand Israel’s construction activities in the West Bank, expressing the implied support of centrist and left-wing parties for the plan.
The new project comes amid widespread global condemnation of Israel’s land grab policies, which have been among the major reasons behind the failure of US-led talks between Israelis and Palestinians.
More than half a million Israelis live in over 120 illegal settlements built since Israel’s occupation of the Palestinian territories of the West Bank and East al-Quds.
The UN and most countries regard the Israeli settlements as illegal because the territories were captured by Israel in the 1967 war and are hence subject to the Geneva Conventions, which forbid construction on occupied lands.