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ISRAEL: Israel urged to reconsider settler home approvals in West Bank

France on Thursday called on Israel to reconsider recently issued approvals for more than 2,000 settler homes in the occupied West Bank, saying they would violate international law.

Israel’s Higher Planning Committee approved 2,191 new housing units in Israeli settlements on Dec. 25 and 26, though no building permits have been issued yet.

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“France condemns this decision, which expands settlement activity in the West Bank,” the French foreign office said in a statement.

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The settlements undermined the conditions for a two-state solution, “the only way to ensure a just and lasting peace between Israelis and Palestinians, and heightens tensions” it said, calling on the Israeli authorities to reconsider the decisions.

Some 500,000 Israelis live in the West Bank and East Jerusalem, areas captured by Israel in the 1967 Middle East War that are also home to more than 2.6 million Palestinians.

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