JERUSALEM (JTA) — The Israeli government is planning to build at least 73,300 new housing units in the West Bank, according to a new report.
Peace Now in its report released Monday said that at least 15,000 of the housing units already have been approved and the rest remain in the planning stages, based on an examination of maps and other information available on the Israeli government’s Web site.
Some 8,950 of the units already have been built, the report said. More than 5,700 of the planned units are located in eastern Jerusalem and about 19,000 are slated for settlements located beyond the security barrier.
The planned construction could double the size of some settlements, including Betar Illit, Ariel, Givat Ze’ev, Maale Adumim, Efrat and Geva Binyamin, according to the report’s findings.
"If all the plans are realized, the number of settlers in the Territories will be doubled" with an addition of about 300,000, according to the report.
The report was released hours before U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton was scheduled to arrive in Israel for meetings with government leaders.