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Israel to build 800 new housing units for settlements in West Bank

Israel's Civil Administration on Monday approved construction of 800 new housing units for Jewish-only settlements and outposts in the occupied West Bank, Israeli daily Haaretz has reported.

Thirty percent of the new units will be built in Novi Prat, a suburb of the Maale Adumim settlement.

As many as 94 new units will be installed in the Salit outpost in the Jordan Valley and another 30 in the Shilo settlement, the paper reported.

The announcement is likely to further complicate US-sponsored Israeli-Palestinian peace talks, which resumed in July following a three-year hiatus.

Palestinians insist that Israeli settlement building must cease before a comprehensive final-status agreement can be reached.

Talks between the two sides generally take place behind closed doors, with results of negotiations seldom divulged to the media.

PA slams new Israeli settlement scheme

The Palestinian Authority (PA) on Monday denounced an announcement by the Israeli authorities regarding the planned construction of 800 new Jewish-only housing units in the occupied West Bank.

"This settlement policy proves that Israel wants to continue escalating," PA presidential spokesman Nabil Abu Rudeineh said in press statements carried by the Palestinian WAFA news agency.

"Israel continues to put stumbling blocks in the way of serious peace negotiations," he added.

"Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu should not settle scores with the US at the expense of the Palestinians," Abu Rudeina said.

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