​Israel okays new settlement plans, says rights group

January 07, 2014 - 6:39:04 am

Men search for the remains of the dead security officer after an explosive device was detonated at a security guard post at a court in Benghazi yesterday.



JERUSALEM: A plan for 272 new homes in West Bank settlements was approved on the eve of US Secretary of State John Kerry’s departure yesterday, Israel’s Peace Now movement said.

Israel had been expected to announce new settlement plans alongside the release of Palestinian prisoners last week — as it did during previous releases — in a bid to ease the concerns of hardliners as it engages in US-brokered peace talks.

Peace Now said the construction of 250 homes at Ofra and 22 at Karnei Shomron was approved by the Israeli military administration charged with the settlements.

“Building could begin rapidly,” the anti-settlement group said in a statement.

“A government seeking a two-state solution will not worsen the conflict by building in the settlements, especially those with no chance of remaining under Israeli sovereignty” in the event of a peace deal with the Palestinians, it said. Ofra and Karnei Shomron are “both isolated settlements in the heart of the West Bank,” Peace Now said.AFP

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