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Israel announces plans for 3,000 more housing units in West Bank

Published: November 30, 2012
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Source: LA Times

Following a landmark United Nations vote upgrading the status of the Palestinian territories to become a “nonmember observer state” in the international body, Israel said Friday it would construct an additional 3,000 units of Jewish housing in the West Bank.

The government is also moving forward with preliminary planning for a controversial development on the outskirts of Jerusalem that U.S. officials have opposed for decades, according to a government official, who requested anonymity because he was not authorized to speak publicly about the issue.

The hillside development, known as E-1, would connect the West Bank settlement of Maale Adumim with East Jerusalem, cutting off access between the Palestinian cities of Ramallah and Bethlehem. U.S. officials have long urged Israel to freeze the project because they feared it would make it more difficult to create a contiguous Palestinian state.

The decision on E-1 does not authorize any construction, but would clear the way for “preliminary statutory planning,” the official said.

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