An anti-settlement Israeli group says Israel's Housing Ministry has plans that would nearly double the number of settlers in the West Bank.

The Peace Now report says Israeli authorities have planned 73,000 new Jewish housing units in the occupied Palestinian territory.  The report released Monday also says authorities have already approved about 15,000 of the units. 

Peace Now cautions that a large expansion could destroy chances for a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.  The U.S. supports a two-state solution.

Israel's Housing Ministry says the new plans for the West Bank only refer to potential construction and would need to be approved by government bodies.

Benjamin Netanyahu, who is trying to form a coalition government, has said his government would expand existing settlements to accommodate for "natural growth" of Israel's populations.


Some information for this report was provided by AFP and Reuters.