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JERUSALEM – Israel approved the construction of 780 homes in Jewish settlements in the West Bank, an activist group said, in an apparent attempt to advance that cause before the end of Donald Trump’s presidency in the United States.
The Peace Now movement pointed out that 90% of the homes are located deep inside the West Bank, where Palestinians yearn to establish a state of their own in the future.
The group adds that some 200 homes will be in unauthorized outposts that the government has now decided to legalize.
Israel accelerated settlement construction during the Trump presidency. According to Peace Now, Israel approved or developed the construction of more than 12,000 settlements in 2020, the highest figure for a year since the group began keeping score in 2012.
“By promoting the construction of settlements, Prime Minister Netanyahu is once again placing his personal political interests above those of the country,” the organization denounced.
“This activity will not only reduce the possibility of reaching an agreement with the Palestinians in the long term, but in the short term it unnecessarily puts Israel on the path of a dispute with the incoming Joe Biden government in the United States,” he added.
Netanyahu’s office declined to comment. But last week, the president announced that he would ask for those constructions to be approved. That project includes 100 homes in Tal Menashe, a settlement where an Israeli woman was killed last month.
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