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Israel approves about 300 new settler units in West Bank

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)
This picture taken on July 29, 2016 shows a general view of Israeli construction cranes and excavators at the building site of new units in the illegal settlement of Gilo in occupied East Jerusalem al-Quds. ©AFP

Israel has approved the construction of 285 new settler units in the occupied West Bank in defiance of international calls to end the illegal project in the Palestinian territories.

The Tel Aviv regime approved the building of 234 settler units in the illegal settlement of Elkana, 31 in Beit Aryeh, and 20 others in Givat Ze'ev, Israel’s Haarez daily reported on Wednesday.

The regime also retroactively legalized some 178 housing units already built in the illegal Beit Aryeh settlement.

Israel "continues to plan and build all over the West Bank, while also giving settlers the message that any construction done without planning will be retroactively legalized,” settlement watchdog Peace Now said.

Earlier this month, Tel Aviv also approved plans to construct 56 new housing units in the neighborhood of Ramot in East Jerusalem al-Quds.

Over half a million Israelis live in more than 230 illegal settlements built since the 1967 Israeli occupation of the Palestinian territories of the West Bank.

Israel continues to expand illegal settlement units in the occupied West bank despite international calls for the unauthorized activity to be halted.

In a report to the UN Security Council in New York on Monday, UN Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process Nickolay Mladenov (seen below) talked about a “surge” in Israeli plans to advance 1,700 new settler units in the Palestinians lands.

Mladenov accused Israel of stepping up demolitions of Palestinian buildings, and plans to identify grounds for a new settlement next to the Palestinian city of Bethlehem.

The UN envoy also noted that expansion of Israeli settlements in occupied Palestine hinder efforts aimed at establishing peace in the Middle East.

All Israeli settlements are illegal under international law but Tel Aviv continues to defy calls to stop the settlement expansions in the occupied Palestinian territories.

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