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Israel to Expand Settlements in West Bank

The Israeli settlement of Maaleh Adumim looms over Arab Bedouin shacks in the West Bank, Jan. 22, 2017.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu approved a 2,500 home expansion of settlements in the West Bank Tuesday, most of which will be located within areas where settlers already live.

In a statement released by the office of Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman, the government said it approved the settlement expansion “in response to housing needs” in the Beit El settlement near Ramallah and other areas.

On Twitter, Netanyahu said “We are building and we will continue building.”

The Palestinians responded to the news by accusing Israel of attempting to sink peace deals and defying international opposition to the settlement expansion.

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas' spokesman, Nabil Abu Rdeneh, asked other countries to aid the Palestinians by taking a “real and serious position” against the Israeli settlements.