Israeli Defence Minister Avigdor Liberman said on Sunday that building settlement units in first half of 2017 was the highest since 1992.
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Responding to criticism from settler leaders over what they believe to be an insufficient amount of construction in the West Bank.
“Anyone who claims that it was possible to approve more construction in the settlements is not just trying to stretch the rope but to tear it completely, thereby endangering the entire settlement enterprise,” Lieberman said at the start of the weekly cabinet meeting.
“There was and will not be a government that will take better care of the Jewish settlement in Judea and Samaria (West Bank),” Liberman added.
Liberman, who is required to authorise each approval by the Civil Administration’s High Planning Subcommittee, said 3,651 settlement units were greenlighted last week and a total of 8,345 units have been okayed since the beginning of the calendar year.
The figures were similar to those published by settlement watchdog Peace Now last week.
Counting plans and tenders, Peace Now said 7,721 units had been advanced this year, almost triple the number for all of 2016, which amounted to 2,699.