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Israel pursues plans to expand West Bank settlements

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Israel pursues plans to expand West Bank settlements


Israel is pressing on with plans to build more than 1,000 new homes in two West Bank settlements, according to officials.

The construction, which involves expanding both the Bruchin and Itamar settlements, could complicate US efforts to re-invigorate peace talks between Israel and the Palestinians.

Ahmed Assaf, spokesman for Palestinian party Fatah, said: “This is Israel throwing to the wall all the American efforts to revive the peace process – in defiance of international law and the agreements that have been signed.”

The extent of Israeli expansion plans at Bruchin, where some 350 settlers currently live, had not been disclosed previously.

The Israeli proposal to build more dwellings at Itamar was announced in 2012 and approved by then-Defence Minister Ehud Barak.

The Israeli settlements are located on land that Palestinians seek for a future state.

Palestinian Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah told Reuters: “The continuation of settlement activity is killing the two-state solution. The international community must take action before this solution dies.”

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