Israel approves construction of 3,000 new housing units in West Bank

Israel on Tuesday approved the construction of 3,000 new housing units in the West Bank, the defense ministry announced.

Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman said regarding the approval that “we are in a new era in which life in Judea and Samaria is returning to normal,” using the biblical term for the area, as is preferred by Israeli authorities.

The announcement came a week after the approval of 2,500 new units, and on the eve of the planned evacuation of the Amona wildcat outpost.

Amona, home to about 40 families, was built on lands privately owned by Palestinians, who successfully petitioned Israeli courts for the outpost’s removal.

A leaflet posted at the outpost Tuesday morning informed residents that they are required to move their property from the premises within 48 hours of the decree’s publication. The army would bar entry to the premises after this time.

Last week’s announcement of 2,500 new units came days after the inauguration of US President Donald Trump, who has signaled that he is far more approving of construction in the West Bank and east Jerusalem than his predecessor Barack Obama.

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