Israeli occupation government is to approve plan to build 6,000 new settlement units in Palestinian territories known as Area C of the occupied West Bank, Haaretzreported on Tuesday.
According to the Israeli public broadcasting corporation Kan, Haaretz said that it was “unclear whether the plans for construction would be for new units or to legalise existing illegal structures.”
Haaretz also reported sources familiar with the matter saying that the plan was initiated by the Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
The sources also said that the initiative included building 700 Palestinian housing units in return for building “the 6,000 Jewish settlement units which are currently in the process of approval.”
However, the discussion on the 700 units for Palestinians postponed.
Both the Jewish and Palestinian units are planned to be built in parts of Area C in the occupied West Bank, which is under military and administrative control of the Israeli occupation.
Mateh Binyamin Regional Council chief Israel Gantz and Samaria Regional Council head Yossi Dagan issued a joint statement in response to reports about the plans, calling it “particularly worrying.”
The Regavim, a settlement NGO, criticised the discussion of the plan because it included building some hundred housing units for Palestinians.
“As the Palestinian Authority is actively carrying out an illegal takeover of Area C, we hope that this report is inaccurate,” a statement by The Regavim, reported by the Jewish Press, said, adding that the plan will serve “the terrorist state in the heart of Israel.”
The statement added: “The only place for large-scale construction projects that serve the Arab sector in Judea and Samaria [West Bank] is the area under Palestinian Authority jurisdiction.”
The Palestinian Authority controls only Area A, which is geographically non-contiguous territory comprising only 11 per cent of the occupied West Bank and it includes a large number of Israeli Jewish settlements.