AFP reports: Israel has progressed with plans for more than 2,000 new homes in six West Bank settlements, an official said Thursday, in a move likely to further endanger peace talks.
Guy Inbar, a spokesman for the defence ministry unit responsible for civilian affairs in the Palestinian territories, said a ministry committee had furthered existing plans for 2,269 homes at a meeting last month.
He confirmed claims by anti-settlements Israeli group Peace Now about decisions on two sets of projects, which the watchdog said the committee had examined on February 19.
In the first case, the committee approved for validation 1,015 units in Leshem, Beit El and Almog, meaning the only remaining formality for their final approval is the okay of Defence Minister Moshe Yaalon.
The same committee approved for deposit 1,254 units in Ariel, Shvut Rachel and Shavei Shomron, meaning those projects will now be published in the media for public comment before returning to the committee for further discussion. [Continue reading…]