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Despite construction freeze, 1800 new housing units started being built in West Bank settlements in 2015

By Marta Feirra - February 15, 2016
Section: [Main News]
Tags: [Settlement Expansion]

Israeli authorities approved the construction of 1800 housing units in settlements whose construction began in 2015, stated a report published on Sunday by the organisation Peace Now.

Despite government declarations of a “freeze”, construction continued in full force. Even though urban planning in settlements was frozen, local government have been using existing construction plans.

Of 1800 housing units in settlements whose construction began in 2015, almost 80 percent were built in isolated settlements east of the Green Line borders.

Peace Now found 265 housing units were built in illegal outposts last year, with at least 30 of them being built on private Palestinian land.

A new illegal outpost was established south of the Nofei Prat settlement, an area where demolitions of Bedouin houses are frequent. A road paved illegally to connect the outpost goes through private Palestinian land.

Peace Now said Netanyahu’s government message to the settlers is that “there is no need for planning and prior approval since the construction will eventually be approved retroactively.”

Earlier this month, the European Union made a statement calling on Israel to stop the demolition of Palestinian houses and reiterating its opposition to Israeli settlement expansion in the West Bank.

UN head Ban Ki-Moon also recently criticized Israel for continuing to build settlements in occupied Palestinian territories, describing it as “an affront to the Palestinian people and to the international community.”



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