Israeli defense minister approves “thousands” new settler homes in West Bank

Israel’s Defense Minister Naftali Bennett approved on Wednesday the construction of “thousands” new apartments in the settlement of Efrat in the occupied West Bank.

The approval includes some 7,000 new housing units that are planned to be built over some 270 acres in Efrat, a settlement south of Jerusalem, according to the defense ministry.

“I have approved the construction of thousands of new housing,” Bennett wrote on Twitter.

“I have instructed the security system to continue strengthening the settlements in a determined manner,” wrote Bennett, who is also the leader of the pro-settler party of Yamina.

“The momentum of building in our land should not be stopped for one moment,” he added.

The statement did not elaborate on when the construction is actually expected to begin.

Such announcements usually trigger anger among the Palestinians because the settlements are located on lands where they wish to establish their future state.

Israel captured the West Bank in a war in 1967 and controlled it ever since despite international criticism.