Israel Approves Plans for 119 Settlement Units

The Israeli defense ministry has approved plans for 119 housing units in the settlement of Shilo, north of Jerusalem, the Israeli news site Ynet reported.

The permits were issued as part of the Israeli state’s response to a high court petition against the settlement by Israeli rights group Peace Now eight months ago, the report said.

The petition by the group claimed the construction was illegal and not part of an original plan for the area approved by the civil administration.

The office of Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak said that "anything approved in Shilo is just approval of the existing situation," adding that new construction would require permits, Ynet said.

Israel authorized all permanent housing units in Shilo on Wednesday in response to Peace Now’s petition.

Hagit Ofran, director of Peace Now’s Settlement Watch project, told Ma’an that "the Netanyahu government proves once again that its true policy is to expand settlements, including those deep in the West Bank in areas undoubtedly slated for eviction in light of an agreement."

A hearing on the matter is scheduled for Monday. If implemented, the newly approved construction would expand the Shilo settlement by over 60 percent.

All settlements are illegal under international law.

(Ma’an News)

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