Israel approves first new settler homes since suspending annexation

JERUSALEM (Reuters) – Israel approved more than 1,300 new settler homes in the occupied West Bank on Wednesday in the first such go-ahead since it suspended annexation plans in the territory.



a view of a city with tall buildings in the background: FILE PHOTO: A general view shows part of the Jewish settlement of Beit El in the forground near Ramallah in the Israeli-occupied West Bank


© Reuters/Amir Cohen
FILE PHOTO: A general view shows part of the Jewish settlement of Beit El in the forground near Ramallah in the Israeli-occupied West Bank

The decision drew an angry response from Palestinians, who seek to establish a state in the West Bank, Gaza and East Jerusalem.

“We urge the international community to intervene immediately to stop this settlement madness, which destroys any chance for a genuine peace process,” said Nabil Abu Rudeineh, a spokesman for Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas.

The construction could help mute criticism of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu from settler leaders, who are traditional allies.

They had bristled at the annexation suspension that helped pave the way for last month’s deals to forge diplomatic

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Israel Approves First New Settler Homes Since Suspending Annexation | World News

JERUSALEM (Reuters) – Israel approved more than 1,300 new settler homes in the occupied West Bank on Wednesday in the first such go-ahead since it suspended annexation plans in the territory.

The decision drew an angry response from Palestinians, who seek to establish a state in the West Bank, Gaza and East Jerusalem.

“We urge the international community to intervene immediately to stop this settlement madness, which destroys any chance for a genuine peace process,” said Nabil Abu Rudeineh, a spokesman for Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas.

The construction could help mute criticism of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu from settler leaders, who are traditional allies.

They had bristled at the annexation suspension that helped pave the way for last month’s deals to forge diplomatic ties between Israel and the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain.

Israel’s West Bank Civil Administration planning committee gave final approval for building 1,313 housing units in several

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Israel approves first West Bank settler homes since Gulf deals

Israel approved 2,166 new homes in settlements across the occupied West Bank on Wednesday, official figures sent to AFP showed, ending an eight-month lull in settlement expansion. 

The approvals came less than a month after the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain signed agreements to normalise relations with Israel, which in return pledged to freeze its plans to annex swathes of the West Bank.

NGO Peace Now said the settlement uptick signals Israel’s rejection of Palestinian statehood and deals a blow to hopes of a wider Israeli-Arab peace.

It said that around 2,000 more homes are expected to be approved on Thursday.

“Netanyahu is moving ahead at full steam toward solidifying the de facto annexation of the West Bank,” it said in a statement ahead of Wednesday’s decisions.

US President Donald Trump sees the Gulf accords as part of his broader initiative for Middle East peace.

But a controversial plan he

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