Israel advances plans for nearly 2,200 settler homes in West Bank – NGO

Israeli authorities have advanced plans for nearly 2,200 settlement homes in the occupied West Bank, the Peace Now NGO said on Wednesday. The plans would be the first such approvals since snap polls were called earlier this week. A Defense Ministry committee with responsibility for such projects on Tuesday and Wednesday approved the plans, which are in various stages of the approval process, AFP reported, citing the statement. It said 1,159 housing units were given final approvals before building permits can be issued, while 1,032 were at an earlier stage. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s right-wing government agreed Monday to dissolve parliament and call for early elections on April 9. Netanyahu met with settler leaders earlier Wednesday in Jerusalem. Israeli settlements are considered illegal under international law as they are built on land Palestinians see as part of their future state.