Official: Israeli government to announce new settlement construction next week - InfoNews

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Official: Israeli government to announce new settlement construction next week

An Israeli soldier stands near an Iron Dome anti-missile battery system, on the far left, near the southern city of Sderot, Israel, Wednesday, Dec. 25. 2013, 2013. Israeli air and ground forces launched a series of attacks Tuesday on targets across the Gaza Strip, killing a young girl and wounding several in response to the deadly shooting of an Israeli civilian by a Palestinian sniper. (AP Photo/Tsafrir Abayov)
December 25, 2013 - 10:39 AM

JERUSALEM - An Israeli official says the government is planning on announcing new construction in its West Bank settlements next week — a move that is likely to trigger an international uproar and threaten peace talks with the Palestinians.

The timing of the announcement would coincide with the expected release of a group of Palestinian prisoners. The government has announced settlement plans during previous prisoner releases to blunt domestic criticism.

The Israeli official said he "expects" an announcement on new construction next week, but declined to elaborate. He spoke on condition of anonymity pending a formal announcement. Israeli television stations said the plan called for 1,000 to 2,000 new homes.

The U.S. opposes settlement construction on occupied land, and the Palestinians have threatened to quit the talks over the construction.

News from © The Associated Press, 2013
The Associated Press

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