An Israeli settlement in East al-Quds (Jerusalem) is seen on August 11, 2011.
The Israel regime says it plans to construct hundreds of new settlement units in the occupied West Bank despite international opposition.
An Israeli committee is set to give the go-ahead for the constructions in the settlement of Shilo, near the northern Palestinian city of Nablus. The committee "will meet today to approve [the] construction of 500 units," civil administration spokesman Guy Inbar said on Wednesday. It will also legalize more than 200 units built earlier without an Israeli permit, some in a nearby settler outpost of Shvut Rachel, “for humanitarian reasons,” Inbar claimed.
Israel continues its settlement construction in the occupied Palestinian territories despite condemnation from the international community. The settlements are considered illegal under international law and the international community has never recognized the legality of the move. Thousands of Israelis have been living in a dozen settlement neighborhoods since Israel's occupation of the West Bank and East al-Quds (Jerusalem) in 1967.
Meanwhile, Israel has intensified the demolition of Palestinian homes in the West Bank. A new report released by the Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs' (OCHA) said that the number of Palestinian homes ruined by Israel in the West Bank dramatically increased in 2011. According to the report, more than 1,100 Palestinians, including children and women, in the West Bank were displaced last year, marking an 80-percent increase from 2010, due to the demolition of their homes by Israelis.
The report echoes a recent statement released by over 20 groups, including Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch and Oxfam International at the end of 2011.