US/World News

Netanyahu OKs West Bank housing units

(JTA) – Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman have given the go-ahead to plans for 2,500 homes in the West Bank. Most of the housing units will be in existing settlement blocs, Liberman said Tuesday in a statement, including the city of Ariel and Givat Zeev located outside of Jerusalem. Some of the construction will be outside of the settlement bloc areas, however. The decision comes two days after a Jerusalem municipal committee approved 566 housing units in Jewish and Arab neighborhoods in eastern Jerusalem over the Green Line demarcating the pre-1967 borders. That vote had been pushed off from December, until the end of the Obama administration and the inauguration of President Donald Trump, who is perceived by Israeli leaders as more supportive of settlement construction.

Liberman also said in a statement that he would request permission from the Cabinet for construction of a Palestinian industrial park northwest of Hebron. The Palestinian Authority condemned the announcement. “This measure will have implications,”  said Nabil Abu Rudeina, spokesman for P.A. President Mahmoud Abbas.

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