Israel defense minister to seek approval for 2,500 new settler homes in West Bank

Israel’s Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman said on Thursday he plans to seek approval next week for the construction of some 2,500 new homes in Jewish settlements in the occupied West Bank. Lieberman tweeted that a regional planning board would be asked to designate 1,400 of the housing units for immediate construction. Settlements are one of the most heated issues as Israeli-Palestinian peace talks were frozen in 2014. Palestinians want the West Bank for a future state, along with East Jerusalem and the Gaza Strip. Most countries consider settlements that Israel has built in territory it captured in the 1967 Middle East war to be illegal. Israel says their future should be determined in peace talks with the Palestinians.