Israel on Sunday announced plans to build more residences for Jewish settlers in the occupied West Bank, drawing immediate condemnation from the Palestinian bloc.
The Ministry of Construction and Housing said tenders had been published for 1,355 homes in the West Bank, which was seized by Israel during the 1967 Six-Day War. Those new homes are additional to more than 2,000 houses that were authorised last August.
According to Al Jazeera English, Housing Minister Zeev Elkin, a member of the right-wing New Hope party, said in a statement “strengthening Jewish presence was essential to the Zionist vision”.
About 475,000 Israeli Jews live in settlements in the West Bank, which are considered illegal under international law, on land Palestinians claim as part of their future state.
The new settlement homes are to be built in seven settlements, according to the statement from the housing ministry. Israeli settlement expansion in the West Bank and annexed East Jerusalem has continued under every Israeli government since 1967, although it has been declared illegal.