Israel set to approve 1,071 new units in West Bank

Announcement comes at heels of 6th Kerry visit to region and new EU guidelines limiting cooperation with Israeli entities linked to settlements

Illustrative: The ultra-Orthodox city Modi'in Illit (Miriam Alster/Flash90)
Illustrative: The ultra-Orthodox city Modi'in Illit (Miriam Alster/Flash90)

The Settlement Subcommittee of the Higher Planning Council of the Civil Administration is set to approve the construction of 1,071 new housing units in settlements across the West Bank, Peace Now announced late Tuesday, including 732 new units in Modi’in Ilit.

The subcommittee is set to meet Wednesday to approve the plans.

The news came at the heels of US Secretary of State John Kerry’s latest visit to the region, his sixth in just several months.

Kerry landed in Amman Tuesday to see Arab foreign ministers and update them on his efforts to get the Israelis and Palestinians back to the negotiating table. However, unlike his previous visits, he had no plans to travel to Israel or the Palestinian Authority and US officials dampened expectations that there would be any kind of breakthrough or announcement on resuming direct talks.

The announcement of construction approval came on the same day as news of a dramatic new directive by the European Union barring its 28 members from all cooperation with Israeli entities in the West Bank, East Jerusalem and the Golan Heights, putting Israel-EU relations to the test.

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