Israel approves 700 Palestinian, 6,000 settler homes in West Bank

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu

he Israeli cabinet has unanimously approved 700 units for Palestinians and 6,000 for Israelis in Area C of the West Bank.

An Israeli government official made this known on Wednesday.

Israeli approval of Palestinian homes is unusual in Area C, which includes most of Israel’s West Bank settlements and is under full Israeli control.

“It is the right of the Palestinian people to build anywhere on their land occupied since 1967 without having to have permission from anyone.

“We will not give legitimacy to any stone for a settlement on our Palestinian land,” said Palestinian Information Minister Nabil Abu Rudeineh in a statement published on Palestinian news agency Wafa.

The Oslo peace accords divided the West Bank into areas A, B and C. Area A where the West Bank’s biggest cities are located is under full Palestinian control. Most other Palestinian towns and villages in the West Bank are located in Area B, which is administered by the Palestinian Authority (PA), but under Israeli security control.

Israeli media reported that the move was made deliberately ahead of a visit by U.S. President Donald Trump’s adviser and son-in-law Jared Kushner, who is leading a Middle East peace initiative.

The Palestinians have rejected the U.S. peace plan, which has first focused on economic issues, as they argue that the political issues should be tackled first.

The Trump administration has upended decades of U.S. policy on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, including by moving the U.S. embassy to Jerusalem and cutting aid to the Palestinians.

Israel conquered the West Bank, Gaza Strip, part of the Golan Heights and East Jerusalem in the 1967 Six-Day War.

More than 600,000 Israeli settlers now live in the West Bank and East Jerusalem.

The Palestinians want these areas and the Gaza Strip for their own state of Palestine with East Jerusalem as its capital. 

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