Middle East news

Israel advances 1,292 settler homes, hundreds more planned

EAST JERUSALEM – 17 October 2017: In its first of two meetings this week, the Israel Defense Ministry's body responsible for authorizing settlement construction in the West Bank advanced plans for 1,292 housing units across the West Bank Tuesday, The Times of Israel reported.
The Civil Administration’s High Planning Subcommittee also approved 296 homes to be marketed for sale in Beit El, thus fulfilling a promise that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu made to the evacuees of the settlement’s illegal Ulpana outpost, which was razed in 2012.
Of the 1,292 units advanced Tuesday, 562 are located outside the so-called “settlement blocs” that Israel has vowed to retain under any future peace deal, with mutually agreed land swaps with the Palestinians. Among them were plans in the Nokdim (146 units), Rehelim (97 units), Tomer (55 units) and Maskiot (27 units) — settlements which lie deep in the West Bank.
In the Etzion bloc south of Jerusalem, 344 units were advanced for the Kfar Etzion settlement and 68 units were advanced in the Elazar settlement. In addition, plans were approved for Barkan (56 units), Nofim (170 units), Beit Aryeh (8 units) and Har Adar (10 units) — settlements that all lie west of the security barrier.
Responding to Tuesday’s approval’s the Peace Now settler watchdog said that the government has “gone wild” in approving plans “deep in the West Bank.”