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‘Building momentum’: Israel approves plans for thousands of new homes in West Bank

‘Building momentum’: Israel approves plans for thousands of new homes in West Bank

Israel announced a plan for thousands of new Jewish settlement homes in the occupied West Bank on Wednesday, Reuters reports, as Washington voiced its readiness to back de facto Israeli annexations there.

PM Benjamin Netanyahu, who is trying to clinch a deal to form a coalition government, wants to start cabinet discussions on July 1 about declaring Israeli sovereignty over the settlements and the strategically important Jordan Valley in the West Bank.

Fresh construction for the settlement of Efrat was approved on land that could accommodate “around 7,000 housing units,” Defense Minister Naftali Bennett’s office said. “The building momentum in the country must not be stopped, even for a second,” tweeted Bennett.

The settlements are deemed illegal by most world powers and have been condemned by the Palestinians, who see all the West Bank – which Israel captured in a 1967 war – as theirs for a future state.