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Thu Feb 20, 2020, 10:20 AM

Netanyahu announces plans for 3,000 new settler homes near East Jerusalem

Source: Reuters

WORLD NEWS FEBRUARY 20, 2020 / 8:56 AM / UPDATED 13 MINUTES AGO

Netanyahu announces plans for 3,000 new settler homes near East Jerusalem

JERUSALEM (Reuters) - Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said on Thursday he was reviving a plan for the construction of 3,000 new settler homes near East Jerusalem, a project effectively frozen after international opposition.

Netanyahuís announcement, during an election campaign in which he has sought to shore up support from pro-settlement voters, was condemned by the Palestinians as another blow to their hopes for an independent state.

He has pledged to annex Jewish settlements in the occupied West Bank and the areaís Jordan Valley as part of an Israeli-Palestinian peace plan presented by U.S. President Donald Trump last month. Palestinians have rejected Trumpís blueprint as biased towards Israel.

Opponents of the project, in the Givat Hamatos area adjacent to the Palestinian neighborhood of Beit Safafa, would sever parts of East Jerusalem from the nearby Palestinian town of Bethlehem in the occupied West Bank.

Construction of 2,610 housing units for Jews in Givat Hamatos was approved by a Jerusalem planning committee in 2014. The Israeli government effectively put the project on hold after the United States and the European Union criticized the plan.

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Read more: https://www.reuters.com/article/us-israel-palestinians-settlement/netanyahu-announces-plans-for-3000-new-settler-homes-near-east-jerusalem-idUSKBN20E1WY

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