In apparent defiance of a recently announced plan for a moratorium on new construction work in the West Bank, Israel has approved expanding settlements there.
The coordinator of government activities in the occupied territories, Maj. Gen. Eitan Dangot, approved the construction of 84 new settlement buildings on Wednesday, Haaretz reported.
According to the report, the approval came in a bid to ease tension among those Jewish settlers who vowed to defy the regime’s decision about a 10-month freeze on settlement construction in the occupied land.
The settlers blocked the roads and clashed with the inspectors who were to enforce the moratorium on construction on Tuesday.
Israeli Prime Minster Benjamin Netanyahu, however, vowed to resume settlement construction after a "one-time, temporary" moratorium.
The move which excluded annexed East Jerusalem Al-Quds as well as the construction of public buildings in the West Bank has been refused by the Palestinians who described it as being insufficient to resume peace negotiations.