JERUSALEM – Israeli authorities approved the construction of more than 1,000 houses in the occupied Palestinian territory of the West Bank, Israeli NGO Peace Now reported on Thursday.
The Civil Administration’s Higher Planning Committee, an Israeli ruling body located in the West Bank, approved a total of 1,122 new housing units in 20 settlements across the West Bank colonies on Wednesday and issued a public tender for another 651 units on Thursday.
“The government is attempting to destroy the possibility of a two-state solution and the prospects of peace by building more and more in the settlements. This agenda runs counter to Israel’s national interest, as well as the interests of everyone who seeks a peaceful future in the region,” Peace Now wrote in a statement on their website.
Over half of the housing units approved are to be located outside of the Geneva Initiative-proposed borders of a two-state solution.
On Jan. 9, Israeli Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman announced that the committee would be sponsoring 2,490 settlement housing units.
Most of the international community considers Israeli settlements in occupied Palestinian territory to be illegal, since international law prohibits an occupying power from transferring its population to territory under occupation.
In addition, the United Nations, the European Union and many other countries consider that the settlements are one of the main obstacles to reaching a peace agreement between Israel and Palestine.