Israel approves new homes for settlers, Palestinians in West Bank

FILE PHOTO: Labourers work at a construction site in the Israeli settlement of Beitar Illit in the Israeli-occupied West Bank April 7, 2019. REUTERS/Ronen Zvulun/File Photo

JERUSALEM (Reuters) – Israel has approved the construction of 6,000 new homes for Jewish settlers and 700 new homes for Palestinians in an area of the occupied West Bank where it has full control, an Israeli official said on Wednesday.

The announcement for Area C housing came ahead of an expected visit to Israel on Wednesday by U.S. envoy Jared Kushner to discuss a White House plan for an Israeli-Palestinian peace accord.

Area C accounts for around 60 percent of the West Bank. Under 1993 interim accords, Israel has security and administrative control of the area, where most of its West Bank settlements are concentrated.

The Palestinians want all of the West Bank for a future state. Most world powers deem the settlements there illegal, but the United States has hinted that it could back Israel keeping some of the settlements under any future peace accord.

Writing by Dan Williams; Editing by Hugh Lawson

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