- Title: Israeli panel approves plan for new settlement in West Bank
- Date: 6th June 2017
- Summary: ARIEL SETTLEMENT, WEST BANK (FILE - 2010) (REUTERS) HOUSES IN ARIEL SETTLEMENT PALESTINIAN VILLAGE IN DISTANCE
- Embargoed: 20th June 2017 14:55
- Keywords: Amona Settlement West Bank Palestinians Israel
- Location: JERUSALEM/ARIEL, RAMALLAH, WEST BANK
- City: JERUSALEM/ARIEL, RAMALLAH, WEST BANK
- Country: Israel
- Topics: Conflicts/War/Peace
- Reuters ID: LVA0036K54FGN
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text: An Israeli planning committee on Tuesday (June 6) approved blueprints for the first new Jewish settlement in the West Bank in two decades and for the construction of some 1,800 other settler-homes in the occupied territory, Israeli media reports said.
The reported steps by the panel, part of Israel's military-run Civil Administration in the West Bank, followed a government decision in March to build the settlement, known as Amichai, to house some 300 settlers evicted in February from the settlement of Amona.
A spokeswoman for the Civil Administration declined to comment. Peace Now, an Israeli anti-settlement group that monitors settlement activity in the West Bank, said it could not immediately confirm the media reports, but its director Hagit Ofran told Reuters that settlements expansion "will be a huge obstacle for a potential of a two-state solution."
Israel's Supreme Court had ordered the removal of the Amona settlers after ruling that their homes were built illegally on privately-owned Palestinian land. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu pledged to re-house them at a new site in the West Bank.
According to the media reports, the panel approved plans to build 102 homes at the Amichai site for the Amona settlers. Plans for another 1,800 dwellings in several existing settlements were also ratified, the reports said.
Palestinians, who seek to establish a state in the West Bank and Gaza Strip with East Jerusalem as its capital, condemned the reported plans.
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