Israeli authorities have granted preliminary permission for the planning of new Israeli homes in the city of Hebron, a flashpoint between Israelis and Palestinians in the West Bank.
COGAT, the Israeli defense body responsible for civilian affairs in the West Bank, confirmed on Monday that permission was given for planning infrastructure.
Hagit Ofran of the anti-settlement group Peace Now says the land was requisitioned from the Palestinian-run municipality for military use and will be converted to residential construction.
About 1,000 Jewish settlers live in heavily fortified enclaves in Hebron among tens of thousands of Palestinians. Settlers say they are returning to properties that belonged to Jews before they fled following deadly Arab riots in 1929.
Ofran says this is the first such approval in more than a decade.