TEL AVIV (Sputnik) — Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has given a final approval to the construction of over 400 new housing units in the West Bank, local media reported on Tuesday.
According to the Haaretz newspaper, West Jerusalem’s Ramat Shlomo neighborhood will see another 436 housing units built, further expanding the Jewish settlement located on Palestinian territory. A similar move in 2010, when the Jerusalem municipality approved the construction of 1,600 apartments in the settlement, invoked condemnation from the United States and the European Union.
The project was approved in 2012 but the construction was later frozen. Netanyahu’s latest decision lifted the construction freeze.Netanyahu also approved the building of 18 new housing units in the Ramot area of Jerusalem, the newpaper reported. The settlement is also located on the territory Palestine deems occupied by Israel.
Over 500,000 Jewish settlers live in the West Bank, including West Jerusalem, according to United Nations figures. The settlements are considered illegal by the UN, and West Bank territory is considered occupied territory by the International Court of Justice. The West Bank has been occupied by Israel since 1967.