Israel Authorizes 1,300 Palestinian New Homes

YERUSHALAYIM -
The turnoff to Yitzhar, where new housing was approved for construction last week. (Sraya Diamant/Flash90 )

Israel on Monday authorized some 1,300 Palestinian homes in Yehudah and Shomron days after advancing plans to build more than 3,000 housing units for Jewish residents.

The government says it is adopting a moderate approach with the aim of minimizing friction with the U.S. — which is opposed to advancing the communities in Yehudah and Shomron — and tensions within the coalition, which includes parties from across the political spectrum.

The Palestinians and rights groups say the newly authorized homes meet only a small fraction of the need in the 60% of Yehudah and Shomron that is under full Israeli control. Military permits for Palestinian construction are rarely granted and unauthorized structures are often demolished.

President Joe Biden’s administration has expressed opposition to the expansion of Yehudah and Shomron communities, saying it undermines efforts to eventually revive the peace process.