Netanyahu Okays Plan to Build Thousands More West Bank Homes

Move seen as bid to placate hard-liners in wake of Palestinian prisoner release

  • Share
  • Read Later
Baz Ratner / Reuters

Palestinian labourers work on a construction site in Ramat Shlomo, a religious Jewish settlement in an area of the occupied West Bank Israel annexed to Jerusalem, on Oct. 30, 2013

Just hours after Israel released 26 Palestinian prisoners from prison, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu gave the green light on Wednesday to kick-start plans that will allow for the building of 3,500 additional homes in the West Bank to house Israeli settlers.

Analysts said Netanyahu’s move is an attempt to appease hard-liners within the Israeli government and public after approving the prisoner release as part of a U.S.-backed peace effort.

According to a report by Reuters, representatives from the Palestinian Authority slammed the move “as destructive for the peace process,” while U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said the decision was a violation of international law and “an obstacle to peace.”