Israel will have approved 12000 new settlement units in 2017

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Israeli settlers attacked on Tuesday night Palestinian commuters near the Hawwara checkpoint, south to the city of Nablus in the occupied West Bank, said local sources, causing damage to several cars.

"The decision of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to build thousands of settlements units in the West Bank means that we will be released from any obligations we have presented to USA or worldwide organizations", Palestinian Foreign Minister Riad Malki said in a statement to the official Voice of Palestine radio.

"In total, about 12,000 housing units will be approved in 2017, at various stages of planning and construction, four times the number in 2016".

During the Obama administration, Netanyahu paid lip service to the idea of a two-state solution, but since Trump's election he has avoided talk of Palestinian independence or territorial withdrawals.

Most nations consider the settlements illegal. Now there is a total of 500,000 Israeli settlers.

"We are afraid that, as Netanyahu gets more and more under pressure from the investigations and from his coalition, he is going to approve more and more plans", Hagit Ofran from Israeli NGO Peace Now said.

According to the Israeli rights group B'Tselem, "As the occupying force, Israel must protect the Palestinians in the West Bank".

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