The Israeli Ministry of Defense, on Monday, approved plans to build 153 new settlement units in the occupied West Bank.Israeli authorities approved tens of units in at least four settlements in the West Bank, in areas that include Jerusalem, southern Bethlehem, and the Jordan Valley area.

According to Peace Now, the move marks the end of an informal construction freeze in the Palestinian territory which lasted 18 months.

The rights group said, on December 28th, that Israel was working to revive and extend plans for new settler houses in the contentious area of the occupied West Bank known as E1.

In a report said to be based on government data obtained under a Freedom of Information Act request, the group stated that the housing ministry was seeking to build 55,548 units in the West Bank — including two new settlements — of which more than 8,300 housings would be in E1.

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