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Israel approves construction of 900 settler units in occupied territories

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)
A building site in the illegal Israeli settlement of Gilo in East al-Quds (Jerusalem)

The Israeli regime has announced the approval of plans to build some 900 housing units in the occupied Palestinian territory.

The plans to build 891 illegal settler homes in the East al-Quds (Jerusalem) neighborhood of Gilo were approved on Wednesday by the city’s building and planning board.

The plans were set to be approved in November but were pulled over fears that they would spark adverse reactions during Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's visit to the United States.

The settlement construction activities were initially approved in late 2012.

An Israeli NGO, Ir Amim, has condemned Tel Aviv’s approval, saying that it will deepen the current crisis in Palestine and destroy any chance of reaching a solution.

The group said that Netanyahu’s behavior “concerning approval of the plan on the slopes of Gilo is another example of the cat and mouse games” the Israelis play with the US government.

More than half a million Israelis live in over 120 illegal settlements built since Israel’s occupation of the Palestinian territories in 1967. The settlements are considered illegal by most of the international community.

Tensions in the occupied territories have escalated since the Israeli regime’s imposition of restrictions in August on the entry of Palestinian worshipers into the al-Aqsa Mosque compound in East al-Quds.

More than 120 Palestinians have been killed in the recent escalation of violence since the start of October.

Palestinians are also angry at increasing violence by Israeli settlers, who frequently storm the al-Aqsa Mosque.

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