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    Houses are seen atop a hill in the Israeli settlement of Givat Ze'ev, in the occupied West Bank February 7, 2017

    Israel Approves Construction of Almost 2,000 Homes in West Bank - Reports

    © REUTERS / Ammar Awad
    Middle East
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    This is the first Israeli approval of settlements in the West Bank since the US diplomatic mission was officially transferred to Jerusalem, a move which aggravated Palestinian protests, causing bitter resentment and anger throughout the Arab world.

    Israel has given the green light to the construction of 1,958 new settlement units in the West Bank, Peace Now, an Israeli movement monitoring settlements activity, told AFP.

    According to the settlements watchdog, about 700 homes have already been totally approved, whereas the rest have moved through the first stage of approval.

    READ MORE: WATCH Demonstration of First Drone Given to Israeli Settlement to Prevent Terror

    The movement's statement reads that settlement-building activities have dramatically increased during US President Donald Trump's tenure, with some 14,000 approvals, which is three times more than before Trump's inauguration.

    Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and U.S. President Donald Trump chat as White House senior advisor Jared Kushner is seen in between them, during their meeting at the King David hotel in Jerusalem May 22, 2017
    © REUTERS / Kobi Gideon/Courtesy of Government Press Office
    Territory in the West Bank was seized by Israel during the 1967 Six-Day War in the course of the long-lasting struggle between Israelis and Palestinians for the territory of what previously was the British Mandate of Palestine. The West Bank is mostly populated by Arabs and the United Nations considers this territory to be illegally occupied by Israel.

    Some sponsors of a peace process, among whom are Russia and the EU, have repeatedly warned that Israeli settlement activities undermine any chance for a two-state solution, which involves the creation of an independent Palestinian state alongside Israel.


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