Israel approved more than 1,300 new homes in Yehuda and Shomron on Wednesday in the first such go-ahead since it suspended annexation plans in the region.
Israel’s Civil Administration planning committee gave final approval for building 1,313 housing units in several towns, it said in a statement. Plans for another 853 units were advanced but have not yet been given final approval.
A statement from the Beit El community said 350 new housing units would be built there. It hailed the committee’s decision as “a tremendous achievement for Beit El.”
The Gush Etzion Regional Council also hailed the decision, which should allow construction of 1,100 new units in that area south of Yerushalayim.
Approvals were given for Pnei Kedem, Kfar Eldad, Metzad, and Har Gilo, the Council said in a statement.
The planning committee, which last held such a hearing eight months ago, was due to reconvene on Thursday to advance additional projects, its publicly available agenda showed.
The decision drew an angry response from Palestinians:
“We urge the international community to intervene immediately to stop this settlement madness, which destroys any chance for a genuine peace process,” said Nabil Abu Rudeineh, a spokesman for Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas.