In a move which officials say was “retaliation” for the Palestinian unity government, Israel’s Housing Ministry plans 3,300 new settler homes in the occupied West Bank.
Officially, the Housing Ministry announced only 1,500 new tenders for construction of homes, with a few hundred in the area around occupied East Jerusalem.
That’s only half the story, as officials say that another 1,800 previously blocked tenders are ordered to be unblocked and started, making the overall expansion much larger.
The Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) says they intend to appear the plans to the United Nations, with Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat warning they will pursue the matter with a number of international organizations.
The European Union blasted the Israeli settlement plans and demanded that Israel immediately reverse them. The US, ever reluctant to be too critical of Israel, said only that the expansions were “unhelpful.”