The report of further expansion comes amid heightened tensions in the occupied West Bank, one day after veteran Al Jazeera journalist Shireen Abu Akleh was shot dead by Israeli army in the Jenin refugee camp.
Israeli authorities have approved the construction of over 4,000 settlement units on territories in the occupied West Bank and East Jerusalem.
Several Israeli news outlets, including Haaretz, said on Thursday that the Israeli High Council of Planning and Building – an Israeli official body that supervises settlement construction in the Palestinian occupied territories – approved the construction of new settlement units.
The new units will be built in the existing settlements of Betar Illit in southwestern Jerusalem, the Elkana settlement in the northwestern West Bank, Doliv settlement in northwestern Ramallah, Kiryat Arba east of Hebron, and others, Israeli media reported.
Jordan slammed the Israeli announcement that it would build new settlement units while continuing to demolish Palestinian-owned homes in the southern occupied West Bank.
In a statement, Jordanian Foreign Ministry spokesperson Haitham Abu Alfoul said his country rejected and condemned these actions as illegitimate and illegal.
The United States has said it “strongly” opposes such construction.
International law views both the West Bank and East Jerusalem as occupied territories and considers all Jewish settlement-building activities there illegal.
Israeli and Palestinian estimates indicate there are about 650,000 settlers living in 164 settlements and 116 outposts in the West Bank, including in occupied East Jerusalem.
Source: TRTWorld and agencies