Jerusalem, Jun 14 (IANS): The Israeli government has decided to promote the construction of 4,570 new homes in settlements in the West Bank, a state media report said.
The construction plans, which are in different stages of review and authorization, are expected to be approved next week by the Higher Planning Council of the Civil Administration, an Israeli body that approves construction in the West Bank, Xinhua news agency quoted the state-owned Kan TV's report as saying.
A senior government official confirmed to Xinhua that the Higher Planning Council is expected to give the green light to "thousands" of new settler homes.
The official said that last week, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's office informed the US administration of their anticipated action.
On Monday, Finance Minister Bezalel Smotrich told a meeting of his Religious Zionism party that "soon there will be great news for the settlements".
Israel occupied the West Bank and East Jerusalem, which are claimed by the Palestinians, in the 1967 Middle East war and has controlled them ever since.
Israeli settlement in the West Bank and East Jerusalem is one of the thorny issues between the two sides, which led to the halting of their direct peace negotiations.