Israel set to approve another 1,000 West Bank homes: NGO
JERUSALEM - Agence France-Presse
This Sept. 20, 2010 aerial file photo, taken through the window of an airplane, shows the West Bank Jewish settlement of Ariel. AP photoIsraeli authorities are expected on July 17 to give the green light for the construction of 1,071 new homes in six West Bank settlements, watchdog Peace Now said in a statement on July 16.
The news came as U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry arrived in Jordan at the start of a sixth round of intense diplomacy to revive stalled Israeli-Palestinian peace talks, with Israel's settlement building a key sticky point.
It also came as the European Union adopted guidelines barring the bloc's 28 member states from funding projects in Jewish settlements. The measure was described by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu as "external dictates."
Peace Now said that a government committee was expected to grant initial approval for plans to build 339 homes at Galgal and Almog settlements in the Jordan valley, Kfar Adumim northeast of Jerusalem and at Kochav Yaacov and Shilo near the West Bank city of Ramallah.
Another 732 units were to be given a more advanced level of approval, one stage before the start of construction, at the West Bank's biggest settlement, Modiin Ilit, a community of 58,000 ultra-Orthodox Jews west of Ramallah, it said.
"These approvals are part of an unprecedented wave of advancing settlement plans," Peace Now said. "This is yet another message by Israel to the US and the Palestinians that this government is not ready for peace."