Report: Israel approves 800 West Bank housing units

JERUSALEM (JTA) — Israel approved a plan to build more than 800 housing units in the West Bank.

Israel’s Defense Ministry told The Associated Press Monday that it had approved planning for the housing in five settlements earlier this month.

The plans for Givat Ze’ev, Nofei Prat, Shiloh, Givat Salit and Nokdim had been announced last month as part of 20,000 West Bank housing unit starts hours after Israel’s release of 26 Palestinian prisoners in Israeli jails, part of an agreement to jump-start Israeli-Palestinian peace talks.

A day later, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu ordered the plans for the 20,000 West Bank housing units canceled after pressure from the United States.

Announcements of new construction projects in the West Bank have spurred problems in the current U.S.-brokered Israeli-Palestinian peace talks.

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