Israel approves 2,500 West Bank settlement homes

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu

Israel has approved 2,500 new settlement homes in the West Bank.

Defence minister Avigdor Lieberman said he and prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu had agreed on the approval “in response to housing needs”.

He said the majority of the housing units will be built in settlement blocs, areas where most settlers live and which Israel wants to keep under its control under any future peace deal with the Palestinians.

The election of US president Donald Trump has emboldened pro-settlement politicians, including Mr Lieberman and Mr Netanyahu.

Mr Trump has indicated that he will be more sympathetic to Israeli settlement construction than his predecessor Barack Obama.

Much of the international community views the settlements as illegal and an obstacle to peace with the Palestinians.

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