Germany slams Israel's approval of 3,000 settlement housing units

Government decision to summon planning commission to approve construction in the West Bank comes amid growing criticism of Israel in the United States over the government's policies and the war in Gaza
Germany on Wednesday called on the Israeli government to immediately withdraw the approval of further housing construction in West Bank settlements, saying building settlements in Palestinian territories is a serious violation of international law.
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The government's planning commission on Wednesday approved the construction of 3,000 housing units in West Bank settlements despite international condemnation of the right-wing coalition for its intention to increase construction there.
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Construction in the West Bank settlement of  Ma'aleh Adumim
Construction in the West Bank settlement of  Ma'aleh Adumim
Construction in the West Bank settlement of Ma'aleh Adumim
(Photo: Reuters)
Finance Minister Bezalel Smotrich head of the far-right National Religious Party said that a total of 18,515 units were approved for construction in the West Bank in the past year, adding that in no other year had so many units been approved.
The government's decision to summon the planning commission came after last week's terror attack near the settlement of Ma'aleh Adumim when three terrorists opened fire at cars stuck in traffic on the road to Jerusalem, killing one man and wounding six others. "Our enemies want to hurt us and our message to them is the exact opposite," Smotrich said.
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בצלאל סמוטריץ' בישיבת הסיעה
בצלאל סמוטריץ' בישיבת הסיעה
Bezalel Smotrich
(Photo: Alex Kolomoisky )
The approval of the housing units comes amid growing frustration in the Biden administration over Israel's policies. Speaking at a news conference during a trip to Buenos Aires, U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken said the United States is "disappointed" in Israel's announcement of plans for building new housing in the West Bank, saying they are counterproductive to reaching an enduring peace.
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