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Israel gives go-ahead for 181 new illegal settlement units

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)
The illegal Israeli settlement of Har Homa in East Jerusalem al-Quds is seen in this photo taken on June 3, 2009. (Photo by AFP)

The Israeli authorities have given the go-ahead for plans to build 181 illegal settler units in East Jerusalem al-Quds.

Local Israeli municipal official Brachie Sprung said that the initial plans for the construction of the settlement units in the Gilo area were made in 2012.

She added that the Wednesday approval was for the "technical details of plot distribution," and that further detailed planning would be required for the actual construction to begin.

Last month, a special United Nations Security Council session denounced Israel for building “illegal settlements” in the occupied Palestinian territories.

The session was held a few days after UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon called on Israel to halt plans to construct a new settlement and an industrial zone in the occupied West Bank.

According to Americans for Peace Now, the number of Israeli settlements has grown dramatically over the past 20 years, with the construction of 11,000 new settler units authorized under Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

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, including East Jerusalem al-Quds.

All Israeli settlements are illegal under international law. Tel Aviv has defied calls to stop the expansion of settlements in the occupied Palestinian territories.

Israel’s settlement expansion has been among the main reasons behind the collapse of the last round of the so-called Middle East peace talks in 2014.

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