[06 Jan 2014] israel announces plan for new settlements after kerry departure - English

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06   Jan   2014   israel   announces   plan   for   new   settlements   after   kerry   departure   PTV   Presstv   English   israel   has   given   final   approval   for   the   construction   of   272   new   homes   in   West   Bank   settlements  

israel has given final approval for the construction of 272 new homes in West Bank settlements, just hours after U-S Secretary of State John Kerry\\\'s departure. Under the latest plans, 250 apartments were approved for Ofra and Karnei Shomron, in the heart of the West Bank, 53 of which have already been built without any permit. An Israeli Defense Ministry official said that the initial approval for new buildings was given several months ago and added that the latest announcement was just a formality. The Israeli anti-settlement group Peace Now criticized Israel\\\'s latest move, saying Tel Aviv had the option of suspending settlement plans and giving the so-called peace talks a chance, but instead chose to push ahead with the expansion of settlements. The latest announcement came shortly after Kerry\\\'s departure. The U-S secretary of state had earlier urged Israel to refrain from taking any steps that would derail the negotiations. The international community considers settlements illegal, and the Palestinians have long viewed settlement construction as a key obstacle to reaching a peace agreement.

Added by PTV on 07-01-2014
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